Jake Johnson on new show ‘Minx’: ‘The penis montage was very funny’

Jake Johnson said he hopes the more racy aspects of his new show Minx don’t put viewers off.

“It’s a show I really believe in and I think it’s really fun. I hope the idea of ​​nudity doesn’t put people off,” Johnson, 43, told the Post. “Because there’s no nudity for nudity’s sake — it’s all part of the story.”

“Minx” is a historical comedy set in the early 1970s and premieres Thursday, March 17 on HBO Max. It follows Joyce (Ophelia Lovibond), a serious Vassar-educated feminist, who is attempting to launch a women’s magazine called The Matriarchy Awakens that has more content than the typical beauty and household tips. Unfortunately, when she tries to get funding, no one cares – except for the friendly and slightly dingy publisher Doug (Johnson), who successfully publishes porn magazines. Doug agrees to become Joyce’s publisher and give her an office and staff – as long as Joyce puts a sexy spin on her idea and changes the magazine’s name to Minx. Together, the unlikely duo team up to create the first erotic magazine for women.

Jake Johnson leans on Ophelia Lovibond, smiles and hands her a card.
Jake Johnson as Doug and Ophelia Lovibond as Joyce in Minx.
HBO Max

“It doesn’t feel like the show is a lesson. It feels like it’s entertainment about things, and the characters are rich and three-dimensional. And there’s a penis montage in the pilot that I wanted to see how they pull off,” said Johnson, who is best known for New Girl and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Johnson said series creator Ellen Rapoport sent him a documentary about the making of Playgirl, which helped him prepare for the role.

“She said, ‘That’s kind of the feel of it.’ So that was my research, and she sent me some 70’s playgirls, I think we’re very desensitized in 2022; there’s been a porn explosion on the internet,” he said. “So, it was really fun , when the idea of ​​a male nude magazine was so daring and people didn’t know what to make of it, I thought [the show] It’s just really fun to tackle.”

Doug (Jake Johnson) is standing in the "bitch" Office surrounded by employees.
Doug (Jake Johnson) stands in the “Minx” office, surrounded by employees.
HBO Max

The frontal male nudity Johnson was referring to is part of a photoshoot sequence for the magazine’s centerfold – as they seek to compete with the iconic Burt Reynolds nude Cosmo photoshoot.

“The penis montage was very funny,” he said. “The guys that came in had fun with it. So that was a very easy laugh sequence because they all knew what they were getting into and wanted to be a part of. It’s funny to see a 70-year-old guy with a ponytail looking forward to taking off his pants. The 10 year old boy in me laughed when the stuff was around. What got weird about the other nudity was that it became a normal part of the workplace, like we really were a part of it [this magazine]. It became normal for a woman to walk around in panties with no shirt and devil ears. It wasn’t unusual mid-season.”

Joyce (Ophelia Lovibond) and Doug (Jake Johnson) come up with their idea to try to get ad sales.
Joyce (Ophelia Lovibond) and Doug (Jake Johnson) come up with their idea to try to get ad sales.
HBO Max

Another factor that drew Johnson to “Minx” was his character’s aesthetic — although the outfits took a bit of getting used to.

“His jewelry and his button-down and heeled shoes felt so foreign to me. But once you put that stuff on, it’s hard not to have a little bit of swagger,” he said. “So, I get why you let these ’70s guys go a certain way. Clothes make the man.

“Doug was kind of a mix between my Uncle Eddy and my father — I come from a long line of salespeople,” he said. “There were just a lot of characters that I grew up with. One of the things I like about Doug is that his main goal is to sell and win magazines and he really doesn’t care who helps him with that. His big fight in life is more important – to win in capitalism or to be a good person? And that’s a funny thing about Doug, you can feel it in him.

“Sometimes he has to treat people s–ty to get ahead.”

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