Steve Coogan on the debates brought up by #MeToo series Chivalry: 'There needs to be a conversation'

Virgin Radio

28 Apr 2022, 13:37

(L-R) Steve Coogan, Steve and Chivalry co-star Sarah Solemani

Credit: Getty / Channel 4

Actor Steve Coogan says his new #MeToo-based series Chivalry is bringing up a lot of big topics that need addressing. (Mild spoilers ahead) 

The six-part series sees Steve play traditional ladies man and movie producer Cameron, who enlists the help of Bobby (Sarah Solemani), an indie-darling filmmaker, to help save a new blockbuster in a post #MeToo world.

While we already know that the show came about after some ‘vociferous debates’ between Steve and Sarah, the Alan Partridge Star also admitted the show itself is rooted in one question he wanted to answer. 

During a Q&A, Steve told and other press that him playing devil's advocate inspired the eventual romance between Bobby and Cameron. 

He explained: “Because [#MeToo] had happened, which of course, I fully support. And because I was safe with Sarah, I started to say, well, what about this? What about that? What about the other? 

“The big thing to me was, the biggest debate, which is the premise of the whole series, which is how does romance, romance? How can it thrive? How can it happen? In a post-#MeToo environment? 

“How can men and women feel comfortable enough to... how do they fall in love in a post meeting environment in a way that isn't, if you like, strangulated by protocol, how can that happen? And for that to happen, there needs to be a conversation about it.”

Steve continued: “The whole basis of the show became ‘that's a good question to ask’. Rather than having an intellectual discussion about it, which is always full of pitfalls, let's tell a story about two people who are in the midst of this new landscape, who fall in love with each other, whilst negotiating these things, and then we thought maybe then the question will answer itself.”

Despite the rather serious subject, Steve admitted that the idea of discussing #MeToo within the confines of comedy felt like the best way to properly construct both sides of the argument. 

He added: “I always like that comedy is more interesting when it's a tool in your arsenal, rather than just an end in itself. And the fact that it was rocky waters meant it was an interesting place to be, and we could use comedy to take the curse off of difficult conversations. 

"We could use it to make people relax a little bit because people laugh. And they tend to open up a bit more and realise it's not a scary conversation. It's, yeah, constructive conversation.”

Sarah also discussed the comedy drama while on The Graham Norton Radio Show, which you can check out here

Chivalry continues tonight at 10pm on Channel 4, with all episodes available to watch on All 4