HBO Max‘s new series Minx puts an erotic women’s magazine at the center.

Set in 1970s Los Angeles, a driven young feminist joins forces with a low-rent publisher to create the first erotic magazine for women. The show merges comedy with liberation in a way that hasn’t been showcased before.

Shadow and Act spoke with the stars — including Ophelia Lovibond, Jake Johnson, Idara Victor, Jessica Lowe, Oscar Montoya and Lennon Parham — about dispelling stereotypes around sex. And hey, if you’re not into a lot of full-frontal male nudity, the show will absolutely just give some good laughs and spark major conversations.

Ophelia Lovibond stars as the earnest, uptight and inexperienced who also still understands the value such a magazine can be.

When she links up with Doug (Jake Johnson), the confident and easygoing publisher who understands what it takes to get the publication off the ground, things take off. 

It was interesting for the cast to travel back in time when the idea of an erotic women’s magazine was taboo, especially with a woman partially in charge. Lovibond believes there has been some movement on the way the world discusses sex and sexuality, but more can be done.

“It’s definitely progress in terms of how we talk about it, but the fact is we are still having to talk about it,” she told us matter of factly. “This was 50 years ago, and yet we’re still having the same conversations and are still having to dismantle gender stereotypes and things like that because they are so deeply ingrained. It’s so insidious.”

Getting to immerse oneself into a different time period is a dream that many imagine.

For the cast of Minx, they were able to live it, or at least a reimagined version of it.

“I loved it. I feel like I might have been born in the wrong time, to be honest. I’ve always thought that maybe I was a backup singer in the seventies prior to my birth,” Lennon Parham, who plays Shelly, jokes.

For a woman of color in that time period, Idara Victor, who plays Tina, enjoyed it from a different perspective.

“I did a little research around the 70s and tried to figure out what it would be like for a Black woman at that time working in an office, but it was such a unique office,” she explained. “The writing really helped me when it came to that because the way that the relationships were written really gave me insight into who Tina was in relation to these other people…And then the clothes help. It really took like the process, the full process of stepping into each next phase of the creation of it to like start to understand a little bit who this person is. And it just kept building throughout the season.”

The great thing about acting for many is the ability to transition into someone else...but being in an environment where sex and erotica is the backdrop may be intimidating or awkward for some.

Oscar Montoya, who plays Richie, admits that initially, it took some getting used to.

“There’s very little you can do to prepare but after a while, it just becomes so normal,” he said. “It just becomes another part of your daily life. Like, you don’t even blink. You don’t blush anymore. It’s just work for you. Once you’ve been exposed to it, it’s just part of you every day.” 

Despite the lewd industry the characters work in, filming the show was fun for the cast.

Aside from discussions regarding whether or not sex and sexuality should be taboo, Johnson wants viewers to be entertained.

“I think great shows and shows that people really care about, they fall in love with the characters and they feel like those characters are real and part of their lives,” he said. “And the show becomes a great escape for them where they get to kind of hang out with their friends. And I hope that people believe that the characters in the world of Minx is real and feels familiar to them while feeling different. And it’s a really fun ride for them.”

Catch the full interview below: