Ryan Murphy’s ‘Hollywood’ Was Supposed to Be ‘Like Porn’ According to David Corenswet

Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan have done it again with their latest Netflix series, HollywoodIt’s the story of an ambitious group of talent who want to make their dreams come true in Tinseltown.

Sex plays a vital role in Hollywood — so much that it originally made the script read more like porn, according to David Corenswet. Find out how sex becomes a prop, a theme, and a character throughout the Netflix series. 

'Hollywood' Netflix
David Corenswet, Ian Brennan, and Jeremy Pope | Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix

‘Hollywood’ is based on Scotty Bowers’ book 

Scotty Bowers is the author of Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars. As a former “gentleman hustler,” Bowers recalls the days of using his good looks to sleep with the Hollywood elite. Though his memories are unverifiable in fact, Murphy used them as the inspiration for Hollywood

Sex is a tool in ‘Hollywood’

Hollywood showcases the many ways sex can be used as a pawn. Patti LuPone’s Avis Amberg seeks sex outside of her marriage because her husband doesn’t give her the kind of intimacy that she craves. For Jack Castello (Corenswet), illicit activity is two-fold. Sex allows him to earn a living for his growing family and gives him a leg up with some of Hollywood’s elite. 

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Still, for others like screenwriter Archie Coleman (Jeremy Pope), the unconventional his sexually explicit job is a way for him to fulfill his base desires without becoming an outcast. As a gay man in post-World War II Hollywood, Archie’s sexuality was damning. Thanks to Ernie’s (Dylan McDermott) discreet operation, Archie is free to be himself.

‘Hollywood’ was originally a lot racier 

In an interview with Variety, Corenswet described how tame the Netflix show is compared to the original script. “A little edgier is putting it way mild,” Corenswet admitted. “I don’t know if this is appropriate, but it was like soft-to-medium-core porn. It was very explicit and very descriptive. There were pages and pages just describing sex and intimate encounters. There were some things that you just knew, reading it that were not going to show up on the screen.”

Corenswet admitted most of the detail in the script was there for the actors. “The point of that [type of description] is more to describe for the actors what the characters are experiencing, but with Netflix and Ryan, you never know because there aren’t any rules,” he added. 

Sex is what attracted David Corenswet to the role 

Corenswet was drawn to Hollywood‘s script because of the way sex was used in the series. “I wasn’t immediately turned off by the whole thing [because] one of the points of the show was to take these glamorous icons and show those people having all the base instincts and fantasies and cravings and kinks that anybody has in any era,” Corenswet explained.

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By using sex as each character’s motivator, Murphy creates room for relatability. For many, sex is a tool to get where they want to go. For others, sex is a money maker. No matter how unconventional the need, sex allows the characters in Hollywood to fill it.