The actor talks to ET about what it was like wearing a modesty sock on set.
Warning: Spoilers for The Afterparty season 2, episode five, "Sebastian."
On the second season of the acclaimed TV show from executive producers Chris Miller, Phil Lord and Anthony King, Jack Whitehall plays the smug entrepreneur, Sebastian Drapewood, who gets caught up in the mystery surrounding the murder of Edgar Minnows (Zach Woods), after serving as the groom's best man before his untimely death.
Not long after finding Edgar's body, Detective Danner (Tiffany Haddish) is called in to help Aniq (Sam Richardson) and Zoë (Zoë Chao) with solving the whodunnit before the authorities arrive. Sebastian's interrogation comes halfway through the season, following interviews with and revelations from the bride, Grace (Poppy Liu), Edgar's adopted sister, Hannah (Anna Konkle), and family friend, Travis (Paul Walter Hauser), with each of their stories told through specific genres, or what Miller calls, "mind films."
While recounting his version of events -- which plays out like an Ocean's 11 type of heist or crime film during his interrogation -- a number of things about Sebastian are revealed, including the fact he's the person seen streaking the night of the wedding by Vivian (Vivian Wu), Feng (Ken Jeong) and others.
Not only that, but he's been faking his English accent this entire time. It also turns out that Sebastian wasn't trying to get Edgar's crypto key as previously suspected. He was actually after a coveted baseball card that his late friend had in his possession.
Now that the character's episode in season 2 of The Afterparty is streaming on Apple TV+, the 35-year-old English actor is opening up to ET about what it was like wearing a modesty sock on set as well as having to seduce co-star Elizabeth Perkins, who plays the groom's mother, Isabel.
When it came to filming the streaking scene, the actor stripped down on set several times, appearing almost entirely in the nude aside from a strategically placed piece of costume that he held in place as he ran by the cameras. "They gave me something called a posing pouch, or cock stock, which you put your genitals into and it's there to preserve your modesty," Jack Whitehall says, recounting what it was like to film takes of the streaking scene.
But after finding it waiting for him in this trailer, "I came out absolutely fuming because they gave me the sock, and then I saw a little sign in it and it said, 'Small.' I was like, 'Why?' Like, surely it should be one size fits all. And also even if it is a small sock, cut out the label or add a fake label, saying 'XXL,'" he recalls.
As for all the nudity, Whitehall wishes he would have done things differently. "I ultimately regret not taking the offer of getting a body double," he says, revealing that in the original version of the script, it described Sebastian as having "rippling abs," leading him to believe they had another actor in mind for the role. "I had the ignominy of then reading the script, like, a couple of weeks later and the description had been emitted. The reference to the abs is gone," he says, joking that the production must have thought, "Well, Jack's never gonna get abs."
The actor, however, was determined to prove them wrong. "I was gonna, like, hit the gym. I was gonna starve myself of carbs for three months in the run up to the show. And I was gonna, like, actually deliver on the abs," Whitehall recounts. "And then we got to shooting it on the day, and Chris [Miller] was like, 'Yeah, we probably won't show you from anything other than like the neck on. So, you know, it'll always just be, like, shoulders and face."
"I was like, 'Oh great. Well, that was a complete waste of time,'" he continues, before clarifying: "To be clear, I actually hadn't got the abs. I was as close as I've ever got to getting a set of abs. But I got rid of the tire around my waist and then I was like, 'It's kinda nice.' But ultimately, it was just a complete waste of time."
Despite being offered a stand-in, Whitehall remained fully committed to the cause and got naked on the day of filming, but didn't realize he would be doing several takes so it could be captured from everyone's perspective. "By the 10th time of running around that f**king field at three in the morning with my a** out, I was like, 'Why didn't I just take the body double?'"
Upon reflection, if Whitehall had chosen a body double, his character "would've had the abs. He would've had box-solid glutes."
Stripping down in front of Perkins, however, proved to be less stressful -- even if it was the first time the two had worked together. "That was the first day that we met," Whitehall says of the "scene where I strip off in front of her." He adds, "It was a bit of an icebreaker and I was very much chucked into the deep end with her."
However, as it turns out, Perkins -- who, between Minx and The Afterparty, has found herself surrounded by naked men onscreen this year -- "was wonderful to work with," he says, teasing the interactions that will unfold between the two: "Our characters had a lot of scenes together and our dynamic was a really fun one to kind of explore. We found some nice, funny little running jokes that we were able to sprinkle throughout the episodes."
As for that fake English accent, Whitehall says it's something he played around with from episode to episode. "Certainly, in some of the episodes, like the film noir one, I tried to do a little bit of a calibration of his cadence and make it sound a little bit more of that era," he reveals, referring to episode three, "Travis," which focuses on Hauser's character as he recounts his version of his events in a "mind film" that was styled as an homage to 1930s detective fiction writer Raymond Chandler.
And when it comes to Perkins' upcoming episode, which channels Vertigo, Whitehall did the same thing. "And likewise with the Hitchcock episode," he says, before explaining that "just overall, I wanted to do a slightly heightened version of my own accent."
Whitehall adds, "I do speak in quite a kind of clipped tone of voice, but I wanted to just put that a little bit more and, also, use a lot of British-isms and really kind of lean into those and pepper his dialogue with lots of affections that when you look back on it they feel like they're quite forced."
New episodes of The Afterparty season 2 premiere every Wednesday through Sept. 6 on Apple TV+.
This interview was completed prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike, which began on July 13, 2023.
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