play_arrow

keyboard_arrow_right

Listeners:

Top listeners:

skip_previous play_arrow skip_next
00:00 00:00
playlist_play chevron_left
volume_up
chevron_left
  • cover play_arrow

    LWR TALK London World Radio

  • cover play_arrow

    LWR COMEDY London World Radio

  • cover play_arrow

    LWR LIVE London World Radio

  • cover play_arrow

    LWR SPORTS London World Radio

  • cover play_arrow

    LWR HEALTH London World Radio

Entertainment

Men Up star Iwan Rheon on new Viagra drama: ‘We need those awkward conversations’ | Ents & Arts News

today28/12/2023

Background
share close


Actor Iwan Rheon hopes his new film Men Up will encourage men to speak out about the impact erectile dysfunction can have on mental health and relationships.

The BBC drama is inspired by the real-life medical trial that took place at Morriston Hospital in Swansea in 1994, for the drug that would become Viagra.

Rheon, known for his roles in Game Of Thrones, Misfits and Wolf, plays one of a group of Welshmen who volunteer for the trial, starring alongside Aneurin Barnard (Dunkirk), Phaldut Sharma (Eastenders), Paul Rhys (Napoleon), Steffan Rhodri (Gavin And Stacey), and Mark Lewis Jones (Gangs Of London).

Steffan Rhodri, Paul Rhys, Iwan Rheon, Mark Lewis Jones and Phaldut Sharma star in Men Up. Pic: BBC/Quay Street Productions/Alistair Heap
Image:
L-R: Steffan Rhodri, Paul Rhys, Iwan Rheon, Mark Lewis Jones and Phaldut Sharma star in Men Up. Pic: BBC/Quay Street Productions/Alistair Heap

Each character faces their own issues with mental health, masculinity, family and friendship, stemming from impotence.

“I think a lot of men do kill themselves and have killed themselves because of this exact problem that we’re dealing with, and that comes from not being able to be in a situation where they can talk about erectile dysfunction because people might laugh at them,” Rheon says.

Iwan Rheon stars in Men Up. Pic: BBC/Quay Street Productions/Tom Jackson
Image:
Rheon says he hopes the film will open up convesations about men’s mental health. Pic: BBC/Quay Street Productions/Tom Jackson

The film is about men who are “unable to express themselves or talk about their feelings”, he adds, explaining that it is important to have those “awkward conversations that they need to have to essentially take a step forward, because that’s when the healing starts – whether the pill works or not”.

According to a 2019 study published in the BJU International journal of urology, erectile dysfunction affects an estimated one in five men in the UK (4.3m).

Sildenafil, the drug sold under the brand name Viagra, was initially developed by Pfizer to treat angina and high blood pressure. However, researchers found the drug to be more effective at inducing erections during medical trials.

Click to subscribe to Backstage wherever you get your podcasts

Rheon says it is important to have conversations about men’s mental health, particularly at this time of year, which can be tough for many.

“The period in which the film is coming out is probably the hardest period of the year for many people in terms of loneliness and that loneliness comes from not being able to talk,” he says.

“It’s good to look at, certainly as a society, where they are in the film talking about social taboos and how far we’ve come – if we’ve moved forward at all.”

The medical trial in Swansea was one of the first for sildenafil.

Viagra was approved for medical use in the US and the European Union in 1998 and became the fastest selling drug in history upon its initial release.

Men Up premieres on BBC One at 9pm on 29 December and will be available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK



Source link

Written by: lwrradio

Rate it

Post comments (0)

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

0%