Toni Collette has defended new show 'Wanderlust' for its sex scenes and insisted they're imperative to the story.

Toni Collette

Toni Collette

The first episode of the new BBC drama opens with a risque moment between the actress' charater Joy and her husband Alan (played by Steven Mackintosh) before she is seen satisfying herself unde the sheets.

Addressing criticisms of the show's goal of focusing on typically taboo issues, Toni told press including Digital Spy: "It's very reflective of something that is happening to a lot of people, but that nobody really talks about.

"There is a focus on sex, but it's actually a by-product of something much deeper that Joy's going through. It's part of the character's arc and narrative, so it's not gratuitous in any way.

"She's a woman who's had a near-death experience, and suddenly her existence is contextualised and she thinks about what she wants to do with her time. All of those things - it's not high-concept but they're the most f**king important things to all of us!"

The show will air later this year, and writer Nick Payne has explained he chose to focus on a couple's sex life as a way of giving an honest portrayal of long-term relationships.

He said: "In romantic dramas, you don't really see the sex or they don't advertise the sex. They kiss and you cut to the next morning, and I always just wondered what if you make the sex the driver of the story.

"So you explore all these romantic lives through the shagging. It's an awkward conversation and it shouldn't be awkward. Joy says at one point something like, 'We're bad at talking about our private lives in public'.

"For some reason we struggle - we have a similar struggle with death and grief - and I think to find a language for it and [we can] feel safe and supported too. It's a shame that we struggle, but then we get to make a show out of feeling repressed!"

Tagged in