Channel 4 have announced that Sheridan Smith will star in Adult Material a new four-part drama from award-winning writer Lucy Kirkwood.
Smith plays Jolene Dollar, mum of three and leading British porn star for two decades. Maybe in porn years she’s getting on, but she’s a hard worker and she loves what she does. After all, porn is one of the only industries in the world where women don’t just get paid equal to men…they get paid more.
One day on set, Jolene is introduced to Amy. Amy is 19, not much older than Jolene’s oldest daughter, Phoebe. An aspiring dancer recovering from an injury, Amy looks up to Jolene. And Jolene looks after Amy the way that she looks after every new girl on set. But she can’t protect Amy from her own choices, and soon her relationship with this unstable young woman will see Jolene’s own career and complicated home life start to unravel, as everything Jolene thought she knew about herself comes undone.
Adult Material looks at how sex and money go hand in hand. What we gain, and what we give up, when our sexuality is given to us, shrink wrapped by the internet. It asks questions about power, desire and consent not only in porn itself, but in the porn tinted wider world. Most of all, Adult Material is the story of one woman’s complex journey away from porn and towards sex.
Of the commission, Channel 4’s head of drama Beth Willis said, “we’re thrilled to be working with two incredibly talented women on this project; Sheridan and Lucy. Lucy’s scripts are a gripping, powerful and raw look at the current state of our relationship with sex and the porn industry in Britain. Adult Material tackles some important issues; sex, power, money, consent and how all these things have an impact on one woman and her family. We can’t wait for Sheridan to bring such a fascinating character to life.”
Sheridan Smith added, “Adult Material tackles some really important topics, topics that I’m sure will resonate with people up and down the UK. I think its taboo-busting drama which not only confronts these questions head on but is also a brilliantly brave and unabashed story told with real heart. Thanks to broadcasters such as Channel 4 and Lucy’s thought-provoking and insightful writing, Adult Material gives Jolene the platform and voice she deserves and it feels like the perfect time to tell her story. I’ve played some truly fascinating women in my career, from all walks of life, and I can’t wait to step into Jolene’s shoes.”
Adult Material will go into production in 2019