The Look of Love, the biopic of pornographer Paul Raymond, whose outlets changed Soho in the 1960s and 70s, captures the sexual revolution, says Steve Coogan.
The actor - who plays wealthy soft porn publisher and club owner Paul Raymond in Michael Winterbottom's upcoming biopic - feels British cinema is "embarrassed" to explore themes of sex and was attracted to the role because the raunchy movie didn't shy away from the topic.
Speaking at the film's world premiere at the Curzon Soho on Monday (15.04.13), he said: "It was interesting... he had a colourful life because it captured a period in British history where things were changing in the 1960s and 1970s.
"Public tastes were changing, people were a bit more liberal with their attitudes to sexuality and he was sort of at the forefront of that.
"Also in terms of sexuality, [it is] something that the British cinema tends to avoid [or is] embarrassed by it, or it doesn't know how to deal with it, and that made it an attractive proposition for Michael and I to look at social mores."
The film - which also stars Anna Friel, Tamsin Egerton and Imogen Poots - depicts Raymond's complicated relationships with his wife (Friel), his mistress (Egerton) and his daughter (Poots).
Friel insists Coogan, best known for playing bumbling TV presenter Alan Partridge, is more "sensitive" in the drama.
She added: "Immediately he was very easy to get on with - so accessible, his personality.
"Personally, I feel everyone knows Alan Partridge, but here you see a more sensitive character."
Other stars from the film who walked the red carpet at the premiere included Egerton, Poots, Dara O'Briain, Chris Addison and director Michael Winterbottom.
The Look of Love is in cinemas on 26 April.