In a recent movie roundtable discussion, out actor Jonathan Groff discussed how the HBO series Looking approached sex on screen.

HBO will premiere Looking: The Movie on Saturday, July 23. The feature-length film ties up loose ends from the sudden cancellation of the gay drama after two seasons on the premium cable network. Looking revolved around three gay men living in San Francisco. Patrick (played by Jonathan Groff) came to the city to find love; Dom (Murray Barlett) is a middle-aged waiter looking to fulfill his father's dream of owning a successful restaurant; and Agustin (Frankie J. Alvarez) struggles with his art and relationships. Russell Tovey and Raul Castillo play love interests for Groff's character, while Daniel Franzese joined the cast in the second season and plays a prominent role in the movie.

When asked whether a film was necessary to conclude the series, Groff said that did not realize how unfinished the story was until he read the screenplay.

“When I read the screenplay, it sort of dawned on me how unfinished the show was,” Groff said.

When Out editors asked, “How did Looking approach sex on screen?” Groff credited director Andrew Haigh for making the sex “feel real.”

“He's a genius at capturing those moments. The sex is informative because it shows reality and not just people with greased bodies fucking away with music playing in the background. It's also connected to what is happening in the story. … There's a level of reality that made the sex feel political and essential to the storytelling,” he said.

“As a straight guy, there was a lot I had to learn about,” Castillo said. “People are afraid of what they don't understand, and if they're afraid they don't want to learn about it. But it's not all that different. What I learned about male intimacy on Looking deepened my condition as a human begin. I learned so much more about my gay friends and what they had going on when they had sex. Luckily I was around people who were very thoughtful and careful with me and how I approached the work. I wasn’t humiliated in any way if I didn’t understand something. I was educated. That helped me build the character and tell the story the best way I could, especially in situations that were new to me.”