Nothing sacred for gag-aholics

For a movie about four lads hoping for some fun, sun and hanky panky Down Under, there are few breasts on show in The Inbetweeners 2, the sequel to the 2011 box-office smash and three seasons of the hit TV comedy.

What you will cop an eyeful of, however, are male genitalia, protruding and dangling at inopportune moments right through until the hilarious closing credits. "When I was a teenage boy I didn't see many breasts, I think it is a more honest depiction," says Joe Thomas who plays unlucky-in-love Simon.

"I think ultimately what happens in their lives generally, apart from the slightly heightened embarrassing moments, is really real and really mundane because that's what happens to a lot of teenagers - they don't have these hugely exciting lives," adds Blake Harrison, who plays gullible dimwit Neil.

"As much as I loved American Pie and Road Trip when I was a kid, what I love about The Inbetweeners is if anyone is going to be exploited, it's us four that are gonna get our bits out or make it look like we've got our bits out," he continues.

"There's no kind of exploitation of the female characters in that way and I really like that, it feels real. As Joe said, you were by no means seeing lots of breasts everywhere when you were 18 years old, it never happened, you dreamt about it happening but it never did."

It was fortuitous that creators Iain Morris and Damon Beesley - who for the first time also direct - cast such fresh-faced actors in their high school-set TV series The Inbetweeners which first aired in 2008.

Thomas, 30, Harrison, 29, dorky Will (Simon Bird, who avoided his 30th while crossing time zones on Tuesday) and big-noting Jay, (James Buckley, who turned 27 last week) still manage to convince us they are not long out of school and into work and university life.

The Inbetweeners 2 was filmed in Sydney, Byron Bay, the Gold Coast and the Outback South Australian town of Marree last year, with the cast back in Australia last week to talk up their big adventure.

The film is set several months after their holiday in Crete in the first film. Will is settled into university but still has no mates, Simon is at university with his girlfriend Lucy who is becoming more possessive and unhinged, and Neil is working in a bank and missing Jay.

Neil receives regular emails from Jay who is on a "mental-gap year" after breaking up with his girlfriend. Bragaholic Jay encourages the lads to visit Sydney, "the sex capital of the world", where he claims to be a top night- club DJ living in a mansion, having lots of sex and punching out koalas.

When his gullible mates arrive they discover Jay is actually working as a toilet attendant and living in a tent in his Uncle Brian's front yard.

"It was a real treat for us," says Buckley of working with Aussie veteran David Field, who gives Uncle Brian his usual maniacal edge.

"Chopper is one of my favourite films so I was a bit star struck when David came in to rehearse. He was also a proper actor which does throw us sometimes. We're not sure how to work with them. It's sort of their responsibility to come down to our level, if anything, professionally."

After Will bumps into his prep- school crush Katie (Emily Berrington), he encourages the rest of the gang to take a spiritual journey to Byron Bay.

They later pay Katie a premium for tickets to the Splash Planet water park where the movie's most horrifying and funny scene takes place. Let's just say it's reminiscent of the season-two finale when Will soiled himself during exams after overloading on energy drinks, but worse.

"I am categorical about that, I insist on it, I will not be involved in a program that doesn't in some way feature faecal matter," jokes Bird.

"We hired a lawyer specifically to make sure that was put in the contract of any Inbetweeners project," adds Buckley.

"Apparently in water parks you do have something called a code brown which is an official thing for when they find poo in the pool," explains Thomas. "They've got a special flusher to get rid of it and get the park up and running."

The lads also have a code yellow, if there is such a thing, when dying of thirst in the Outback. It's one of several occasions where Neil drops his trousers.

"It was a prosthetic, no body doubles, my parts were just tucked away under this monstrosity they strapped to me," jokes Harrison. "I quite frankly haven't got the kahunas to do my own nudity so they had to make up a prosthetic for me.

"The interesting thing about the prosthetic and things we have to wear in these films is that the writers seem to have an incredibly specific idea as to how each character's genitals look.

"It is an incredibly bizarre thing to think these 40-year-old men are imagining what these young lads' tools look like."

Bird says the success of the TV series and now the films has allowed the cast the luxury of deciding what their next projects will be. They all felt sad this would be their last time working as The Inbetweeners.

Surely they must have a The Inbetweeners - the Nursing Home Years film in them?

"There'd be just as much poo," says Harrison.

"We are pretty confident this is the end. We can't imagine topping what we've done, coming all the way to Australia.

"The film looks gorgeous because it is set here, we feel like we've made something funnier than the first film. I don't see how we can possibly top this."

The show might not go on but the friendships will. "We see each other for weddings, birthdays and even baby shows, these days two of the cast members have children," Thomas says.

"We are genuine friends and I think one of the main reasons the show has succeeded is because we are genuinely close, we have a bond. We actually really like seeing each other."

The Inbetweeners 2 opens today.

The West Australian

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