Iwan Rheon stars in new one-off BBC drama Men Up, a film charting the experiences of a group of five ordinary Welshmen who take part in the trial of a new drug which would later become Viagra.


While the trial really did take place in 1994, the characters themselves are fictional, with Rheon playing Meurig, a man who yearns for intimacy with his wife, Ffion, played by Alexandra Roach, but feels trapped by his inability to rekindle the spark in their marriage.

RadioTimes.com caught up with Rheon exclusively to talk about the film, and asked how he found watching it himself, given that his character's story is just one part of a larger whole.

Rheon revealed: "It read really well in the read-through. I don't think I've ever cried in a read-through before.

"It was just really astonishing to see each storyline for each of these men and everyone involved around them, their family lives, how poignant it was and how heartfelt it was. So I think I knew that it was going to come off with these fantastic actors."

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The cast of Men Up laughing by the coast
Phaldut Sharma, Iwan Rheon, Mark Lewis Jones and Steffan Rhodri in Men Up. BBC/Quay Street Productions/Tom Jackson

He continued: "So it was great to watch what they'd all done. Some of the moments are so, so beautiful and heartfelt.

"And in terms of the drug itself, interestingly, I think what I took from the film is that the moment they start healing or things get better is when they actually talk about it, and whether the drug works or not is another issue.

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"It's just they've actually taken that step and that communication, that's what's changed everything."

As well as Rheon and Roach, the drama also stars Aneurin Barnard (The Catch), Phaldut Sharma (Sherwood), Paul Rhys (Saltburn), Steffan Rhodri (House of the Dragon), Mark Lewis Jones (Gangs of London) and Joanna Page (Gavin & Stacey).

It comes from writer Matthew Barry, who has previously written for Death in Paradise, Casualty, EastEnders, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Industry.

Men Up is coming to BBC One and BBC iPlayer soon. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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