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Jonas Chernick


Former Winnipegger Jonas Chernick's My Awkward Sexual Adventure - A True Canadian Sex Comedy

by Rhonda J. Prepes, April 18, 2013

My Awkward Sexual Adventure, described as a “raunchy sex comedy with a healthy dose of romance” by writer and producer Jonas Chernick will be released April 19, 2013 in theatres across Canada.

“The main characters are Jordan, who I play - a conservative accountant who is clueless about sex, and Julia - a confident stripper with terrible financial problems. They make a barter deal to help each other out and comic hijinks ensue. Audiences really seem to respond to these characters and their personal journeys in the movie,” Chernick explained.

“The original idea for this movie came to me when I was going through a bad break-up in 1998. My heart was broken, and I needed therapy, so I wrote a handful of screenplays, including this one. Back then, it was called "Kosher Sexy" and it was about a conservative Jewish guy and his relationship with a free-spirited gentile girl. There was a lot more Jewish content but, as the script changed, morphed and developed over the years, it became less about that and more about a sexual coming-of-age for a guy in his thirties,” said Chernick who began acting at age seven.

“I started acting at age 7, attending classes at Manitoba Theatre for Young People in Winnipeg. I kept at it through high school and studied Film and Theatre at the University of Manitoba, where I formed a theatre troupe called The Conspiracy Network. We had great success in Winnipeg for about five years, writing and creating our own shows, which gave me a taste for the creative process.”

“Around that time, I was playing small roles in film and TV projects that were shooting in Winnipeg, and I managed to put together a decent resume and demo reel of my work. That allowed me to come to Toronto in 2000, to get an agent, and to start landing larger roles. I had a lead role on the CBC series "The Border" for three seasons in which I earned a Gemini award, and have had the opportunity to work in over 50 films and television series over the years,” explained Chernick.

“This is the third movie I've had a hand in writing, with myself in the starring role. I collaborated on the script for "Inertia" which won the award for Best First Canadian Film at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2001. And I co-wrote "Lucid" in 2005 with director Sean Garrity. But "My Awkward Sexual Adventure" is the first script that I've written by myself, without a co-writer. It is the result of a twelve year process. It was exhausting, but completely worth it.”

He said, “The movie is not autobiographical, although I certainly borrowed liberally from my own experiences and the experiences of people in my life.”

“I think the themes of sexual confidence, or lack thereof, and especially male sexual insecurity are not often explored in films. There's a lot of humour to be found there, but also a lot of emotion. I tried to be as honest as possible in the writing and in my performance, without necessarily sharing actual stories from my life. Still, I hope there's a sense that you're watching something personal.”

When asked about filming nude scenes for the movie, Chernick explained, “I did my first nude scene in 2001, for "Inertia". That was one of the most challenging experiences of my life but, also weirdly liberating. Once everyone you know (and the movie-going public) have seen you naked, you really have nothing left to hide. Since then, I haven't had a problem doing nude scenes, as long as they make sense for the story and for the character. The first one was tough, but now it's pretty easy. And it keeps me motivated to go to the gym and eat well.”

“We made this movie with hopes it would resonate with audiences, but we had no idea it would find the kind of success it has found. Premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival last year was incredible and it was named one of their Top Ten Films of 2012. The movie also won the People’s Choice Award at the 2012 Calgary International Film Festival and the Audience Award at the 2012 Whistler Film Festival,” said thirty-nine year old married Chernick.

“It was picked up by US distributor Tribeca Film and sold to almost every country in the world. Now, the movie is being released in theatres across Canada by Phase 4 Films. This movie has truly exceeded all of my wildest expectations. I really hope people get out and see it while it's in the cinemas.”

On April 19th in Winnipeg, the movie will premiere at SilverCity Polo Park Cinemas.

Portions of this article first appeared in the Jewish Tribune.

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Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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