In the fallout of the #MeToo movement, with so many folks talking about sexual misconduct issues behind the scenes, one of the tangible solutions that have been made is the inclusion of intimacy coordinators on film and TV sets. These people are meant to ensure that actors involved in sex scenes are staying within boundaries and aren’t crossing any lines that would make people uncomfortable. This is in stark contrast to how things used to be handled, with many horror stories of folks being made to do things they didn’t want to do in fear of being punished somehow. Though he knows why these intimacy coordinators are being used nowadays, actor Sean Bean is concerned that they are going to be detrimental to the artistic merit of films and TV series.
In an interview with Times Magazine (via Variety), Sean Bean talked about his experience with intimacy coordinators on set and why he’s not necessarily sold on why they’re helpful. In fact, he doesn’t think they actually improve the projects they’re being used on. A hot take, to say the least.
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“It would inhibit me more because it’s drawing attention to things,” said the actor. “Somebody saying, ‘Do this, put your hands there, while you touch his thing…”
He added, “I think the natural way lovers behave would be ruined by someone bringing it right down to a technical exercise.”
In his defense of not wanting intimacy coordinators, Bean mentioned his time shooting “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”alongside Joely Richardson. He thinks if the new way of doing things existed back then, the 1993 film would have suffered.
“’Lady Chatterley’ was spontaneous,” Bean said. “It was a joy. We had a good chemistry between us, and we knew what we were doing was unusual. Because she was married, I was married. But we were following the story. We were trying to portray the truth of what DH Lawrence wrote.”
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The actor would then go on to describe a particular scene from his recent series,snow piercer,” which included him acting intimately with his co-star Lena Hall, with the assistance of a mango. He wasn’t happy that the network “cut a bit out.” And when it was brought up that intimacy coordinators are being used to help protect actors in light of the #MeToo movement, Bean understands.
“I suppose it depends on the actress. this one [referring to Hall] had a musical cabaret background, so she was up for anything,” he said.
Obviously, there seems to be a vast majority of actors working today who are pleased with the inclusion of intimacy coordinators on set. So, even if some of the more senior members of a cast aren’t sold on the idea, it doesn’t appear that intimacy coordinators are going away anytime soon.