Emma Thompson has praised intimacy coordinators as being “fantastically important” as she opened up about filming sex scenes.
The 63-year-old actor suggested that for many in her industry, intimacy coordinators played an important role in making them feel comfortable in front of a film crew.
Intimacy coordinators work alongside actors to make ensure their well-being when preparing and performing sex scenes in film, on television, and on stage.
Speaking on the Aussie radio show Fitzy & Wippa, Thompson explained that they help actors feel safe and are a vital part of crew.
Her remarks follow after Sean Bean was slammed for suggesting that intimacy coordinators can ‘spoil the spontaneity’ of filming a sex scene.
“Intimacy coordinators are fantastically important,” Thomas said during the radio show.
“You were speaking [about] somebody who found it distracting, but another conversation, you might find that people go, ‘it made me comfortable, it made me feel safe, it made me feel as though I was able to do this work’.”
She added: “And no, you can’t just let it flow. There’s a camera there, and a crew. You’re not on your own in a hotel room, you’re surrounded by a bunch of blokes, mostly… so it’s not a comfortable situation full stop.”
“I don’t know who the actor was, but maybe he had an intimacy coordinator accidentally at home?” Thompson added.
Last week, Bean appeared to suggest to The Times that intimacy coordinators ‘ruined’ sex scenes. His remarks have since been condemned by a number of people.
“It would inhibit me more because it’s drawing attention to things. Somebody saying: ‘Do this, put your hands there, while you touch his thing,” he told the publication.
“I think the natural way lovers behave would be ruined by someone bringing it right down to a technical exercise.”
Since the article was published, many actors have voiced their support for intimacy coordinators for helping them feel comfortable while filming sex scenes.
“Intimacy coordinators establish an environment of safety for actors. I was extremely grateful for the one we had on WSS – they showed grace to a newcomer like myself + educated those around me who’ve had years of experience,” said West Wide Story star Rachel Zegler.
Jameela Jamil added: “It should only be technical. It’s like a stunt. Our job as actors is to make it not look technical. Nobody wants an impromptu grope…”
A representative for Sean Bean has been approached by the Evening Standard for comment.