Pursuit of Love star Emily Beecham on feeling 'unsafe' during sex scenes

·3-min read
Emily Beecham felt unsafe during intimate scenes early in her career
Emily Beecham felt unsafe during intimate scenes early in her career

Filming sex scenes is uncomfortable for women because some actors "blur the lines" and take method acting too far, the star of the BBC's new drama has suggested.

Actress Emily Beecham, who plays Fanny Logan in The Pursuit of Love, said at times it made her feel unsafe earlier in her career.

“I was very young and I was doing an awful lot of sex scenes. So I did feel quite defensive after a while, a bit unsafe," she told the Sunday Times magazine.

"I've had friends who have had actors press their erections up against them, and you've just got to ignore it.

“People do blur the lines and they do suddenly try to go 'method' with you."

The English-American actress stars alongside Lily James and Dominic West in the three part drama, which is adapted from Nancy Mitford's 1945 novel and centres on sisterhood and sexual awakening.

The drama fills the void of the Sunday night slot left by Line of Duty, but all episodes are already available on iPlayer.

Beecham stars alongside Lily James in the BBC adaptation
Beecham stars alongside Lily James in the BBC adaptation

Beecham, who received the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for her turn in Little Joe opposite Ben Whishaw, praised the innovations of intimacy coordinators who choreograph sex scenes and ensure consent during filming, believing they have improved the on-set experience for performers.

Intimacy coordinators have become more prevalent following the MeToo movement, including on the set of the new James Bond installment No Time To Die, and the change has been welcomed by stars including Ruth Wilson and Bridgerton star Rege-Jean Page.

Beecham has also welcomed the rise of more female writers and directors in a film industry that almost forced her to quit the business early in her career.

She said that she grew tired of crews fixating on her looks, recalling one moment when filmmakers questioned “‘Why does Emily look so ugly in this tape? She looks pretty in her showreel.'".

The actress remained in the industry in her role as Logan, she serves as the narrator of Mitford’s novel which offered an semi-autobiographical account of her eccentric aristocratic sisters, and sold 200,000 copies on its release.

West co-stars in the period piece
West co-stars in the period piece

The BBC adaptation was three years in the making and centres on the urge for freedom and sexual awakening sought by Linda Radlett, played by James, whose efforts are frustrated by her oppressive father, played by West.

The British actor made headlines in October after being photographed in Rome with his younger co-star in an incident which was said to have left his wife Catherine FitzGerald “heartbroken”, and which prompted a public display of unity by the couple.

Beecham said of the furore surrounding her co-stars: "I feel like it's not really any of my business.

“I'd feel like a bit of a creep if I were to talk about that, because it is their personal life.

“Lily gets hounded by the tabloids. It's really, really intense. All I can say is that she was an amazing actress to work with, a very lovely person.

"I haven't really asked anyone whether it was true or not."

The Mitford sisters were also a source of headlines for their eccentricity and attraction to opposed political camps.

Diana Mitford married British Union of Fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley, Unity a friend of Adolf Hitler, and her sister Jessica was a committed Communist

Watch: The Pursuit Of Love

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