IIntimacy coordinators, the behind-the-scenes workers who choreograph on-screen sex for television and film, have suddenly been thrust into the spotlight in the past week.
It all started on Friday when British actor Sean Bean questioned her raison d’être in an interview with The times from London. Doesn’t declare himself a fan, der game of Thrones star feared they would “spoil the spontaneity.”
“I think the natural way lovers behave would be ruined if someone reduced it to a technical exercise,” said the acting vet, who hasn’t participated in many sex scenes throughout his career. “It would inhibit me more because it draws attention to things.”
The intimacy coordinator role is fairly new. The HBO Show 2017 The two, about the golden age of porn in New York City, is often credited as the series that opened the floodgates for the burgeoning industry within an industry. In just a few years, ICs have built a strong reputation in Hollywood and have become increasingly common in productions.
Before they became widespread, it was mostly up to the actors, directors, and assistant directors to negotiate which moves were appropriate and which weren’t, says Yehuda Duenyas, an intimacy coordinator who last worked on Season 2 of the Apple TV+ comedy The after party and the upcoming Showtime drama American gigolo.
“There was no real method or practice of how to choreograph and direct those scenes and create a level of comfort and approval,” Duenyas tells The Daily Beast.
One of the few male ICs in the game, he learned how to guide actors through hot scenes by directing plays in New York City with “really extreme content,” as he quoted Thomas Bradshaw purity and fulfillment as examples.
“It was very important to me that the actors I worked with felt comfortable, came to work without shyness and were able to give 110 percent in their performances,” he explains.
The #MeToo movement has allowed actors to speak out about conditions on set, an unconventional workplace where your co-worker might be hired to bang you for hours as long as it’s in the script. Networks and studios caved in, hiring internal ICs to block intimate moments.
After Bean’s comments made headlines, several actresses spoke out in favor of intimacy coordinators.
Rachel Zegler, who won a Golden Globe for her breakout role in last year’s film adaptation of Westside Storytweeted that she was “Very grateful to those we had at WSS – they showed grace to a newcomer like me and educated those around me who had years of experience.”
Duenyas echoed the same sentiment, adding, “Acting is learning lines, rehearsing them, and repeating them. All action is the appearance of being spontaneous.”
In an interview with Australian radio station Nova, Emma Thompson also spoke out against Bean’s comments and called intimacy coordinators “fantastic important”.
“There was no real method or practice on how to choreograph and direct these scenes and establish a level of comfort and approval.”
“You might find that people say, ‘It made me feel comfortable, it made me feel safe, it made me feel like I’m capable of doing this job,'” he said the Oscar winner, adding, “And no, you can’t just let it flow. There’s a camera and a team. You’re not alone in a hotel room, you’re usually surrounded by a couple of guys. So it’s not a comfortable situation, period.”
Meanwhile, in an interview with , Emmy-nominated actress Amanda Seyfried recalled walking around the sets in her underwear when she was 19 porter Magazine released on Monday. “How did I allow that? Oh I know why: I was 19 and I didn’t want to upset anyone and I wanted to keep my job. That’s why,” she said.
Intimacy Coordinator Alexandra Tydings understands the pressures young actresses face. She played Aphrodite, the goddess of love, in the 90’s TV shows Hercules: The Legendary Voyages and Xena: warrior princess. Photos from the time show her walking around the set in lingerie. Having a dedicated person you can trust about what you can touch — and what you don’t want others to touch — can be a godsend for actors who are shy in an already tense environment and don’t want to upset their bosses, she says.
“By talking up front, allowing each of the actors to talk about what they’re doing and what they’re not comfortable with, creates a level of trust,” she tells The Daily Beast. “It sounds like Sean Bean thinks that an IC means actors aren’t allowed to improvise, and that’s just not true. An IC means actors can improvise more freely, knowing their boundaries will be respected and they won’t accidentally hurt their partner.”
Both Duenyas and Tydings say they haven’t had a significant setback in their work. Any weariness with yet another voice on set telling people what to do is offset by the end result, they say.
“I’ve had instances where other crew members weren’t really sure what this job was and didn’t take it seriously,” says Duenyas. “And after that I often get, ‘I can’t believe we didn’t have you before, how come this job just didn’t exist until a few years ago?'”
Sex scenes are obviously incredibly physical, but depending on the type of gender portrayed, they can also be violent. During our conversations, Duenyas and Tydings compared their jobs to stunt coordinators. Few people ever question the need for a crew member to teach an actor how to fake a slap in the face without actually hurting their co-star, they think, so why is this skepticism directed towards ICs?
“These scenes are very similar to fight scenes,” says Tydings, encouraging us to think about the fine line between love and hate. “The actors are faking something and trying to make it look real, and that can be technically difficult. I watch the monitor to make sure the formal dress is off screen and the angle of the bodies looks right so the actors don’t have to do as much adjustment. The feedback I get the most from people who were initially hesitant was, ‘The scene looked so much more realistic because you were there.'”
https://www.thedailybeast.com/hollywood-intimacy-coordinators-fire-back-at-sean-bean-we-make-onscreen-sex-look-more-realistic?source=articles&via=rss We make sex look more “realistic” on screen