"I think the natural way lovers behave would be ruined by someone bringing it right down to a technical exercise."
"Game of Thrones" alum Sean Bean doesn't appear to like the idea of having intimacy coordinators on set, something which started to become an industry norm following the #MeToo movement.
Intimacy coordinators are hired on TV and film productions to make sure everyone involved in a sexual scene is on the same page, by choreographing movements and gauging comfort levels.
While having one on set is becoming common practice, that wasn't the case when Bean and Joely Richardson filmed the erotic BBC miniseries "Lady Chatterly's Lover" in the early '90s. Speaking with The Times in the U.K., Bean was asked how he thinks they would have fared if they had one working on the production at the time.
"I should imagine it slows down the thrust of it. Ha, not the thrust, that's the wrong word ... it would spoil the spontaneity," he answered. "It would inhibit me more because it's drawing attention to things. Somebody saying, 'Do this, put your hand there, while you touch his thing.' I think the natural way lovers behave would be ruined by someone bringing it right down to a technical exercise."
He said he and Richardson were "spontaneous" filming "Lady Chatterley and even though it was "unusual" since they were both married at the time, they were "following the story" and "trying to portray the truth" of the source material.
After then talking about a sensual scene involving a mango he filmed for TNT's "Snowpiercer" with actress Lena Hall, he added that "often the best work you do, where you're trying to push the boundaries ... gets censored when TV companies or the advertisers say it's so much." When the reporter noted that coordinators are employed as a response to #MeToo, Bean added, "I suppose it depends on the actress. This one had a musical cabaret background, so she was up for anything."
3. Sean is an awesome actor and made me feel not only comfortable but also like I had a true acting partner in those bizarre scenes. It was us against the world and we were gonna tell that story.
It wasn't long until Bean's comments made their way to Hall, who took to Twitter to address a few things.
"Just because I am in theater (not cabaret, but I do perform them every once in a while) does not mean that I am up for anything," said Hall, who won a Tony starring in the "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" revival on Broadway. "Seriously does depend on the other actor, the scene we are about to do, the director, and whatever crew has to be in there to film it."
"Sean is an awesome actor and made me feel not only comfortable but also like I had a true acting partner in those bizarre scenes," she added. "It was us against the world and we were gonna tell that story."
"If I feel comfortable with my scene partner and with others in the room then I won't need an intimacy coordinator. BUT if there is any part of me that is feeling weird, gross, over exposed etc... I will either challenge the necessity of the scene or I'll want an IC," Hall continued, saying that, overall, she feels intimacy coordinators are "a welcome addition to the set."
After Variety shared an article about Bean's comments, a few actors also popped into the post's responses as well.
"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," wrote Jameela Jamil.
"Never Have I Ever" star Sendhil Ramamurthy added, "To each his own I suppose, but I have found intimacy coordinators really helpful."
Matt Smith, meanwhile, recently spoke about working with intimacy coordinators on the upcoming "Game of Thrones" prequel series, "House of the Dragon." While he bemoaned the sheer number of sex scenes on the show, he said they did have a coordinator on set and "that all felt quite good and safe and stuff."