Miriam Lucia, an intimacy coordinator on HBO's House of the Dragon, addressed comments made by Game of Thrones veteran Sean Bean about how intimacy coordinators zap all the spontaneity out of sex scenes.
"I love him as an actor, and I've just watched Marriage: he's great in that," Lucia told Deadline, referencing Bean's 2022 BBC series. "I just think he is a man of a certain age, who has been in this industry for a very long time, and he doesn't have an experience of the other side. Or maybe he's had a bad experience of working with an intimacy coordinator."
"All I would say is that in my experience so far, I don't think it gets in the way of the creative process," she continues. "I think it helps to enable the creative process, because I think once you've worked out what the actors are comfortable with in terms of touch and consent, and what the movements are going to be, then you add the emotion to it. And then you find the freedom, because you're not scrambling and fumbling and trying to find it there and then in the moment."
Ollie Upton/HBO; Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic 'House of the Dragon' intimacy coordinator responds to Sean Bean's remarks about her profession taking away the spontaneity from sex scenes.
Some of Bean's remarks, which he made during an interview with the U.K.'s Sunday Times, garnered criticism after making the rounds in early August.
"I think the natural way lovers behave would be ruined by someone bringing it right down to a technical exercise," Bean said. "It would inhibit me more because it's drawing attention to things."
Actresses, including West Side Story breakout Rachel Zegler and She-Hulk's Jameela Jamil, reacted to those comments, as well as others he made. "Intimacy coordinators establish an environment of safety for actors," Zegler tweeted. "I was extremely grateful for the one we had on [West Side Story] — they showed grace to a newcomer like myself + educated those around me who've had years of experience."
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.
spontaneity in intimate scenes can be unsafe. wake up. https://t.co/bpxT2DVU1R
— rachel zegler (she/her/hers) (@rachelzegler) August 8, 2022
"It should only be technical," Jamil tweeted. "It's like a stunt. Our job as actors is to make it not look technical. Nobody wants an impromptu grope..."
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...
— Jameela Jamil 🌈 she/her (@jameelajamil) August 8, 2022
Lucia told Deadline she thinks of spontaneity coming from "what we do as actors," rather than what Bean had suggested.
"We have to pretend that we have never done this before," she said. "We have to suggest that everything is spontaneous. You have a script, so you don't come out with these words spontaneously. You have to work on it so that it appears to be spontaneous. That's where it doesn't make sense to me, what he said."
Game of Thrones was notorious for its graphic depictions of sex, and while House of the Dragon hasn't been as explicit in that regard, intimacy remains an integral part of the storytelling. Emily Carey, who was 17 when she first joined the production as young Alicent Hightower, previously told EW that she was "a little bit nervous" having to act in a relationship with a much older man, Paddy Considine's King Viserys I Targaryen.
"Of course, this is a very delicate storyline, but Paddy made it so easy, as well as that amazing team, like [showrunners] Miguel [Sapochnik] and Ryan [Condal] also made it incredibly easy," she said.
Ollie Upton/HBO Emily Carey
Fabien Frankel, who plays Ser Criston Cole on House of the Dragon, separately told EW that he prepared for his sex scene with co-star Milly Alcock for more than seven months. That involved various conversations with Alcock, Lucia, and director Clare Kilner.
"The big thing for me was about it not feeling like another gratuitous, sweat-glistening-off-their-back sex scene, 'cause it's just not like that," he said. "Anyone who's ever had sex will tell you sex ain't that beautiful. It isn't some picturesque, amazing thing. It's awkward, especially when you are young. There's an uncomfortability that one has to sit in, and there's a discovery and understanding of each other's bodies — not to mention the practical side of the whole thing."
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