Sean Bean says intimacy coordinators 'spoil the spontaneity' of sex scenes

·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
·3 min read

Sean Bean isn't a fan of intimacy coordinators.

The British actor from Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings, 63, feels the industry role widely adopted in the wake of the #MeToo movement to help keep actors safe during sex scenes is inhibiting to him as a performer.

An intimacy coordinator — defined "an advocate, a liaison between actors and production, and a movement coach and/or choreographer in regards to nudity and simulated sex and other intimate and hyper-exposed scenes" by SAG-AFTRA — "spoil the spontaneity," Bean said in an interview with the U.K.'s Times magazine.

"It would inhibit me more because it's drawing attention to things," GOT's Ned Stark explained. "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."

British actor Sean Bean arrives for the
British actor Sean Bean arrives for the "Game of Thrones" eighth and final season premiere at Radio City Music Hall on April 3, 2019 in New York city. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking a famous sex scene he did in the 1993 BBC mini series Lady Chatterley with Joely Richardson, Bean said it "was spontaneous. It was a joy. We had a good chemistry between us, and we knew what we were doing was unusual. Because she was married, I was married. But we were following the story. We were trying to portray the truth of what D.H. Lawrence wrote."

He also took issue with censorship while discussing a recent nude scene he did for his current TNT show Snowpiercer. The scene involved co-star Lena Hall and mangos — and it ended up being censored.

"I think they cut a bit out actually," he said. "Often the best work you do, where you're trying to push the boundaries, and the very nature of it is experimental, gets censored when TV companies or the advertisers say it's so much. It's a nice scene, quite surreal, dream-like and abstract. And mango-esque."

When it was brought up that intimacy consultants are advocates to protect actresses after #MeToo, Bean replied, "I suppose it depends on the actress. This one had a musical cabaret background, so she was up for anything." (Hall is a Tony-award winning actress.)

Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke has publicly spoken about feeling "pressured" into sex scenes while making the popular HBO series. Gemma Whelan said the show not having an intimacy coordinator made sex scenes a "frenzied mess."

In July, SAG-AFTRA — the world's largest union representing entertainment and media artists — opened membership to intimacy coordinators. Union president Fran Drescher said the position "greatly improves safety and well-being on sets and in productions requiring intimate scenes."

Sharon Stone, Kim Cattrall and Alicia Vikander are among the actresses who have spoken about the need for intimacy coordinators on sets, not previously feeling protected at times. Nick Offerman recently sang the praises of intimacy coordinators, saying as a man on set, he feels "a lot better" having someone in that role to make sure everyone is comfortable.