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House Of The Dragon's Intimacy Coordinator Has Responded To Sean Bean's Comments About ‘Spoiling Spontaneity’ On Set

Young Rhaenyra Targaryen and Young Alicent Hightower in House of the Dragon.
(Image credit: HBO)

Everyone who remembers Game of Thrones, or who just remembers a lot of the talk surrounding the HBO hit, can easily think back on how well-known/controversial the show was for its sex scenes, violence, and how those two things were sometimes combined. The drama has now been followed by a popular prequel series, House of the Dragon, which in only five episodes has also garnered lots of attention for several scenes of an intimate nature. GOT star Sean Bean made news in August when he said he thought intimacy coordinators, who have increasingly become the norm for productions, “ruined” the “spontaneity” of sex scenes, and now HOTD’s intimacy coordinator has responded to his comments.

What Did House Of The Dragon’s Intimacy Coordinator Say About Sean Bean’s Comments?

With it now being rather common for intimacy coordinators to help actors and directors work through intimate scenes on shows like Outlander or the sometimes sex scene-filled Bridgerton, a lot of people who work on those types of series have spoken up about how they help. But, there are also those like Bean who feel the process of working with them stifles creativity or the realism of intimate scenes on screen. House of the Dragon’s intimacy coordinator, Miriam Lucia, opened up to Deadline about his comments in relation to Emily Carey’s (who plays Alicent Hightower) words about filming HOTD sex scenes for their show, and said:

Well, she basically said she was very frightened ahead of that scene, and that without an intimacy coordinator she wouldn’t have known how to handle it. It was good to hear that following on from Sean Bean’s comments about how intimacy coordinators ruin spontaneity. But I get why he said that, because he doesn’t have the same experience of it, and because this is a new function on sets.

The use of intimacy coordinators is something that became more common after the #MeToo movement, where a number of women reported being sexually assaulted and harassed at work, including several actors like GOT star Emilia Clarke noting how they felt forced to comply with requests to do things during the filming of intimate scenes that they were uncomfortable with. Carey told Newsweek that working with Lucia was “amazing,” because the idea of performing in her intimate scenes had her “scared.”

Lucia has been doing this work for about five years, and like the intimacy coordinators for other productions, noted that many in the film and television industry are still relatively unsure about what intimacy coordinators do and why they’re needed:

People don’t really know what it is that we do. Some question why we’re there. It can still be weird for people who wonder if I’m checking up on whether they’re adhering to the rules of a closed set. But often my work has been done beforehand behind the scenes, talking to the director, the producer, the actors, even lawyers if necessary, in terms of waivers and things that need to happen. And if there’s an issue or a change, or something becomes physically uncomfortable, or mentally uncomfortable, we shift it, but at that point, the work has largely been done, and hopefully it’s seamless. We need to be ready for the shoot date but also to know there won’t be any ugly surprises.

Actors like Emma Thompson, who filmed sex and nude scenes for a recent film and worked with an intimacy coordinator for them, spoke up about the importance of using the professionals after Bean’s words went public. And, with other performers like Gemma Whelan saying filming GOT sex scenes was a “frenzied mess,” it’s probably best that intimacy coordinators are now being used on a regular basis so that everyone feels as comfortable as possible while doing such vulnerable work.

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Yennefer's apprentice, Gilmore Girl; will Vulcan nerve pinch pretty much anyone if prompted with cheese...Yes, even Jamie Fraser.