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When actors are trying to portray real life on the camera, this sometimes means they have to portray some of life's more intimate moments. However, while they are acting, sometimes biology takes control. So how does an actor deal with the somewhat embarrassing situation? Samuel L. Jackson says that getting an erection while filming a sex scene is one of those things that's going to be embarrassing regardless of whether or not it happens, so he responds the same way no matter what.
See, I always apologize first. I'll say, 'I'm sorry if I do and I'm sorry if I don't... That generally works.
Samuel L. Jackson and Get Out 's Allison Williams were guests on Watch What Happens Live when the question, um, came up. Williams was asked if it was more embarrassing when an actor did or did not get an erection while filming a sex scene. Both actors seemed to concur that really it's just embarrassing either way. According to Williams, if they do, then both actors have to deal with the fact that it's there, but it is, in its own way, flattering. If it doesn't happen, then apparently the actress can feel like perhaps they're not attractive enough, which can also be awkward.
Samuel L. Jackson seems to have the right idea. Apologize in advance, regardless of what happens. Although, as Jackson himself points out, he hasn't been in very many love scenes in movies. He estimates only three off the top of his head, so he doesn't have nearly the experience with it that others, including Allison Williams, apparently have.
On the one hand, it seems like a foregone conclusion that something like that is going to happen. You're simulating an act of sex, both of your are mostly or entirely naked. At some point, biology just takes over. On the other hand, however, you're also in a room full of cameras and crew who are watching you while you do this. That probably kills the mood dead. Unless you're into that sort of thing, which probably makes filming the scene even more awkward.
Check out both actor's complete comments on the topic in the video below.
According to Allison Williams, this is an often debated topic and one assumes it will continue to be debated. Is an erection while filming a flattering thing, or just an awkward thing? We're guessing this will continue to be debated off screen, as the problem certainly isn't going away.