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Now one of the biggest actresses in the industry, Margot Robbie really burst onto the scene in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street. Although it was a breakout role for the actress, the film was not without its challenges, particularly when it came to one of the film's (many) sex scenes. The scene where Margot Robbie's Naomi Lapaglia seduces Leonardo DiCaprio's Jordan Belfort while in their daughter's bedroom was super awkward for the actress, as she explained:
It doesn't come across when you're watching the movie, but in reality we're in a tiny bedroom with 30 crew crammed in. All men. For 17 hours I'm pretending to be touching myself. It's just a very weird thing and you have to bury the embarrassment and the absurdity, really deep, and fully commit.
You can see how such an experience surrounded by that many people would be both awkward and isolating. We often think about sex scenes as being awkward just because you're not actually doing the deed with the actor opposite you, but this is a reminder of how the nature of a film production amplifies that awkwardness.
As Margot Robbie told Porter, she was in a tiny room with all men, many of whom she probably didn't know, and she had to act as if she was touching herself. It's a situation that has the hallmarks of why people get stage fright, coupled with the awkwardness of acting out something that is usually a private act.
What makes this even weirder is that filming the scene wasn't just a 10-minute thing that Margot Robbie had to get through and then it was over; she had to do this for hours and hours. Maybe after the first few hours of awkwardness it gets easier and becomes less awkward and more tedious. I also wonder if the fact that the scene has some humor to it made any difference in the filming.
Despite the awkwardness of the situation, Margot Robbie was able to get it done. It sounds like she just forced herself to get over it, not think about being embarrassed or how weird and awkward the whole thing was, and just do it. In doing so, she delivered one of The Wolf of Wall Street's many memorable moments.
She was committed, and as we've seen in her subsequent performances, her commitment to her roles has turned made her one of the most talented and in-demand actresses out there.
This isn't the first time we've heard about how insanely awkward sex scenes are to film and it probably won't be the last. These types of scenes will always have some embarrassment to them, but that doesn't mean that improvements can't be made to make them feel more comfortable and safer for the actors involved.
HBO is taking steps to that end. The cable channel, known for its graphic content, is employing an Intimacy Coordinator on its TV shows and movies that feature sexually intimate scenes, with the goal of advocating on the actor's behalf and making them as comfortable as possible with their sex scenes.