Shailene Woodley Does Not Enjoy Having An Intimacy Coordinator For Sex Scenes

Shailene Woodley as Tris in The Divergent Series: Insurgent

As Hollywood attempts to adapt to the changing times, many productions have implemented new policies and tools to help cast and crew members feel more comfortable on sets. One of these new elements comes in the form of intimacy coordinators, who provide support to actors when they must perform sex scenes. Though the intent of the new position can be viewed as positive, Big Little Lies star Shailene Woodley brings up an interesting counterpoint.

Shailene Woodley explained that she would rather not work with an intimacy coordinator, as she doesn’t like the notion of having another set of eyes watching her on set. While Woodley can see the benefits of having one, she would prefer a director to work directly with an actor to gauge their level of comfortability:

For me, intimacy coaches make me uncomfortable because it feels like another set of eyes that I don’t need. But I have no problem stopping production when I’m uncomfortable, and I don’t think that’s the case for a lot of people, so I think it’s wonderful that there’s a lifeline that people can lean on to know they’ll be protected. That being said, the best thing a director could do is ask an actor right off the bat: 'What are you comfortable with? What are your boundaries?'

In the era of the #MeToo movement, having an intimacy coordinator is a way to help ensure an actor’s safety and comfort during a love scene. Shailene Woodley made a valid point while speaking to The New York Times, though. Performing a sex scene in front of regular crew members can be difficult enough, but the idea of shooting it in front of an intimacy coordinator -- whose sole job is to pay attention to how you do it – is somewhat daunting.

Intimacy coordinators may be relatively new, but they’re already becoming commonplace in both the television and film industries. One of the first high-profile projects to hire one was HBO’s The Deuce. The producers of the now-canceled show, which was set to the backdrop of the 1970s porn industry, believed it would be beneficial to bring one in to help manage a number of the series’ graphic sequences.

The 007 franchise has helped lead this charge in the film world, as the latest installment, No Time to Die, hired an intimacy coordinator. It’s no secret that sex is a major component of the storied film series, so bringing someone in to assist is understandable.

Hollywood will likely continue to make strides in providing safety and comfort for people during production, but it may also be wise to consider the thoughts and feelings of actors like Shailene Woodley when developing new ideas. For more on the latest news from Hollywood, be sure to keep it here at CinemaBlend.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.