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.
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.