Lauren Graham Says She Had To Bite Her Tongue When Talking With Mighty Ducks Intimacy Coordinator Hired To Oversee Kiss With Josh Duhamel

In response to various instances of sexual misconduct in the workplace that have come to light in the past five years, many studios are more regularly hiring intimacy coordinators on the sets of their productions. That includes the set of the Disney+ show Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, which became Lauren Graham’s first time working with an intimacy coordinator. Though in that particular instance with co-star Josh Duhamel, the Gilmore Girls actress wasn’t sure one was necessary. 

Lauren Graham has been a working actress in Hollywood for nearly 30 years, and recalls that for many years, intimacy coordinators just “didn’t exist” and the protocol was someone throwing a bathrobe after the director calls cut. So, Graham was rather tickled when her first time working with one was during more family friendly fare on Mighty Ducks. As she recalled: 

It’s a family show, and our kiss was described as brief, we were standing up fully clothed and there wasn’t much more to it. But I felt kind of guilty that someone has been hired to help coordinate two adults in their 50s share a tongueless peck. So I asked the coordinator what her role on the other shows had been, hoping I’d find a problem I needed her expert help in solving. ‘I’m here to make you comfortable, and ensure there is consent.’ I cannot tell you how hard I had to bite back my nervous impulse to make a joke. ‘Consent? Have you seen Josh Duhamel? I’d happily…’ No no no we don’t say flippant things in delicate situations, my brain told me just in time.

The story comes from Lauren Graham’s new book, Have I Told You This Already? Stories I Don’t Want to Forget to Remember. In the collection of essays from the former Parenthood star, Graham shared her honest thoughts on the situation along with adding to Fox News Digital that she “felt bad” for the coordinator’s presence in the particular instance. She continued: 

So instead, I said nothing and nodded my head a few times and wandered away and thus ended the coordination of my intimacy. She carried a large bottle of Listerine with her all day with two little cups in separate baggies, which was a thoughtful touch.

During Graham’s interview, she added that she wishes “there was more” to coordinate in that instance and bit her tongue on making a joke to the coordinator. In terms of the role itself within Hollywood, Graham finds it interesting that it took Hollywood so long to realize how “super awkward” getting intimate on camera can be for actors and realize a liaison may make someone feel more comfortable after her own experiences on sets. 

Graham is currently in the second season of Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, which has continued to bring new episodes to Disney+ throughout November, with a new episode becoming available with a Disney+ subscription this Wednesday and the finale releasing on November 30. Graham initially began on the show with Emilio Estevez in Season 1, but since the actor’s departure, Josh Duhamel has filled in.  

Intimacy coordinators come on Hollywood sets to advocate for safety between actors and the production when it comes to intimate moments on set. They are often made available during the preproduction process along with being present on sets as well. Graham’s story shows that some productions are taking the whole thing super seriously, even when it comes to more innocent intimate moments between actors. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

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