HBO's new teen drama Euphoria has arrived, and along with it comes some graphic male nudity that has already gotten quite a few folks up in arms about the show's content. One scene, featuring former Grey's Anatomy star Eric Dane, really has people talking because of the footage of Dane's character committing statutory rape with an underage character and an erect penis in full view.
While the penis in question was actually a prosthetic, there was also real full frontal nudity in the shot, and Dane is now speaking out about what it took to film that scene and having an intimacy expert on set for the show's sex scenes.
Those scenes are very difficult to shoot. It helps to have one voice in your ear. One voice that you can express your feelings to, and somebody that is an advocate for the actors. It just simplifies a lot of things and makes for a safe and comfortable environment while shooting something that is fairly uncomfortable to shoot. And certainly, the stuff that we did in the pilot is no exception. It’s a pretty intense scene.
"Intense" might be an understatement when you're talking about a completely visible erect penis, even if it isn't real, and especially since your average TV series doesn't come anywhere near showing such a thing. In general, even without full-blown erections, full frontal nudity and the awkwardness of acting out something illegal and /or immoral, we've heard actors talk about how uncomfortable sex scenes are plenty of times before. But, Euphoria is clearly interested in taking things to a whole new level.
Before Euphoria, which also stars Zendaya, Hunter Schafer, Maude Apatow and Algee Smith, among others, premiered, we heard that one episode will feature the very real penises of a locker room filled with dozens high schoolers (played, of course, by adult actors). The show will also feature scenes of drug use, violence and other intense sexual situations in an effort to give viewers a look at what growing up in today's world is like.
In today's world we have a better understanding of how working in such situations, particularly those involving sex, can make people feel, so Euphoria employs an intimacy expert. As Eric Dane explained to Entertainment Weekly, the goal is to make sure that the actors in those scenes are as comfortable as possible with what's being filmed and know that their concerns will be heard, respected and dealt with.
According to Dane, one way to deal with concerns before they crop up in scenes like this is to use a prosthetic, just so things don't get even more uncomfortable. But, he also notes that he was willing, if it ended up being better for one specific shot and everyone was OK with it, to go all the way on camera.
Using a prosthetic is sort of protocol. It’s protocol and it’s also very considerate to your scene partner. There was one isolated shot that I suggested, ‘Look if it makes more sense to not use a prosthetic, I’m willing to go there.’ At the end of the day, because of the context, we decided that the prosthetic was the way to go, and we came to that decision as a group.
Well, it sounds like Euphoria is doing everything possible behind the scenes to make sure that the cast is on board with what goes down on screen; even going so far as to make decisions about the specific content of sex scenes together.
You can catch Eric Dane and his co-stars in Euphoria as it continues to air Sundays on HBO at 10 p.m. EST.