In the wake of the #MeToo era, intimacy coordinators were added to help choreograph sex scenes on TV and film sets, which was greeted to much applause by most actors. However, Sean Bean seems to be one who is rebelling against their presence.
The Game of Thrones star was quite frank in a conversation with U.K.’s Times Magazine about how he thinks intimacy coordinators “spoil the spontaneity” and “inhibit [him] more because it’s drawing attention to things.” Well, that’s exactly the point — it is to make the actors involved in the scene know exactly where hands and body parts are going so there are no uncomfortable surprises when they are in such a vulnerable state. “I think the natural way lovers behave would be ruined by someone bringing it right down to a technical exercise,” Bean explained.
Intimacy coordinators are a relatively new position in Hollywood, having been introduced in 2018 after countless of performers talked about their sexual harassment situations (including times when they were filming nude scenes). SAG-AFTRA, the actors’ union, adopted standards and protocols in 2020 so that intimacy coordinators were recognized as “an advocate, a liaison between actors and production, and a movement coach and/or choreographer in regards to nudity and simulated sex and other intimate and hyper-exposed scenes.” And yes, Bean is a member of that union.
He seems to believe that “the best work you do, where you’re trying to push the boundaries, and the very nature of it is experimental” often “gets censored” by studios or advertisers — and now, the union that is there to protect all artists. While Bean may be disappointed that his filmed sex scenes are no longer improvisational, it allows for anyone working with him to know that parameters have been put in place — and for good reason.
Before you go, click here to see actors who have spoken out about pressure to get naked for a role.