Sean Bean, who IMO should be formally evicted from the fellowship of the ring after this, is getting thoroughly owned by fellow industry professionals for his shit take on sex scenes and intimacy coordinators.
Middle aged white guy has a completely outdated take on the entertainment industry! Surprise surprise!
Bean was being interviewed by The Times when he was asked about how intimacy coordinators on set might have changed sex scenes he’s done in the past.
“I should imagine it slows down the thrust of it,” he said.
“Ha, not the thrust — that’s the wrong word.
“It would spoil spontaneity.”
My good sir, I think the whole point is sex scenes aren’t supposed to be spontaneous. They’re supposed to be rehearsed and comfortable so they’re safe for everyone involved.
You probably shouldn’t be throwing your naked self around spontaneously. This isn’t a game of Space Jump in Year 10 drama.
Sean Bean speaks out against stunt performers, saying they “ruin the natural, spontaneous experience of leaping over a burning bridge on a motorbike”
— Yell in a Strike (@jelenawoehr) August 9, 2022
He also said he thought an intimacy coordinator would “inhibit [him] more”.
“It’s drawing attention to things. Somebody saying, ‘Do this, put your hand there, while you touch his thing…’
“I think the natural way lovers behave would be ruined by someone bringing it right down to a technical exercise.”
Bro, you’re acting. It is a technical exercise.
Bean’s stance has been addressed by a number of actors, including his former Snowpiercer co-star Lena Hall.
He brought up Hall in the interview, including a sex scene they’d done for the show which involved a mango. I am not asking!
The Times’ journo brought up how in the wake of the #MeToo movement, intimacy coordinators were part of an effort to help actors feel safe on set.
“I suppose it depends on the actress. This one had a musical cabaret background, so she was up for anything,” Bean said.
Um, fucking gross!!! Can we please remove the phrase “up for anything” from our vocabulary.
As first reported by Deadline, Hall herself then took to Twitter to share her thoughts about intimacy coordinators and offered a nuanced response to Bean’s shit cold take.
I probably need to clarify some information in this random article since people are reaching out to me like “girl, are you ok?” https://t.co/mBH16KKP8A
— Lena Hall (@LenaRockerHall) August 8, 2022
She first explained that the “infamous mango scene” wasn’t really a “naked” scene.
“Just because I am in theatre (not cabaret, but I do perform them every once in a while) does not mean that I am up for anything. Seriously does depend on the other actor, the scene we are about to do, the director, and whatever crew has to be in there to film it,” she said.
Hall then went on to describe Bean as “an awesome actor” who made her feel “not only comfortable but also like I had a true acting partner in those bizarre scenes”.
“If I feel comfortable with my scene partner and with others in the room then I won’t need an intimacy coordinator. BUT if there is any part of me that is feeling weird, gross, over exposed etc… I will either challenge the necessity of the scene or I’ll want an IC,” she continued.
“I do feel that intimacy coordinators are a welcome addition to the set and think they could also help with the trauma experienced in other scenes.
“Sometimes you need ’em sometimes you don’t but every single person and scene and experience is different.”
Hall also brought up the importance of having mental health specialists on set, particularly when actors are performing traumatic scenes such as suicide or assault.
Bean’s comments also prompted other actors to speak about why having intimacy coordinators on set matters.
Rachel Zegler Tweeted about how important she found the intimacy coordinator in West Side Story.
“I was extremely grateful,” she said.
“They showed grace to a newcomer like myself and educated those around me who’ve had years of experience.
“Spontaneity in intimate scenes can be unsafe. Wake up.”
intimacy coordinators establish an environment of safety for actors. i was extremely grateful for the one we had on WSS— they showed grace to a newcomer like myself + educated those around me who’ve had years of experience.
spontaneity in intimate scenes can be unsafe. wake up. https://t.co/bpxT2DVU1R
— rachel zegler (she/her/hers) (@rachelzegler) August 8, 2022
Bean’s comments were also roasted by Sex Lives of College Girls actress Reneé Rapp.
“Intimacy coordinators make us feel safe,” she said.
uncomfortable because it’s VULNERABLE. intimacy coordinators make us feel safe. please for the love of god think before you speak.
— RMJ (@reneerapp) August 8, 2022
As a viewer, I personally find sex scenes much hotter knowing that an intimacy coordinator has been involved.
To me, it’s similar to the fact that consent is fundamentally sexy. And when I think about shows that have genuinely hot sex scenes, the ones that come to mind are Normal People and Bridgerton.
Both of those programs have been incredibly public about the work that goes into sex scenes.
Normal People’s intimacy coordinator Ita O’Brien previously spilled about the importance of choreographing sex scenes.
“I truly believe that when the work is put in place—when the actor’s personal body is taken care of—they know that they’re autonomous, they’re empowered, they’re listened to, their ‘no’ is invited,” she told Vanity Fair.
“This allows them to be free as the actor so that what you’re watching is the characters’ submission and the characters’ awkwardness.”
Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley’s Bridgerton season two sex scene is one of the all time greats, and that show used a deflated netball as an intimacy device.
None of those sex scenes were based on “spontaneity” at all. Comments like Bean’s show how outdated attitudes towards sex on screen reflects the wider reticence of some groups (read: old white guys) to acknowledge the fact that sexual politics are changing. And that is, in fact, a good thing!
Other male actors, including one of my top five men Rahul Kohli and British actor Cameron Cuffe tweeted in support of intimacy coordinators.
Intimacy coordinators are essential. It’s about safety, care and making a safe space for anyone to voice their concerns. They are such a positive, compassionate step forward for our industry. https://t.co/FuLx2nFwod
— Cameron Cuffe (@thecameroncuffe) August 9, 2022
Sex scenes aren’t an opportunity to be spontaneous or improvise. How they’re handled in Hollywood needs to reflect the way all of us are taught about and understand the importance of consent. Do better Boromir.