Intimate scenes may wind up looking good in post-production, but it’s hard to imagine them being anything but awkward when being filmed on set. To make actors more comfortable while filming sex scenes, studios have begun hiring intimacy coordinators to oversee such scenes. Recently, The Originals’ Joseph Morgan revealed how he feels about intimacy coordinators being used for sex scenes.
SAG-AFTRA, the union for screen performers, has put in place guidelines for how to go about simulating sex on screen while creating a safe environment for actors filming intimate scenes. This has been met with vary responses from stars. Scandal’s Kerry Washington is “really grateful” for intimacy coordinators, while Big Little Lies’ Shailene Woodley could do without them. During EW’s Brave Warriors panel for Comic-Con@Home, The Originals alum Joseph Morgan discussed his experience shooting sex scenes and was rather relieved that intimacy coordinators are now a must on set. Here’s what Morgan said:
“Now they’ve got intimacy coordinators, haven’t they? Which is so much better, I think. That was always such a weird experience, especially when you work with shy directors who just think the best thing to do is, ‘Let me just leave the camera rolling and you guys do whatever you feel.’ No, dude, structure it! Treat it like a fight scene! Let’s choreograph it! We know what we’re doing, we know when it ends because it’s crazy otherwise. It’s not better to have loads of freedom. It’s just more awkward.”
I agree, the more structure sex scenes have the better. A big part of the reason why intimacy coordinators are being hired and best practices are being put in place is to also prevent any sexual harassment. What’s more, fight scenes are choreographed to not just look good on screen but to ensure that the actors, stunt workers, and others are doing things safely. Naturally, the same should be done with regards to sex scenes.
If sex scenes aren’t enough of a “weird experience,” Joseph Morgan adds that he’s had to do intimate scenes on an outdoor set where several crew members had to remove dead insects off of the glycerin they sprayed on his shirtless torso to make him look sweaty. It’s really amazing that these scenes end up looking so intimate when there are so many awkward or embarrassing stories to go along with them, but I suppose that’s all a part of the magic of television.
Joseph Morgan has moved on from The Originals and is currently starring in Peacock’s Brave New World. While the actor played Klaus for several seasons on The Originals and The Vampire Diaries, Morgan is uninterested in reprising his role for the spinoff series Legacies, especially considering how Klaus’ storyline played out. That said, Morgan had to film plenty of sex scenes playing Klaus, and I wonder if the actor wishes he’d had an intimacy coordinator back then. Maybe.