Prior to the Hollywood actor strike, Outlander star Caitriona Balfe spoke on a panel at the ATX TV Festival about how hiring an intimacy coordinator helped the series. Outlander is known for its hot and steamy love scenes. Surprisingly, there wasn’t always an intimacy coordinator on set, so Balfe and Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser) were doing all those sex scenes on their own. I can’t say I’m shocked, but wow, good for them!
Despite how great Balfe and Heughan were at bringing those raunchy sex scenes to life, the creative team ultimately decided to bring on intimacy coordinator, Vanessa Coffey. And according to Balfe, it only helped.
Outlander hired an intimacy coordinator, and they liked it!
When Balfe heard that an intimacy coordinator was being added to the team, she was skeptical about it. “We’ve also started working with the most incredible intimacy co-ordinator and it’s amazing, because I probably was one of the people like ‘I don’t think we need that, we’ve been doing this s**t ourselves and figuring it out for a while,’” Balfe said. “But actually I think it’s been so beneficial and it’s helped us, and there are other scenes with other characters, some I’ve been involved in, and some with our younger actors too.”
It helps you create the storytelling in a way where everybody’s on board, everybody knows exactly what’s happening, we’re all on the same page. Just like you would do with fight co-ordination or whatever and it’s really helped. Vanessa [Coffey] is such an amazing addition to our family as well, she’s just been really great.
One of the most interesting things about Coffey is that this wasn’t her line of work before. Prior to working as an intimacy coordinator, Coffey was a corporate lawyer. However, she left that life behind and became an actress and then a movement director. She later studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where she ended up consulting on projects that involved intimate content and material.
Her journey may not have been conventional, but it has led her to work on shows like Outlander, Wednesday, The Witcher, and Vikings: Valhalla, amongst others, so it worked out.
Given how passionately believable the sex scenes have been of late on Outlander, I’d say Coffey made the right decision in changing careers. Keep up the amazing work!