Michael Douglas to Kate Winslet: What leading Hollywood stars think about intimacy coordinators | Hollywood - Hindustan Times

Michael Douglas to Kate Winslet: What leading Hollywood stars think about intimacy coordinators

By | Edited by Sugandha Rawal
May 21, 2024 06:11 AM IST

Michael Douglas feels there is too much meddling with how sex scenes need to be shot in Hollywood now. It has led to a debate.

Actor Michael Douglas recently said he is not in favour of sex scenes being choreographed by an intimacy coordinator on set because it takes away the control from the filmmaker as well as the actors. And it has added to the growing debate around the role and importance of having an intimacy coordinator on set in Hollywood. (Also read: Michael Douglas hopes India welcomes religious diversity this election, not be a country 'under one religion’)

Actor Michael Douglas feels the approach to filming sex scenes in Hollywood has changed.
Actor Michael Douglas feels the approach to filming sex scenes in Hollywood has changed.

Michael has filmed many sex scenes over the course of his career in Hollywood, with steamy scenes of Fatal Attraction (1987) and Basic Instinct (1992) still being a talking point in the entertainment industry.

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What did Michael said

In a new interview with Radio Times, per The Telegraph, the 79-year-actor was questioned about the recent trend of sex scenes appearing less in films.

“I’m past the age where I’ve got to worry about that. But it’s interesting with all the intimacy coordinators,” he shared, adding, “It feels like executives taking control away from filmmakers — but there have been some terrible faux pas and harassment”.

Michael continued, “Sex scenes are like fight scenes, it’s all choreographed. In my experience, you take responsibility as the man to make sure the woman is comfortable, you talk it through. You say, ‘OK, I’m gonna touch you here if that’s all right’. It’s very slow but looks like it’s happening organically, which is hopefully what good acting looks like”.

This is not the first time when Michael has spoken out against the use of intimacy coordinators on set. He previously told The Telegraph that actors of his era would have taken “care of those that overstep boundaries” during sex scenes.

“I’m sure there were people that overstepped their boundaries, but before, we seemed to take care of that ourselves. They would get a reputation and that would take care of them. But I talked to the ladies, [because] I did a few of those sex movies — sexual movies — and we joke about it now, what it would have been like to have an intimacy coordinator working with us.”

Intimacy coordinators leave Hollywood divided

Filmmakers started to get intimacy coordinators on sets in the recent years, particularly after Hollywood’s #MeToo movement.

Having intimacy coordinators on Hollywood sets during sex and nude scenes has divided the industry over whether the coordinators kill spontaneity on screen or make the space safer for actors.

Actor Sean Bean told British outlet The Times that had intimacy coordinators been used during his past roles, they would "spoil the spontaneity”. "I think the natural way lovers behave would be ruined by someone bringing it right down to a technical exercise," he said.

In fact, actor Michael Caine also questioned the role of intimacy coordinators. “Really? Seriously? What are they? We never had that in my day. Thank God I’m 90 and don’t play lovers anymore, is all I can say. In my day, you just did the love scene and got on with it without anyone interfering. It’s all changed,” he told Daily Mail.

Meanwhile, actors such as Kate Winslet and Zendaya, feel having an intimacy coordinator on set creates a safe environment. “I would have benefited from an intimacy coordinator every single time I had to do a love scene or be partially naked or even a kissing scene,” Kate told The New York Times in March 2024.

Actor Emma Stone, who filmed multiple sex scenes for 2023’s Poor Things, asserted that the presence of an intimacy coordinator helped her feel more comfortable on set. “Having [coordinator Elle McAlpine] there felt like having both a safety net and a choreographer and a handhold. She and I would text after a day of doing some of these scenes and just sort of say how we were feeling and what was going on. And it was just this really beautiful relationship that I found extremely, extremely meaningful,” Emma told NPR in January 2024.

Recently, Zendaya shared that having an intimacy coordinator was “very helpful” for Challengers.

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