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How do actors handle themselves during sex/intimate

I've seen sex scenes or even just hardcore making out scenes in movies.I just wonder how
the guys in these situations handle themselves. Considering how beautiful these women
usually are I would expect the men to get erections under their clothing.

Is it acceptable for the men to be "excited" d... (more)


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Sujith Dan Mammen, Keen follower

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6 Answers

Victoria Wilson, indecisive

It's definetly not unheard of to get an erection while filming but I've heard of quite a few
instances where the actor either says that they had tape to hold 'it' down or some sort of
sleeve thing that attached to their leg. Some also say that its actually quite hard to get
aroused because you're surrounded by camera men and lighting and so many people it just
makes it uncomfortable. One actor (I forget who is was) actually said "In advance I would
like to apologize if I get and erection and I apologize if I don't" to another actress he was
filming with. However, although uncommon, there are few movies that have 'unsimulated
sex scenes' which means that the actor actually has sex right there on camera. The most
recent I've heard of was Shia Labeouf in a movie called Nymphomaniac. In the end I
suppose it's different for every movie.
Written Mar 3, 2013 View Upvotes

Syed Akrama, I'm not a fan of Bollywood but I appreciate good stuff & realistic cinema.
This is what few actors have said about their personal experience.

"Sex scenes can be quite awkward. As a guy, the first thing you want to do is make sure
you're not taking advantage. You don't want the girl to feel like you're getting a free feel or
something. I try to make a fool of myself in one way or another to lighten the mood and then
just go for it, because you don't want to be doing take after take." Michael Fassbender,
on Jane Eyre

"So in the scene she's sitting there, and I take her top off, I take her bra off, and she has
those pasties on, but she's drawn these adorable little smiley faces on them. And I forget
every line in the scene. Not just from this movie, from every movie I've done." Ryan
Reynolds, on The Change-Up

"It was both of our first times having an onscreen [sex] scene. It was such a safe,
comfortable environment and I am so grateful that it was with Miles, because he was such a
gentleman and made me feel very comfortable and nurtured. And I think I made him feel
very comfortable and nurtured. It was really sweet. We wanted it to just feel natural."
Shailene Woodley, on The Spectacular Now

"You kind of suddenly feel this strange thing of asking people to participate in anything like
that because they're not a real couple. You find out how strange this is to ask anybody to get
naked together and put a camera on them. [The actors] actually made me more comfortable.
I was being a lot more prudish. I would have allowed them to be more prudish and they told
me it was all right and important for the story. They wanted to do what they wanted to do
and they were comfortable." Angelina Jolie,on directing a sex scene for In the Land of
Blood and Honey

"It's like running in the rain. There's a certain point when you go, '[Expletive] it, I'm already
wet. I'm not going to get any less wet, so I might as well just enjoy how this feels.' I mean,
sure, there's awkwardness about being in a weird flesh-colored thong, bouncing on top of an
actress. I am not a small human being. I weigh at least 200 pounds and I'm six-foot-two.
And Wiig is a twig; she's a skinny little thing. It's weird and uncomfortable at first, but then
all the awkwardness melts away and you think, All right, we're doing this, so let's have fun
with it. You know what I mean? You're in that moment and it's happening and it's not going
to get any better, so you might as well enjoy it." Jon Hamm, onBridesmaids

"The hardest thing about sex scenes is that everybody is a judge. I don't know the last time
you murdered somebody or blew anyone's brains out, but everyone has had sex and
probably this morning, which means everyone has an opinion on how it should be done."
Michael Douglas, on Behind the Candelabra

"Trying to do an aggressive sex scene is quite difficult. Especially in a public place with a
crowd of screaming extras with their little camera phones going click-click, taking pictures
of your pasty white ass. I've had my fair share of bedroom antics in films, but they were a
little more private." Jason Statham, on Crank 2: High Voltage

"It's hard to have a sex scene, period. It doesn't matter if it's a friend, a male, a female.
You're with 100-something crew members, lighting you, repositioning you, there's no
comfort whatsoever." Mila Kunis, on Black Swan
Written May 28 View Upvotes

Vishesh Jain
Somewhat related answer:

Is it fun for movie stars to kiss other movie stars on-screen?

Ashton Kutcher, I live it

1274 votes by
It totally depends on the co-star. Seann William Scott in Dude, Where's My Car?... not so
fun. Natalie Portman... not an awful day on the job.
Via Joel Lewenstein and Chris Thomson.
16+ Comments Share (10) Embed Thank 23 Jun, 2011
Written Nov 11, 2012 View Upvotes

Farhad Tarapore
i would think that getting excited actually helps do the scene better. That's when the
audience says that their "chemistry" was great. There is no "training" that can be done for
these scenes. The only way to avoid getting an erection would be to "flog the dolphins"
couple of times (or more, depending on one's capacity) before the scene. But then, the scene
itself would look artificial.
Written Mar 3, 2013 View Upvotes

Lokesh Giri, Spiritual, Seeker, Indian

About men getting erection
Some female co-stars would be upset if they find that their co-star had an erection.
Some female co-stars would be upset if they find that their co-star did not have an
Written Sep 7, 2015 View Upvotes
I guess they release their load i.e. cum before the shoot in order to avoid that state.

Another explanation can be they are celebs!!! So they are quite used to such situations and
can control themselves to an insane level!

Or maybe for the sake of scene to look natural they are allowed to get excited during the

Also its like u can't expect anyone to get intimate in front of a crowd of 50-60 people just
starting at you!! So the awkwardness of the situation might also help them!!

But i would say ,the actual answer can be expected by Emran Hashmi !!
Written Mar 16, 2015 View Upvotes

Bollywood Actors and Actresses


Movie Production

How are sex scenes in movies shot? As an actor/actress, how is the



17 Answers

Asif Ahsan Khan, Appeared in tv Commercials

74k Views Most Viewed Writer in Acting
Flesh-coloured thongs, dry humping and vagina patches. Filming a sex scene couldn't be
more hideous. And these actors and actresses are more than willing to open up about the
reality of shooting those intimate scenes... That 9-5 office job isn't looking quite so dull now,
is it?

Okay, I know that, beyond kissing, sex scenes are simulated (well, except for those in the
porn industry). How do actors simulate copulation when there are multiple close ups of
nakedness, or when the man is obviously thrusting, or when the woman is on top and
moving very realistically. How do they keep the naughty parts from meeting or causing
arousal? I assume the actors aren't really naked, but still...

Those are probably the questions or wonderings that surrounds almost ever teen's daylife,
and also at least 90% people outside the Movie Business and Industry who just
watchMovies.(not pornos!?) So How are sex scenes in movies shot? As an actor/actress,
how is the experience?

Watch How Insanely Awkward Filming A Hollywood Sex Scene Is | Brooklyn Decker Film A
Sex Scene Over And Over Again

Behind the scenes with Brooklyn Decker and Patrick Wilson. From the new movie
STRETCH - directed by Joe Carnahan. VOD 10.14

| Also see: This is what a film sex scene actually looks like on set

As demonstrated in this behind the scenes video from the set of Joe Carnahan's Stretch, the
making of a movie's sex scene can be quite awkward. Be warned that this isn't safe for work!

"Men with cameras swarm in at you. They roll and so do you."

There's a probably apocryphal tale about two Hollywood's Golden Age Actors, each of whom
had to do a sex scene with the same young starlet.

The younger actor spoke to her one day on set, very carefully saying, "My dear, I have the
utmost respect for you as a professional, and I want to assure you I mean no harm, but
sometimes, nature is stronger than man. Please do not take offense should I become
aroused during filming!" And the older actor overheard, and said to her, "My dear,
regarding our scene, please do not take offense should I not become aroused during

The thing is called "Unsimulated sex". For example, Inside Deep Throat contains
approximately 30 seconds of unsimulated fellatio. | See: Unsimulated sex

Photo: Margot Robbie and Leonardo DiCaprio in the The Wolf of Wall Street (2013 movie) |
See: Margot Robbie shocked Leonardo DiCaprio while filming sex scene

How Sex Scenes in Film/ TV really Work

The notoriously sexy Fifty Shades of Grey may be more excessive than most with an
estimated 20 minutes of onscreen intimacy, according to The Guardian. All that realistic
bumping and grinding makes you wonder: What exactly is going on when your television
screen depicts a session in the sack? | Here's How They Shot the Sex Scenes in Fifty Shades
of Grey and These Were the Hardest Scenes to Shoot for the Stars of Fifty Shades of Grey

Things aren't always as hot as they seem. Often, it takes many hours, possibly even an entire
day of filming to get a short sex scene just right. For only 15 seconds of onscreen
sex, Cracked estimates six hours or more of filming due to changing angles and lighting.
Add in demanding directors and curious onlookers, and sexual arousal doesn't always
come easy. | Polone: Three Actors Reveal the Awkward Truth of Shooting Sex Scenes

Mostly, this takes place on a closed set, meaning only those necessary think the director,
assistant director, and cinematographer are allowed to be present.

As for the nude part, check out a few accessories that help make the magic "happen" below.

See: 8 awkward, not remotely hot tools used to film Hollywood sex scenes

1. Merkins

Other than being a fun word to say, a merkin is a pubic wig from medieval times. According
to The Guardian, pubic lice a.k.a. a complete nightmare ravaged women in 1450,
forcing them to don fake hair down there. Prostitutes would also u...


Steve Miller, Watcher of Movies. Writer of Stuff.

Originally Answered: How do actors control themselves during sex scenes, particularly in A and B grade
They're professionals being paid to perform a job in a limited time-frame... and they know
that each moment they delay the filmmaking process by not doing what the script and
director tells them to do, they are costing themselves money, because it'll take them that
much longer to move onto the next job, if there even will be a next job if they mess up badly

Also, there are anywhere from 3 to 30 people standing around the bed, holding cameras,
microphones, lights, clipboards, and donuts from the crafts services table.

There's also the chance they can't stand the person they're acting with.

There are many answers to this question. :)

Written Sep 13, 2015 View Upvotes Answer requested by 1 person
Benjamin Thomas, Avid film fan from the silent era to today, foreign and domestic.
60.1k Views Benjamin has 120+ answers in Movies
EDIT: This question has been changed since the time of posting the below
answer. The original question asked and answered was "How do actors
control themselves while filming sex scenes?"

Control themselves from what?

Bursting into laughter in the middle of filming one? They are professionals.

Getting turned on? Seldom happens, since filming one is about as sexy as getting a medical
examination in front of an audience.

The set is closed to all but truly essential crew members, nobody can bring in mobile
phones, and usually the actors have an assistant standing nearby, just outside the frame, to
hand them a robe to wear while the cameras and lighting are being moved about and
adjusted for the next take. Staring or giggling are strictly verboten, as is any conduct that
would make the actor uncomfortable, which will get you fired from the production on the

Often, nudity in films is actually mostly an illusion, created and maintained by careful
lighting and camera placement and manipulation of angles, and occasionally, for those
actors who will not actually do nudity, but will allow themselves to be portrayed as nude, the
use of a body double.

Unless it's a full frontal, they are most often wearing what is called a "modesty patch" that
covers up their genitals. If it's just an actress filmed from the waist up showing her breasts,
she usually has shorts on, outside the camera's vantage point.

Also, nude scenes are heavily negotiated between the filmmakers and the stars' agents, and
the actors' engagement contracts contain lengthy and highly technical stipulations regarding
how much of what body part can be shown for how long from what angle at what focal
length, where the other actor may and may not touch them, the temperature of the set, etc.

It is not nearly as titillating as one might think, as making a movie is a highly technical
exercise with more time spent setting up a shot than time spent performing it, and usually,
if the actor has agreed to do a nude scene, they are reasonably comfortable with being nude
for a short time in front of other people, otherwise, they would not have agreed to do it.
Updated Nov 9, 2015 View Upvotes

Kevin Wray, Criminal Defense Attorney

Unless, its porn....its a pretty controlled. Sex is a messy affair, in reality. You sweat, you
breathe heavily, your face flushes, your heart is going a mile a minutes, etc. And the sexual
act itself takes 5-10 minutes with foreplay another 15 to 20 minutes.

Now, you want to film some of that (unless its porn) and you want people to not breathe
heavily, not sweat, not flush, not have your chest heave (because your heart is
pounding). SO you break up that moment into 20 to 30 controlled 5 to 10 second
shots....many of which show 1 actor/actress rather than both participants. So now you have
100 to 150 seconds (1 minutes 40 seconds to 2 and a half minutes) of film and you probably
spent 2-3 hours or more to film it. Oh and no one is having sex.....they are simulating
having sex. Watch a sex scene in a movie....what are you really seeing? Upper torsos,
buttocks, bellies, a vagina (rarely close-up), and the occasional penis. What do you not
see? Any real sex acts. Its all smoke and mirrors because in the end, you want to see the
actress react to making love with actor and vice versa not what their genitalia are doing.

So say a scene has the guy in the missionary position and there is a side shot where we see
both the actor and actress are naked and in the right position. Sexual contact? No. Pads,
sheets, jock straps (cut away), and similar things are used to prevent contact. Condoms may
all come in play to preclude any seminal fluid being released. All in all not erotic, not
exciting, and not arousing.
Updated Jan 23 View Upvotes

Originally Answered: Do Hollywood actors really get involved in sex while doing sex scenes?
Almost always it's not a real scene, regardless of how real it looks.

Most movie scenes are very carefully choreographed, and the actors wear flesh coloured
underwear, body stockings, etc. to minimize actual flesh visibility. Some close up nudity can
also involve body doubles, and/or latex mannequins.

The actors are as clothed as they can be. Anything not seen is covered. The scenes can also
be manipulated using graphics editing softwares.

The set is made and lit up by the full crew using stand-ins, and once everyone is happy with
how it looks, the set is locked down. Only the necessary camera crew, the director, sound
guys, and maybe one makeup person will be on the set, everyone else is away past locked

However, there have been a number of movies that do indeed have "unsimulated"
This answer was originally written by Darpan Dodiya for the same kind of question about
Bollywood. It's applicable here too.

Written Apr 17, 2015 View Upvotes


Clayburn Griffin, Jurassic Park

39.9k Views Clayburn has 150+ answers in Movies
In rare instances, the sex is real.

Usually it's simulated. And the actors typically wear things that are probably more
embarrassing than just being nude would be. This is more for the censors than for the
actor's modesty, though. Women wear pasties, which keep their nipples covered in case
they are accidentally in the shot and aren't supposed to be (such as it's on network or basic
cable television). Men wear a kind of sock thing or loincloth.

The sex scenes can be very awkward. In some cases, the crew is cut down to only who is
necessary to lessen the awkwardness of the situation. Depending on the cast and crew's
chemistry, it could be hilarious. Many actors have reported bursting out into laughter
during sex scenes. The thought of someone who becomes your friend over the course of
shooting a movie pretending to have sex with you is a funny one, after all.

Generally, though, actors are professionals and understand that they're called upon to act in
these scenes. So, they take it seriously. They do what they need to get the job done.
Written Jul 16, 2013 View Upvotes

Anna Wijaya, Journalist

Originally Answered: Do actors and actress get sexually aroused when shooting intimate scenes?
It would be really difficult to get aroused with all the bright lights, technicians watching you,
and a director telling you what to do.

Here's a look behind the camera on how such scenes are captured:
'Stretch': Behind-the-Scenes Footage Gives Look at How Sex Scenes Are Shot - Hollywood
Updated Aug 18, 2015 View Upvotes

Vijay Ashok Sharma, Actor|Engineer|Cricket Enthusiast

Originally Answered: Are the intimate scenes in Hollywood movies real?
What you see in a particular scene is exactly what is shot. Nothing more nothing less.
Follow this link and watch the video where Brooklyn Decker and Patrick Wilson prepare for
a sex scene for a movie and ask for feedback from the director.
Written Nov 18, 2014 View Upvotes

Zach Davidson, Professional Actor, Stage & Screen

Originally Answered: Do actors get aroused while performing sexual scenes?
It's sort of a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" kinda thing. In short: yes, it happens.
But assuming the actor is professional, they will keep calm and carry on.
Written Jan 6, 2012 View Upvotes

Paul Theodoropoulos, Constitutional Scholar and legal expert; prepend "Not a"
Originally Answered: Are the Bed Scenes(Sex-Scenes) in Hollywood movies done by celebrities
It depends upon the actor/actress, and the type of sex scenes. It's pretty clear that the
celebrity has to do at least some portion of the sex scenes, because there's no body double on
earth that looks exactly like the actor/actress.
If you've watched The Wolf of Wall Street, it's pretty clear that DiCaprio participated rather
actively in his sex scenes....
Written Apr 13, 2014 View Upvotes

Mayank Jaiswal, Mitch Conner has taught me well.

Originally Answered: How are intimate movie scenes shot? With a bra or without a bra?
This scenario depends on multiple factors and situations. The major chunk being: which
film industry the movie belongs to, the actors in the movie and also on the level of intimacy
being shown on the screen.

Some instances:

In Bollywood the frontal nudity is banned therefore they always go with beautiful things
covered and most of the time they substitute the bra with a skin toned supporter or many
times white sheets. In case, the female actor supposedly goes full nude in the movie, you
probably will receive the news before the release as a part of the 'bad/good' publicity.

In various french movies I've seen a lot of female actors wear the birthday suit. So, I assume
they are comfortable doing it. Kudos!

In Hollywood, these days the leads are happy going whole naturals while shooting intimate
scenes, if not they even use body doubles (they used one for Mila Kunis in Friends with
benefits). For, A rated (including soft porns) movies they don't wear anything.

Also, if the female actor boasts a great physique then they ask more for cleavage show which
if agreed upon by the producers is then presented to the audience.
Updated Apr 17, 2015 View Upvotes

Nikunj Kevadiya, Mechanical Engineer at Reliance Industries Limited

Originally Answered: How do actors control themselves during sex scenes, particularly in A and B grade
It may be difficult for a new actor so it will take one more shot than that of experienced
actor. But it doesn't seem him as his real sex as there will be performance pressure and lots
of men standing around him.

For an experienced actor it would be like a man eating pizza everyday. If we eat pizza
everyday, we will have less attraction to that. For a famous actor the sex scene is like our
pizza only. When you reach at certain level such small things don't matter.

There is no need to have self-control. It's automatically there as you reach at that level
irrespective of you are new or experienced.
Written Sep 13, 2015 View Upvotes

Sasha Karasev, principal at Karasev Studio

Originally Answered: Are the Bed Scenes(Sex-Scenes) in Hollywood movies done by celebrities
No, they use body doubles. Sometimes there are exceptions of one doing their own stunts or
sex scenes or the like - usually made for publicity gain.

They even use voice doubles to fine-tune the voices in the studio!
Written Apr 11, 2013 View Upvotes

Nicholas Wee
Originally Answered: How do actors control themselves during sex scenes, particularly in A and B grade
I think the simplest - and most common - answer would be that it's not much fun
"simulating sex" in a room full of people staring, no matter how attractive your partner is.

Heck, I'm not even sure exhibitionists would enjoy it.

Written Sep 13, 2015 View Upvotes

Sagar Singh Gupta, Movie buff.

Originally Answered: Do Hollywood actors really get involved in sex while doing sex scenes?
They really do it except the intercourse but again on some cases they do intercourse too.

The thing is they really dont bother these all stuffs as much as we do rather they think that
having sex and doing love is all together different story.

Its like if you are having sex while doing movie its part of your profession and that does not
hamper their personal life.

You can see this kind of thing in Bollywood also for example, if Abhishek Bachchan will
think or bother about Aishwarya Rai and Salman Khan affair then how he will be able to
marry her?

So ultimately the conclusion is that they are very professional and having very different life
style to live in.
Written Apr 15, 2015 View Upvotes

Matt Ackeret, Software Engineer

Originally Answered: Do actors and actress get sexually aroused when shooting intimate scenes?
Famous quote attributed to Sean Connery to his co-star before filming a sex scene:

I'm sorry if I do, and I'm sorry if I don't.

Written Jun 17, 2015 View Upvotes
Akshay Ravi, Movie Buff!
Originally Answered: How do actors control themselves during sex scenes, particularly in A and B grade
Here you go!
Written Sep 13, 2015 View Upvotes Answer requested by 1 person

Shooting Film and TV Sex Scenes: What

Really Goes On
Continue reading the main storyShare This Page


An image from the film Trainwreck, with Amy Schumer and Bill Hader. CreditUniversal Pictures

To hear most actors tell it, filming sex scenes is no turn-on. There are big
cameras, of course, and big crew members that come with them. Its a
performance with a stranger-turned-scene-partner, for a director whos
judging every caress and whimper. Its the antithesis of hot, stars assure us on
late-night TV; its awkward and tense. Speak to the filmmakers, though, and
you get a different take.

I personally am very excited when we shoot sex scenes, said Sarah Treem, a
creator of the Showtime series The Affair. Because I think they can be
transgressive; they can be very, very real.

When they work, she added, everybody actually enjoys them.

Audiences certainly do, if the blockbuster success of Fifty Shades of Grey is
any measure. But they are delicate moments to capture. We did actually save
the explicit sex to the final week of shooting, said Seamus McGarvey, the
cinematographer of Fifty Shades of Grey, based on E. L. Jamess S-and-M-
centered novel though on-screen, some of the whipping is created via
digital imagery.

To simulate sex, actors employ tricks: pillows between them, prosthetics and
body stockings, and push-ups to get their muscles bulging. But the movement
is often improvised. If its overly rehearsed or overly thought through, it
seems like a bad soft-core porn on Cinemax, said Judd Apatow, the auteur of
raunchy rom-coms (and a producer of Girls). In the forthcoming comedy
Trainwreck, Mr. Apatow directed the writer and comedian Amy Schumer in
her first big-screen sex scenes; she pumped herself up by listening to Beyonc
in her trailer.

On Fatal Attraction, Michael Douglas and Glenn Close were loosened up

with Champagne and margaritas, said Adrian Lyne, the director of that
sexually charged classic as well as Indecent Proposal and Unfaithful.

Naturally, not all steamy scenes are amorous. Some, like those in Jean-Marc
Valles Wild and Dallas Buyers Club, are meant to be uncomfortable, and
those are among the most difficult to create.

In individual telephone conversations, these film professionals discussed one

of the weirder aspects of their jobs, the logistics of sex on screen.

Write, rehearse and choreograph? Or just let the camera roll?

Sarah Treem Theres a difference between the way that sex scenes are
written and performed. We do have detailed stage directions. A lot changes
on the day youre shooting sex scenes, because they are so vulnerable for the
actors. Some actors would say its them at the most honest.

Amy Schumer I think I overwrote the sex scenes. It was probably half a
page of very specific stage directions before I even said one word in the

Judd Apatow I took photos of every possible angle you could have sex in,
but then on the day, all of it goes out the window. Theres only so many places
you can put the camera for that activity.

Seamus McGarvey We did have rehearsals and to make the actors feel
comfortable initially, look at how we might photograph the sex. Also, that
suited the first few sex scenes, to have a slight awkwardness to them; the
camera would be more at a distance. In the Red Room, when things heat up a
little bit, that was less choreographed. Sometimes we would use a remotely
operated camerahead so the actors wouldnt have an operator leaning in.
Adrian Lyne You try and create a situation where there are possibilities. Ive
always thought that sort of grabbed sex is more fun than that statuesque sort
of bedroom stuff. So in Fatal Attraction, the scene where they [have sex]
over the sink, I knew it had humorous possibilities because there was plates
and cups in the sink. If you dont get some humor in, the audience will laugh
at you, because theyre nervous watching it.

Jean-Marc Valle There was no specific choreography, but theres a way of

setting a tone. Restricted crew, its just available light where we can move 360
degrees with the camera this is the intention, and lets see where it goes
from there. [In Wild] it wasnt specifically planned for this guy to take
Reese [Witherspoon], to turn her on her back, and take her from behind, but
it just happened as we were shooting. And [in Dallas Buyers Club] with
Matthew [McConaughey], at one point he had a threesome, with two girls in
this trailer home with his friend watching him, and he was on fire.

Do you ask for nudity, and then worry about covering it up


Lyne Thats the best way to do it. [In Fatal Attraction] I always remember
when Michael Douglas is trying to carry her over her to the bed, and he
couldnt get out of his pants, and hes having hysterics laughing. And he was
naked well, he had his shirt on. We noticed in the cutting room literally one
frame where his testicles were visible. You couldnt cut it out its very, very
brief. [Laughs] I hope Michael will forgive me for saying this.


Ruth Wilson and Dominic West in The Affair.CreditMark Schafer/Showtime

Treem We have actors on our show who have varying relationships to
nudity; people have things they will and will not show, and we have to respect
that. We had to create sex scenes that looked like we werent trying to cover
body parts when we were. And this was a discovery for us sometimes the
sexiest sex scenes, we shot very tight, only the actors faces.

McGarvey We were protecting the actors. Jamie [Dornan] had a cover over
his penis. Dakota [Johnson] had kind of a patch that went over her pubic
area, and right round her whole body. We were in the curious situation, in
postproduction, of adding [pubic hair]. I wouldnt say it was one of the
highlights of my career, but it certainly was one of the most surreal scenarios.
We did have a butt double for Dakota. I had the pleasure of casting a
nontattooed bottom Surreal Scenario No. 2.

Schumer I am sort of a boundaryless person, which is something Im

working on. In our house, nudity wasnt a big deal, so that was never an issue
for me. It was about the crew. The sex scenes that are funny, I dont care, but
the ones that are actually sexual, its like these people are seeing me be really
vulnerable. Frank, whos holding the boom, is seeing, Oh, this is what Amy is
like when she really means business. In between every single take, I think I
screamed, Its so embarrassing!

Sex scenes mean a small crew. But how close are the cameras and
how many takes?

McGarvey For the sex, we would always shoot with two cameras, so they
wouldnt have to do numerous takes. I have done sex scenes before that have
more abandon, for instance, in We Need to Talk About Kevin. When I did
that scene with Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly, with a 5D [camera], I was
literally under the covers.

Continue reading the main story


Lyne [In Indecent Proposal] the scene with Woody Harrelson and Demi
Moore, I remember shooting it on the zoom so you can just push in and grab
bits and pieces without stopping, and then get it wider. Its a mistake to stop
them. Usually theyre quite quick, love scenes like that, because theres a limit
to their endurance. Just in terms of kissing somebody, you cant kiss forever.

Do the performers have to be turned on?

Valle Ive never seen an actor with an erection, in all of the films and the
sex scenes that Ive done, but it doesnt mean that I havent seen a guy being
excited. Its so technical, but were humans, and theyre naked, and they touch
each other.

Lyne The scene wouldnt be working if they werent. Obviously, youre not
literally doing penetration but theyre both aroused; they would have to be;
otherwise the scene would be hopeless.

Do actors express worry about their bodies?

Lyne Yes, I did have [an actor concerned about his manhood] without the
slightest reason to be worried but it did show the amount of paranoia in
their minds. I say, Youre fine, youre great!

Valle It happened in my first feature film. The lead actress had to perform a
sex scene, and I think she was 35 at the time. She wanted to really talk about
the angles and not show her from behind, and O.K. from the side, but not her
breasts when she laid down. I can understand.

Schumer I definitely was saying to my sister [a producer on the film], do I

look O.K.? They want us to look good, so theyre not going to be like, Oh,
cool, look what a realistic cellulite shot. Beforehand I tried to look good;
once theyre rolling, its the last thing on my mind. [But] I definitely skipped
Taco Tuesday that day.

Quiet on the set! Or not?

Valle With actors, while theyre doing it, I tell myself, Shut up; dont talk,
even though I want to.

Lyne What I have a horror of is these poor souls in total silence and not
knowing whether they look good. So Im always vocal, almost like Im doing it
with them. Im going: That was good. Do it again. Afterward they have to
cut my voice out.

McGarvey [The director] Joe Wright is a great proponent of music to help

actors get into the mood. It helped the actors movement and the cameras
kind of coalesce, because it is like a dance. On Atonement, theres a scene in
the library between James McAvoys character and Keira Knightleys, and
we shot that to Come to Me by Mark Lanegan and PJ Harvey, a very
languid, sexy tune, because the camera was hand-held.

Is it ever awkward for you?

Treem One of the sex scenes in Episode 4 the character of Alison doesnt
really [have an orgasm]. Shes in grief, shes lost a child, shes sexual but she
cannot enjoy it, and finally she does. Getting to that place was a bit of a
challenge. I was acting out the sex scenes for [the episode director] Jeff
Reiner. Im acting out an orgasm with the whole crew behind me, and finally
he was like, Oh, I get it.

Valle I do get excited, but not sexually. Im excited as a filmmaker.

Apatow Im very shy. We did The 40-Year-Old Virgin; there was a speed-
dating scene. The joke was a womans breast pops out, and I mightve done
half a take of it before I said we had what we need.

Schumer [The scenes] totally serve the story; they belong there. As to
whether I would rather just be sitting in a dialogue with someone in a diner
versus having them thrusting in my thigh yeah, Ill take the diner and get a
piece of coconut cream pie. [But] Im glad we did it.

A version of this article appears in print on March 1, 2015, on page AR14 of the New
York edition with the headline: Get the Actors a Couple of Margaritas. Order
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