Actors and directors have to work really hard to make everything in a movie believable to the audience, including the sex scenes, so how do they actually feel about these scenes? Do they love them or hate them? Click through to find out…
Lena Dunham who writes, directs, produces and stars in the television series Girls writes the sex scenes for the show and said: “I will be lying there, kind of being slammed by a naked body, thinking, ‘I want out of this bed. I want out of this scene. I want out of this life. Who did this to me?’ And I realized, I’m my own boss. I’ve written it. I’m directing it. I’m the person holding myself in sexual slavery.” Maybe she should give herself a break every now and then…
Blue Valentine’s director Derek Cianfrance created quite a realistic sex scene in the film starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. The scene was the difference between an R rating (in the US people under 17 can see the film if they’re accompanied by an adult – different to our R rating) and the NC-17 rating (similar to our R rating). Ryan tried to convince the MPAA to change the rating to an R after calling them sexist and saying that it’s a married couple making love so it shouldn’t be given the more restrictive rating. He won (of course he did, he’s Ryan Freaking Gosling). Ryan said this about filming sex scenes: “Actors become very professional and proficient about watching out for each other’s light and not stepping on each other’s lines. All of these things are artificial, and you have to strip that away if you’re going to achieve a sense of intimacy. In real life sex is messy… “
The Weinstein Company
Michael Fassbender’s role in the film Shame as a sex addict often had him naked in from of the camera. He said that they were obviously very awkward to do and that you want to make sure that the girl doesn’t feel like you’re taking advantage, “The most important thing is to say, ‘Let’s talk about this.’… You have to say, ‘What lines do you have that you don’t want me to cross? Do you mind if I touch your breasts? Do you not want me to do that? Can I kiss your breasts? Just so you know, I’m not taking advantage here and taking the piss out of this scenario. You let me know what boundaries you’re comfortable working within.’… Yeah, you tell jokes on set and try to make things as relaxed as possible, because to be honest, you want to get in there and go for it immediately. Then it’s going to be over quicker!”
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Director Woody Allen told the New York Times that: “If you have no limits, it does become more difficult because there are so many options. Years ago, you had no options, so you had to come up with a few sophisticated ways to show sex. Now you can virtually do what you want to do, and it becomes more of an esthetic decision, and it becomes tougher… Because you can’t hide behind the fact that they’ll censor you, and you’ve got to come up with something that is ingenious or esthetically pleasing, and you really have no limits to what you want to show.”
Martin Scorsese confessed that he has no real idea on how to approach sex on film anymore: “In the ‘70s, sex was tougher, stronger, I think. Certain things were very powerful, and I mean movies like Five Easy Pieces or Drive… They were so strange. Now, to a certain extent, with the exception of Crash, which I think is an extraordinary movie, and the very powerful way that Breaking the Waves goes about sexuality — there is a kind of scrubbed-clean quality that is not even sensual anymore. They are fake images and fake bodies. How do you shoot a sex scene? What would you do? I personally don’t know how anymore… It really is tougher.”
Amanda Seyfried has got a completely different attitude to sex scenes, saying: “Sex scenes are great. A lot of my co-stars have been sexy guys my age, and so, why not? I’m not going to pretend it’s not fun,” she added that "Justin was great - he had come from doing Friends With Benefits, where he basically had sex every day at work - and so it was easy for both of us." But surprisingly, her favourite scene was her kissing scene with Megan Fox in Jennifer’s Body, she said: “They had an extreme close-up of our tongues, and I'm telling you, the thing about the scene is that it's actually really sexy.”
Justin Timberlake has a completely different take to his co-star Amanda Seyfriend, saying: "It's actually kind of annoying, you're there for 12 hours, it's exhausting…All those scenes revolve around the dialogue and physical humour is so tiring."
When Angelina Jolie hopped behind the camera for In the Land of Blood and Honey, she realised how weird it is to ask people to get naked together and put them in front of a camera and funnily enough she felt like a prude filming it! She said: “You kind of suddenly feel this strange thing of asking people to participate in anything like that because they’re not a real couple…They 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."
Julie Christie has addressed the rumours that the sex scene between herself and Donald Sutherland in Don’t Look Now was actually real, saying that of course they weren’t. She said: “Making love on camera is such hard work that there is no time for the libido to take over.”
Chloe Sevigny says that it is very uncomfortable and thinks that most people would be in the same boat, she said this about them: “I’ve done many explicit sex scenes, but I’m not that interested in doing any more. I’m more self-aware now and wouldn’t be able to be as free, so why even do it?”
Atom Egoyan, the director of Where the Truth Lies, struggled with the MPAA over a few sex scenes in the film. He wrote about this experience in an essay called The Trust of the Idea, saying: “I’m convinced that the best way to shoot a sex scene and make it seem real is to use a master shot — an uninterrupted sequence with no cuts. I wanted to see the bodies. The overwhelming challenge was how to show two (and in this case even more) people having sex without depicting the act of thrusting. By its very nature, sex needs thrusting. More specifically, one part of the body must be in some form of friction with another. This isn’t a very romantic way of thinking about it, but then again the MPAA isn’t a very romantic organization. Their job is to count thrusts, and then decide — depending on the number — who should see the film. Nice work if you can get it.”
Jon Hamm has filmed a fair few sex scenes in his career, he told Playboy that a sex scene is similar to running in the rain, saying: “There’s a certain point when you go, ‘F*** 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.” He talked about his scene with Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids and said: "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.'" Hamm continued. "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 its happening and it's not going to get any better, so you might as well enjoy it."
Jake Kasden directed the movie, Bad Teacher, starring Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake and has called the sex scene in the film: “the most uncomfortable sex scene in history.” Considering the two dated for a couple of years, we can imagine it would be! And Diaz didn’t disagree, saying: "Yes, yes. It was just [an] absurdity, a form of hilarity for all of us involved. We went to work that day and said, 'What time do we start being ridiculous? ... Eight o'clock? Perfect.'"
Anne Hathaway spoke about her sex scene with Jake Gyllenhaal in Love and Other Drugs saying: "There is that revoltingly embarrassing moment when you have to take your clothes off in front of strangers…I mean, I don't go to the beach in a bikini for a reason.” Considering how many times you've bared all we'd have thought you'd be fine with it...
20th Century Fox
Kate Winslet discussed the sex scene with Leonardo Dicaprio in Revolutionary Road, a movie that her husband also happened to be directing her in! “I just kept saying, ‘This is too… weird.’ And Leo was like, ‘Oh, get over it.’ And I’m going, ‘Yeah, a little reminder: You’re my best friend. He’s my husband. This is a bit weird.’I hadn’t realised how much my chemistry with him since Titanic would still stick. It’s great to discover we can just slip right into it, like muscle memory.”
Robert Pattinson found the sex scenes in Breaking Dawn: Part 2 to be pretty bad and awkward (despite doing them with girlfriend Kristen Stewart): "It also can't just be a normal sex scene. It's supposed to be about, like, the greatest vampire sex you've ever had," he said. "So a lot of it was just close ups on me and Kristen's faces, but there was no one else there." He also wondered how they would be able to make it believable considering the film had a PG-13 rating. "It's just trying to think of inventive ways to try to make something sexy…You literally try and give a face of ecstasy...Guys' faces I don't think are really designed to do that, the cameraman was laughing as well." That does sound awkward…