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Aimee-Lou Wood: We had an intimacy coordinator there all the time – she was so helpful. And there were conversations going on for weeks, so you were kind of ready for it when it happened. It was well prepared, those scenes felt the most cathartic and the most rewarding. I was probably more prepared for the sex scenes than I was for any other scenes. It was harder to do just talking..
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“I believe there is always another way to do a scene where no one is vulnerable, so I tell them their ‘no’ is a gift.” . . .
To do so, Netflix relies on a crew of writers, directors and producers who’ve brought a keen sense of fluid, inclusive teenage sexuality to a series about a 16-year-old son of a sex therapist, Otis (Asa Butterfield), and his enterprising friend Maeve (Emma Mackey). Together they team up to give sex advice to their perpetually inflamed cohort at Moordale Secondary School. (Ncuti Gatwa and Gillian Anderson round out the show’s stellar leading cast.)
But scenes like the one between Hewkin and Newmark unravel seamlessly, thanks particularly to the show’s intimacy coordinator Ita O’Brien, who works with the actors before, during and after their sex scenes to ensure that standards of safety are met and that the delightfully complicated choreography is performed efficiently.
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There’s so much repressed aggression released in their hookup scene that it begins as a literal, physical fight. How did you and Connor Swindells approach filming that? Also, I have to ask, did you actually spit in each other’s faces?
No. [Laughs.] We blocked that really carefully and mimed the spitting, then we’d cut and add artificial spit to our cheeks. It does look real, but we were very cautious of trying to be as respectful of each other as possible. On Sex Education, we had an intimacy director, Ita O’Brien, who was there to give us guidance with those scenes. Before we started filming, we had an intimacy workshop. The whole cast and crew was there. Everybody gave examples of sex scenes they’d done before and we had great conversations about how those made them feel. We had conversations about consent and feeling comfortable with your sex scenes. Then we moved on to [laughs] emulating the mating rhythms of snails, lions, dogs, and more. It was very physical work!
We all got to know each other very quickly in that workshop, but it was great because it meant that by the time we got to shooting that scene, the walls had already been broken down. Ita was also on set for it and every sex scene. Before the scene, we choreographed it. It’s literally like a dance. We’d agree between us about where we could touch, how long we’d kiss, and then have those counts in our head when we filmed it. We felt very taken-care-of, so shooting that scene became like another day at the office.
Franceinfo- "Sex Education", "The Deuce"... Comment les "coordinatrices d'intimité" révolutionnent le tournage des scènes de sexe à l'ère de #MeToo
Click h"On avait littéralement une chorégraphie. On chronométrait. 'Tu fais ça pendant sept secondes. Ensuite ça...' C'était comme une danse." Réalistes, fluides, parfois drôles : les scènes de sexe de la série Sex Education, visible sur Netflix depuis le 11 janvier, ont été saluées par la critique et les spectateurs. Elles occupent une place importante dans cette série où un lycéen, inexpérimenté mais fils d'une sexologue, guide ses camarades dans la découverte de la sexualité. Leur réussite tient en partie à la "chorégraphie", que décrit l'actrice Emma Mackey, issue du travail avec une coach au rôle presque inédit : une "coordinatrice d'intimité".ere to edit. . .
The New York Times - How to Make Sex Scenes Natural and Nonthreatening? Cue the ‘Intimacy Coordinator’
It’s interesting that it was so comfortable, because I imagine it could potentially have gotten really awkward. What were your sex scenes like?
It was ultimately quite fun. When you’re doing intimacy scenes, it’s a closed set and you’ve only got the key people there, so that takes the pressure off because you haven’t got like 80 people looking at you having sex. But it was all so well-handled — we had an intimacy workshop way before filming, where we spoke about our worries and any questions we might have. . .
The Telegraph - Sex Education, Netflix review - an addictive teen comedy drama with empathy, wisdom - and a hip soundtrack
Few TV series are as likely to cause such a stir this year as Sex Education. This addictive new comedy drama from Laurie Nunn which was written as a love letter to those American High School movies such as John Hughes’s The Breakfast Club.
Be warned – with sex both shown and discussed in graphic detail, the series is not suitable for younger teenagers. The programme makers hired an "intimacy coordinator" in order to make the young cast (several barely out of their teens) feel safe as regards the many explicit scenes . . .