The British actor spoke to Insider ahead of the release of Netflix's new adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's seminal novel, in which he plays the role of Oliver Mellors, the taciturn but tender working-class gamekeeper who embarks on a passionate affair with his employer's wife, Lady Constance Chatterley (Emma Corrin).
Staying true to the story's erotic nature, the film features several intimate scenes between the two, culminating in a euphoric sequence in which they dance completely naked in the rain.
Full-frontal nudity was required of the actor and his costar, and O'Connell said that such scenes were only possible thanks to the help of "fantastic" intimacy coordinator and movement director Ita O'Brien, who previously worked on the BBC/Hulu series "Normal People."
Noting that it was his "first experience" of working with someone who has been specifically employed on set to facilitate the filming of sex scenes, he said he was glad to have them there.
"I think that it is necessary," he told Insider. "To have someone who's officially appointed to oversee that everyone is comfortable, I think it is vital."
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