Lenny has directed a second TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Conversations With Friends, which airs next Wednesday on Rte One.
The ‘Room’ director who previously found global success with Normal People opened up about filming sex scenes – saying having Intimacy coordinator Ita O’Brien on set helped make actors more comfortable.
He told us: “I think we have all heard stories from actors who haven’t had good experiences on set. Not necessarily abusive but situations where people feel uncomfortable and not supported.
“There was a feeling the industry had to clean up its act around a lot of this stuff. "Normal People was the first show of scale where an intimacy co-ordinator was used. I think the danger is, if you’re a renowned director that’s a bit older than the cast, as an example, you might say what you want to happen in this scene to a young actor.
“And maybe the actor doesn’t feel comfortable but doesn’t want to upset you? You don’t want people to feel like I’d better do it because I don’t want to upset. I have worked with actors who can tell stories about how it’s been. Directors who have said look I’m embarrassed to talk about this to the actors.
“You guys figure it out. That’s way too much pressure on two actors who may not know each other very well".
However having Intimacy co-ordinator Ita on set helped actors have comfortable conversations about sex scenes while filming Conversations With Friends.
Lenny said: "I have been always very tentative about approaching those scenes. Having an intimacy co-ordinator just provides a way of talking which gets past that. "Separately who is really encouraging the actors to be complexly candid about what they might feel good about doing.
“Then because nobody is feeling awkward or embarrassed it allows you to do good work. The actors are lending their bodies to the making of these shapes.
“On a practical level too, an intimacy co-ordinator knows about every form of padding and cover up on set which is good for the crew as well who could feel embarrassment".
More . . .