In the new Hulu series Conversations with Friends, Alison Oliver and her co star Joe Alwyn spark an onscreen chemistry too intense to ignore.
Walk me through what it was like working with your intimacy coordinator. How do you make those scenes feel as real as they do in the books?
AO: There’s a brilliant system in place for it, where [intimacy coordinator Ita O’Brien] will come into a rehearsal with us. We’ll discuss the scene: What’s the trajectory, and what’s the quality of intimacy? And why is it happening? It’s a continuation of dialogue, in a sense. It just becomes physical. So, from the get-go, [sex scenes] were presented to us as you would do a stunt and you’d choreograph that. We’d rehearse it loads. Ita would come in and suggest—Lenny would always talk about them as “shapes,” making different “shapes.” She would try out different ones, and then we’d copy her.
JA: Lenny always spoke about the [sex scenes] as extensions of conversations. They weren’t just there for the sake of it. Obviously, they’re funny and awkward things at the beginning. But once you get over that and you’re working with people you trust—and Lenny’s in the room, and Lenny is hilarious. You would want him on set in any scene.
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