“Very often, how someone learns about intimacy is through what they see,” intimacy coordinator Ita O’Brien told InsideHook. “That is the medium through which we’re entertaining ourselves, but also reflecting our humanity back to itself. That’s what people feel that they need to aspire to. When it’s so unrealistic, it forms a real schism in how people think they should be and what they think is normal.”
We obviously can’t go back in time and undo the damage wrought by Game of Thrones‘s lack of an intimacy coordinator, but moving forward, we can work towards making the role an industry standard to ensure that actors like Whelan are never made to feel as though their personal boundaries regarding sex and nudity have been violated at work.
Ten years after the premiere of Thrones, HBO is now using intimacy coordinators on all its productions that have intimate scenes (the move was announced in 2018 after Thrones had finished filming its final season); here’s hoping that in another decade, it’ll be an absolute requirement on all film sets.
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