She also notes the equality between the on-screen couple, even as the power dynamics shifted throughout the plot. “There’s the idea that Marianne knows her mind and floors him a lot in conversation, therefore arguably she has the power in conversation. But when it comes to intimacy, she feels empowered by the way she feels so open and vulnerable to Connell. That was a really interesting thing to explore.”
Their on-screen chemistry and realistic sex scenes are part of what has drawn such praise for the series, with Ita O’Brien responsible for the intimacy direction. As part of the generation whose experience of the film and TV industry has been mainly in the wake of movements shedding light on the treatment of women, Edgar-Jones is amazed that it wasn’t always the norm.
“You need more protection because it is a stunt, with physical maneuvers that you need to make look realistic – just like in a fight scene,” she explains. “Mentally, it’s a really vulnerable place to put yourself in. You need to feel like you have the control and agency in those moments, so that you can feel relaxed and give a better performance. If we didn’t have Ita, those scenes wouldn’t be nearly as passionate… Paul and I could always speak up if we wanted to.”
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