There’s so much repressed aggression released in their hookup scene that it begins as a literal, physical fight. How did you and Connor Swindells approach filming that? Also, I have to ask, did you actually spit in each other’s faces?
No. [Laughs.] We blocked that really carefully and mimed the spitting, then we’d cut and add artificial spit to our cheeks. It does look real, but we were very cautious of trying to be as respectful of each other as possible. On Sex Education, we had an intimacy director, Ita O’Brien, who was there to give us guidance with those scenes. Before we started filming, we had an intimacy workshop. The whole cast and crew was there. Everybody gave examples of sex scenes they’d done before and we had great conversations about how those made them feel. We had conversations about consent and feeling comfortable with your sex scenes. Then we moved on to [laughs] emulating the mating rhythms of snails, lions, dogs, and more. It was very physical work!
We all got to know each other very quickly in that workshop, but it was great because it meant that by the time we got to shooting that scene, the walls had already been broken down. Ita was also on set for it and every sex scene. Before the scene, we choreographed it. It’s literally like a dance. We’d agree between us about where we could touch, how long we’d kiss, and then have those counts in our head when we filmed it. We felt very taken-care-of, so shooting that scene became like another day at the office.