sex-scenes can convince audiences of a glamorous story, but the reality is often very, very poignant.
The art of the sex scene has revolutionized in recent years, with intimacy coaches in high demand to choreograph every move while ensuring the safety of actors.
But the awkwardness that comes with doing a sex scene lingers, and most actors would agree that simulating sex is one of the trickiest tasks in the industry. And the aftermath of shame and nervousness is almost inevitable.
From ‘vag pads’, modest socks and, as Paul Mescal has revealed, a special body gel to mimic fake sweat, the steamy sex scenes audiences watch from the comfort of their cinema seats are not reality for those who play in them.
Most recent TV hits Euphoria† Bridgerton and Normal people have many, many sex scenes. But how do actors react when they think back to filming the scenes, or when they first saw them?
Here are eight scenes that still make the actors cringe:
The Wolf of Wall Street star Margot Robbie was so embarrassed by the sex scenes that she lied to her parents that it was CGI. In one scene, her character Naomi Lapaglia has sex with the film’s protagonist, Jordan Belfort (Leonard DiCaprio) on a bed covered in dollar bills.
“I just lied to my family for a really long time and I said, ‘I don’t care what you hear; there is no nudity; I don’t do nude. Ignore everything anyone says; there is no nudity,’ she said to the Hollywood reporter†
“And then I thought, ‘The movie comes out and they’re going to see there’s nudity,’ so I changed that to, ‘It’s basically a body double and they’ve got my head on someone else’s CGI.’ †
“My family has nothing to do with the entertainment industry… and they said, ‘Can you do that? And I thought, ‘Oh, technology these days. You wouldn’t believe what they’re doing in Hollywood!”
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in the lead Normal people as Connella alongside Daisy Edgar-Jones, Mescal had some hilarious but awkward moments while filming the show. “On the Friday of the first week, Daisy and I had a day of sex scenes and we were covered in this gel called Egyptian Magic.”
“It’s actually fake sweat. We had to switch positions and our bodies were in close contact.”
Normal people first trailer
“When we broke up, it made a really loud fart noise. Me and Daisy started laughing hysterically, but the crew and director all thought one of us farted and was really trying to maintain our dignity,” Mescal said. the mirror†
After mean girls star Amanda Seyfriend played eldest daughter Sarah Hendrickson in HBO’s 2008 series great love, she rewatched the episodes with her parents and felt shocked when her sex scene finally arrived.
“I was sitting there watching it and suddenly it came up with a scene where two people are having sex, and it’s me! Have sex! I just thought, ‘No, no, no!’” she said The Telegraph†
“It was so much more graphic than I remembered. I was shocked.”
TV series girls star Jemima Kirke found performing Orgasms extremely embarrassing, but looking back at it she was proud when it was released in 2012, she says.
“When I do it myself, on set, and I do a real orgasm – not ‘real’, but as I know it, it sounds in real life, because I don’t know how to fake it – I’m ashamed of the cameraman. That’s embarrassing.”
“For some reason, when it’s on TV, I’m proud of it as part of the job,” she told HuffPost†
Actor Christopher Mintz-Plasse who played Fogell (aka McLovin) in Jonah Hill’s Super bad had his mother present while he filmed his sex scene, as he was only 17 years old at the time of his release in 2007.
“It’s definitely awkward, I was actually still a virgin at the time, so I had no idea what I was doing. I was very nervous, very scared and I watch the video village and my mom eats a handful of popcorn and talks to the producers. It was very surreal,” Plasse said on the Rich Eisen show.
In Fifty Shades of grey the film† there were 20 minutes of pure sex, of the 125 minutes running time. And while Dakota Johnson has had quite a few sex scenes starring fifty shades trilogy, she told Interview Magazine they are “not comfortable”.
“It’s quite cumbersome. I’ve been simulating sex for seven hours now and I’m over it.”
Johnson said she was so embarrassed after giving herself whiplash during a scene. “I once had whiplash from him [Jamie Dornan] throw me on the bed; so damn painful,” she told Glamor Magazine†
Titanic star Kate Winslet did sex scenes with Leonardo DiCaprio for the 2008 movie Revolutionary waywhich she’s told as awkward — because her husband Sam Mendes was the director.
“I kept saying, ‘This is too… weird,'” said Winslet, 32. “And Leo said, ‘Oh, get over it.’ And I go, “Yeah, just a little reminder: you’re my best friend. He’s my husband. This is a little weird.”
Peaky Blinders’ Grace Shelby, like many stars, has found navigating the sex scene while watching with her parents is a tortuous experience. “I was in a sex scene,” she explained The Graham Norton Show† “Looking with [my parents] was so uncomfortable and after that my dad said, ‘Well, we know where you got that from! Good girl!'”