The chemistry between two actors during a sex scene can be so intense, it almost feels real. After watching a steamy sex scene in a movie, many often wonder how the scene was filmed – were the actors actually having sex on camera? Although requirements for films vary, let’s see what actors have to say about the matter.
Comedian Katherine Ryan said she’d rather have actual sex on camera than to film another fake sex scene in another “cringey” movie. In an interview with Metro UK, Ryan revealed she was mortified when she had to stimulate sex on camera for her show The Duchess; she said doing the actual deed would be less horrifying than the embarrassment she experienced while filming the simulation.
Ryan explained why she wrote that sex scene in: “I felt like you needed to believe in the intimacy of that relationship, so I wrote a sex scene. I just figured it would be fine. It’s so cringey and it takes so long and I’m unprofessional. I just found it difficult. I think it would have been easier to have full sex on camera – then I could really let loose and show my personality . . . But no, I won’t be writing any more sex scenes ever again.”
Honesty is the best policy
Katherine Ryan based The Duchess on her own experience as a single mother; she wanted to focus the show on her relationship with her daughter. She explained:
“Violet was born here. I loved being a single mother. That’s the central relationship in the show. I’m really tired of rom-coms where it’s, “If only I could get a man”. That’s never been my story. I fall in love with them accidentally every now and again. I don’t seek them out, I just want to hang out with my daughter. Those were the most cherished times in my life, when she was little and it was just the two of us.”
She added, “I loved our life so much. Now, she’s getting older and she doesn’t like me that much. That’s what I got a husband for.” Katherine Ryan is currently in a civil partnership with actor Bobby Kootstra, who she had previously dated while living in Canada as a teenager. The pair reconnected when Ryan returned to her hometown while filming an episode of Who Do You Think You Are?.
Not that easy
Real sex scenes may be easier to perform, but what about real sex scenes involving someone you know? The dark comedy Black Monday stars real-life couple Tuc Watkins & Andrew Rannells playing a couple. During an interview with NBC talk show host Seth Meyers, Rannells discussed how the intimate scenes with his significant other differed from those he’s had to do with other co-stars.
Performing a sex scene with your actual partner rather than a random actor seems like an easy task – there’s already real chemistry in the works. However, Rannells explained why sex scenes with his real-life boyfriend, Tuc Watkins, inspired a new type of anxiety.
Considering the crew
“My boyfriend this season is played by my actual boyfriend, Tuc Watkins, so that was also a real treat.” After explaining how the two met, Meyers asked him whether sex scenes became “easier”. Rannells said:
“I would say that the anxiety, it’s a new kind of anxiety. On Girls, I had to do a handful of sex scenes. A few with Corey Stoll, who’s so fantastic. But, we didn’t really know each other, so that was very awkward to sort of figure out, “What are you comfortable with?” and “Is this OK? . . . ”
Although past sex scenes with co-stars were uncomfortable for Rannells, it’s largely up to the director of the scene to define what the intimacy looks like. However, that wasn’t the case with Watkins. Rannells explained:
“So, with Tuc, it was very easy to sort of block it and get into it. But then, when it came time to actually filming it, all of a sudden, I had this realization that I was surrounded by the crew, who had now become friends of mine. And, I thought, I wonder if they’re thinking, ‘So, that’s what it looks like. That’s what they do at home. That’s how they touch each other.’ So, then I got sort of weirdly self-conscious in a different way. But, all that said, it was much easier to do it with somebody that . . . you know . . . ”
Andrew Rannells didn’t enjoy filming intimate scenes with Tuc Watkins as he got too deep into his thoughts and became anxious; however he noted that it was still easier than taking on such scenes with total strangers.
In the end, the preference of performing real sex on camera instead of fake sex scenes varies from actor to actor.