Emma Thompson Says Intimacy Coordinators Are 'Fantastically Important' in Response to Sean Bean

·4 min read
Emma Thompson attends the "Good Luck to You, Leo Grande" Premiere - Sundance Film Festival: London at Picturehouse Central on June 09, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images; Sean Bean attends the "Game Of Thrones" season 8 premiere on April 3, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/FilmMagic)
Emma Thompson attends the "Good Luck to You, Leo Grande" Premiere - Sundance Film Festival: London at Picturehouse Central on June 09, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images; Sean Bean attends the "Game Of Thrones" season 8 premiere on April 3, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/FilmMagic)

Dave J Hogan/Getty; Mike Coppola/FilmMagic

Emma Thompson is making clear her opinion of filming sex scenes after Sean Bean recently made headlines for his criticisms of intimacy coordinators.

The Oscar-winning actress, 63, praised intimacy coordinators as "fantastically important" to productions as she responded Thursday to Bean's criticism on the Fitzy & Wippa radio show on Australia's NovaFM.

"I don't know if you were speaking to someone who found it distracting, but [in] another conversation, you might find that people go, 'It made me comfortable, it made me feel safe, it made me feel as though I was able to do this work,'" Thompson told the radio program.

RELATED: 'Games of Thrones' Alum Sean Bean Thinks Intimacy Coordinators Spoil 'the Spontaneity' of Sex Scenes

"And no, you can't just 'let it flow.' There's a camera there and a crew, it's not on your own in a hotel room. You're surrounded by a bunch of blokes carrying things," Thompson added. "So, it's not a comfortable situation, full stop. So, I don't know who the actor was, but maybe he had an intimacy coordinator accidentally at home."

Bean, 63, argued that having to work with an intimacy coordinator "slows down" the rhythm of sex scenes and that they "spoil the spontaneity" during an interview with The Sunday Times.

West Side Story
West Side Story

20th Century Studios Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler as Tony and Maria in West Side Story

"It would inhibit me more because it's drawing attention to things. Somebody saying, 'Do this, put your hand there, while you touch his thing…'" he explained. "I think the natural way lovers behave would be ruined by someone bringing it right down to a technical exercise."

Thompson previously worked with an intimacy coordinator on her new film Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, in which she plays a retired widow who hires a young sex worker (Daryl McCormack) in hopes of achieving her first orgasm.

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The Game of Thrones alum drew backlash from several Hollywood women, including Jameela Jamil, who rebutted on Twitter: "It should only be technical. It's like a stunt. Our job as actors is to make it not look technical. Nobody wants an impromptu grope..."

Rachel Zegler also chimed in, praising Teniece Divya Johnson and Claire Warden, the intimacy coordinators she worked with on last year's West Side Story remake from Steven Spielberg, in which she starred opposite Ansel Elgort.

Daryl McCormack and Emma Thompson in the film GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE
Daryl McCormack and Emma Thompson in the film GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE

Searchlight Pictures

"Intimacy coordinators establish an environment of safety for actors. I was extremely grateful for the one we had on WSS — they showed grace to a newcomer like myself [plus] educated those around me who've had years of experience," Zegler wrote on Twitter. "Spontaneity in intimate scenes can be unsafe. Wake up."

During Bean's interview, he referenced a sex scene he filmed for TNT's Snowpiercer with costar Lena Hall, noting that the show "cut a bit out actually" and it was "a nice scene, quite surreal, dream-like and abstract. And mango-esque."

"I suppose it depends on the actress. This one had a musical cabaret background, so she was up for anything," Bean added.

RELATED VIDEO: Emma Thompson on Her Powerful Nude Scene and Importance of Accepting 'Our Bodies': 'You Don't Have to Love Them'

Hall, 42, has since responded to the interview on Twitter, writing that although she has performed cabaret, it "does not mean that I am up for anything."

"Sean is an awesome actor and made me feel not only comfortable but also like I had a true acting partner in those bizarre scenes," she wrote. "If I feel comfortable with my scene partner and with others in the room then I won't need an intimacy coordinator. But if there is any part of me that is feeling weird, gross, over-exposed etc... I will either challenge the necessity of the scene or I'll want an IC."

"I do feel that intimacy coordinators are a welcome addition to the set and think they could also help with the trauma experienced in other scenes. Sometimes you need [them], sometimes you don't, but every single person and scene and experience is different," Hall concluded, encouraging her followers to chime in on the conversation.