Emma Thompson on Sean Bean's intimacy coordinator comments: 'No, you can't just let it flow'

·2 min read
Emma Thompson on Sean Bean's intimacy coordinator comments: 'No, you can't just let it flow'

Emma Thompson, and several other actresses, pushed back on Sean Bean's recent comments on intimacy coordinators.

During an appearance on Australia's Fitzy & Wippa radio show, Thompson was asked what she made of the Game of Thrones actor's claim that intimacy coordinators "spoil the spontaneity" of sex scenes.

"I don't know if you were speaking to someone who found it distracting," Thompson said, "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.' "


Searchlight Pictures Daryl McCormack and Emma Thompson in 'Good Luck to You, Leo Grande'

"So intimacy coordinators are the most fantastic introduction in our work. And no, you can't just 'let it flow,' " Thompson continued. "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. So, it's not a comfortable situation, full stop."

Thompson then joked, "So, I don't know who the actor was, but maybe he had an intimacy coordinator accidentally at home."

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Bean said the coordinators reduce "the natural way lovers behave" into a "technical excercise."

"It would inhibit me more because it's drawing attention to things," he said. "Somebody saying, 'Do this, put your hands there while you touch his thing.' "

Several actors spoke out against Bean's comments including Jameela Jamil and West Side Story star Rachel Zegler.

"Intimacy coordinators establish an environment of safety for actors," she tweeted. "I was extremely grateful for the one we had on [West Side Story] — they showed grace to a newcomer like myself + educated those around me who've had years of experience."

"Spontaneity in intimate scenes can be unsafe," she added. "Wake up."

Despite her pro-intimacy coordinator stance, Thompson and her Good Luck to You, Leo Grande co-star actually eschewed having one in their film about the relationship between a widow and the sex worker she hires.

"Intimacy coordinators are really important, and their work is so valuable and so useful and needed," McCormack told Variety, "but at the same time, we were able to come to each other and go, 'What do you think is going to best serve our relationship with this?' And we just found that out of the safety and out of the connection that we had already found. It felt real exciting to us to actually build that ourselves with the director."

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