Game of Thrones actor Sean Bean is under fire after complaining about the recent trend of intimacy coordinators being hired on film sets to help actors feel more comfortable and safer during the production of sex scenes.
Adding an intimacy coordinator to a film crew has become far more common since the advent of the "Time's Up" and "#MeToo" movements that exposed Hollywood's behind-the-scenes problems with sexual harassment and assault, including on film sets.
But Bean, who played Ned Stark on the HBO series famous for its graphic depictions of sex and sexual violence, feels intimacy coordinators "inhibit" his performances, telling the UK's Times magazine that they "spoil the spontaneity" of sex scenes.
The job of intimacy coordinators is to ensure that each move and bit of contact in intimate scenes is consensual and comfortable for the actors, and advocating for actors a director's request asks for makes them at all uncomfortable.
In the interview, Bean spoke of the ways he says intimacy coordinators negatively impact his performance. He said:
“It would inhibit me more because it’s drawing attention to things."
"Somebody saying, ‘Do this, put your hands there, while you touch his thing…”
"I think the natural way lovers behave would be ruined by someone bringing it right down to a technical exercise."
When asked by the interviewer about the importance of an intimacy coordinator's role in post-#MeToo Hollywood, particularly for woman, Bean said he thought it depended on the actor in question.
He used as an example his Snowpiercer costar Lena Hall, with whom he recently filmed a graphic sex scene involving, of all things, a mango.
"I suppose it depends on the actress. [Hall] had a musical cabaret background, so she was up for anything.”
Hall herself seems to differ with that take, however. While she praised Bean as an actor and colleague, she clarified how she actually felt about sex scenes and intimacy coordinators in a lengthy Twitter thread.
She also clarified that her own personal desire for an intimacy coordinator is entirely dependent on the costar and the circumstances.
On Twitter, many found Bean's take on the matter ridiculous and irresponsible.
Other actors have also pushed back on Bean's claims, including West Side Story star Rachel Zegler, who tweeted that "spontaneity" in sex scenes can be "unsafe" and urged Bean to "wake up."