Sean Bean recently made headlines when the actor, well known for his death scenes, discussed his views on one of the film’s newest roles, intimacy coordinator. The Game of Thrones actor made some unpopular comments about how an intimacy coordinator makes the scenes feel too “technical” and don’t leave room for spontaneity. Now, the House of the Dragon intimacy coordinator has jumped in to give her own professional opinion on the matter.
In an interview with the Times, ‘the Bean’ stated that having an intimacy coordinator would “inhibit me more because it’s drawing attention to things. Somebody saying, ‘Do this, put your hands there, while you touch his thing…” He brought up one of his more romantic films from the past, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, as a comparison where he said the intimate scenes there were “spontaneous” and a “joy” to film claiming he and the actress had “good chemistry”. Many were quick to blast him, including other actors, who have found that in the wake of the #MeToo movement, knowing where the boundaries keep people, especially women, safe.
Now, House of the Dragon‘s intimacy coordinator has spoken out about why there is a need for their role on set. Miriam Lucia has been kept busy in her role having worked on many other productions as well including HBO’s The White Lotus season two and The Nevers as well as movies such as Catherine called Birdy and Havoc. During a recent interview with Deadline, she discussed the negativity that came with Game of Thrones’ gratuitous sexual violence as well as responding to Bean’s comments.
With the backlash that came from the overly violent sex in Game of Thrones, the prequel has been careful not to make the same mistakes, with Lucia saying, “what you get on House Of The Dragon is not only a production team that are sensitive to that, but you get a cast that is very aware of it and careful about what they will agree to. That precedent had been set.” She understands that her role is still a new one and older actors may find it a little confusing.
“It was an open discussion because some actors — some of the older actors in particular — had never worked with an intimacy coordinator before, and that’s odd for them, too. They don’t really know what you do, or whether you’re there to police them. I’ve had comments on other shows from older actors who are nervous about me being there, thinking that I’m somehow watching what they’re doing. That’s not my job. My job is to ensure that there’s a safe environment.”
Talking about Bean’s recent comments, Lucia understands where the older actor is coming from but that she is there to make things safe, “I get why he said that, because he doesn’t have the same experience of it, and because this is a new function on sets.” She states that she loves the actor, and praises his work in his recent series Marriage but also adds, “I just think he is a man of a certain age, who has been in this industry for a very long time, and he doesn’t have an experience of the other side. Or maybe he’s had a bad experience of working with an intimacy coordinator.”
Trained as an actor herself, she refutes the idea that the act becomes technical and uncreative when her role is introduced,
“I think it helps to enable the creative process, because I think once you’ve worked out what the actors are comfortable with in terms of touch and consent, and what the movements are going to be, then you add the emotion to it. And then you find the freedom, because you’re not scrambling and fumbling and trying to find it there and then in the moment.”
She claims that it’s the actor’s role to make something that isn’t spontaneous look spontaneous, whether that’s delivering lines, epic fight scenes, or yes, in this case, sex scenes. As an older actor, this new way of doing things may weird Bean out, but he better get on board, because as movie sets are moving forward to make things safer for everyone it looks like intimacy coordinators, like Lucia, are necessary, and here to stay.