Celebrities have varying degrees of comfort in front of the camera, especially when it comes to filming a scene where partial or full nudity is required.
“White Lotus” actress Sydney Sweeney has vowed to continue doing nude scenes as they have given her confidence to love her body just as it is, while “The Dropout” star Amanda Seyfried admitted earlier this month that she used to feel pressured into getting undressed at the beginning of her career.
For Sweeney, who has filmed many intimate scenes as Cassie Howard on Sam Levinson’s “Euphoria,” an intimacy coordinator would be on set to make sure the actress was supported and comfortable throughout filming any scenes.
Dr. Jessica Steinrock, a certified Intimacy Coordinator registered with SAG-AFTRA, exclusively told Fox News Digital that the need for intimacy coordinators in the industry is only going to continue to grow as viewers embrace the range of storytelling offered on streaming networks versus cable television.
“This is a relatively new role. It really hit its stride kind of in 2018 when HBO made their commitment to having an intimacy coordinator on all their film sets,” she said. “An intimacy coordinator is there to provide safety and framework for scenes of intimacy. Those are scenes of simulated sex, simulated genital contact, or scenes of nudity.”
In the wake of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, safety of actors on set was recognized and intimacy coordinators have become a part of a production, according to Steinrock, who noted that intimacy coordinators “have always been necessary” for cast and crews.
In July, Sweeney spoke on the many nude scenes she’s filmed for the HBO show, telling The Hollywood Reporter, “People forget that I’m playing a character, they think, ‘Oh, she gets naked onscreen, she’s a sex symbol.'”
“And I can’t get past that. I have no problems with those scenes, and I won’t stop doing them, but I wish there was an easier way to have an open conversation about what we’re assuming about actors in the industry.”
Sweeney has previously pushed Levinson to cut unnecessary nude scenes, to which he willingly obliged.
“There are moments were [my character] Cassie was supposed to be shirtless and I would tell Sam, ‘I don’t really think that’s necessary here,’” the 24-year-old explained. “He was like, ‘OK, we don’t need it.’ I’ve never felt like Sam has pushed it on me or was trying to get a nude scene into an HBO show. When I didn’t want to do it, he didn’t make me.”
“Euphoria” has intimacy coordinators on set, however, Sweeney said in a January interview with The Independent that she’s had terrible experiences with other acting roles and wanted to “scrub myself raw” and felt “disgusting” after filming a difficult scene.
“I didn’t feel comfortable with my castmate or the crew, and I just didn’t feel like my character would be doing it. That made me even more self-conscious. I didn’t feel like I was able to speak up,” Sweeney said.
Seyfried also recently shared a similar statement, saying she felt obligated to do nude scenes at a young age just to keep working in the entertainment industry.
“Being 19, walking around without my underwear on — like, are you kidding me? How did I let that happen?” Seyfried told Porter in August. “Oh, I know why: I was 19, and I didn’t want to upset anybody, and I wanted to keep my job. That’s why.”
The Emmy Award-nominated actress said she came out of the #MeToo era “pretty unscathed” despite having to deal with harsh male attention, especially from her role in “Mean Girls” when she was 18 years old and her character, Karen, could forecast changes in the weather through her chest.
“I always felt really grossed out by that,” she told Marie Clare in May of the attention she received from men. “I was like 18 years old. It was just gross.”
Steinrock said these kinds of stories aren’t “uncommon” from industry professionals, unfortunately, but is proud of the people willing to share their experiences in hopes for a better future on set.
“I think that says a lot to our current cultural climate and its willingness to really look closely at the role of the intimacy coordinator and embrace the role of the intimacy coordinator that folks are able to share those stories really vulnerably,” she said.
Steinrock told Fox News Digital that intimacy coordinators – which are not required on set but follow rules outlined by SAG-AFTRA – operate similarly to stunt coordinators in that they “help set movements” and “ensure consent” from all parties involved on screen.
“We help make sure the story looks good, and that we’re telling the story we want to tell,” Steinrock said. “And then the actors put their artistry on top of it and let that story flourish.”
Minka Kelly is another actress who also recently spoke out about setting a few boundaries. She works alongside Sweeney on “Euphoria,” and told creator Sam Levinson that she wasn’t comfortable with a nude scene written for her character Samantha.
“[Levinson] thought it would be more interesting if my dress fell to the ground,” Kelly told Vanity Fair. “That was my first day as a guest on this new show, and I just didn’t feel comfortable standing there naked.”
“I said, ‘I’d love to do this scene, but I think we can keep my dress on,’” she said.
“He was like, ‘OK!’” said Kelly. “He didn’t even hesitate. And he shot a beautiful scene and got exactly what he wanted.”
Meanwhile, “Game of Thrones” star Sean Bean decried coordinators on set, saying they spoiled the spontaneity in sex scenes. Academy Award winner Emma Thompson responded to Bean’s comment where she noted intimacy coordinators are “fantastically important.”
“Intimacy coordinators are fantastically important, and I don’t know [if] you were speaking to somebody who found it distracting but another conversation you might find 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 said after being asked a question about Bean during an appearance on the “Fitzy & Wippa” radio show.
“So intimacy coordinators are the most fantastic introduction in our work. And no, you can’t just ‘let it flow.’ There’s a camera there and a crew. You’re not on your own in a hotel room, you’re surrounded by a bunch of blokes, mostly. So it’s not a comfortable situation full stop.”
She added, seemingly unaware that Bean had many any comments about coordinators: “So I don’t know who the actor was, but maybe he had an intimacy coordinator accidentally at home.”
Steinrock was overwhelmed to hear such praise for a position she’s been fighting for on production sets, especially from an Oscar winner.
“I think Emma Thompson is one of the greatest actors of our day and age, so to hear that from her is truly exciting and heartwarming,” she said. “So many people look up to her, so to hear her speak that way I think does a great service to newer actors who might feel cautious about embracing that role because they don’t want to get into what they might have imagined as a debate.”