Emma Thompson defends 'fantastically important' intimacy co-ordinators following claims they 'spoil the spontaneity' of sex scenes

Emma Thompson defends intimacy co-ordinators following Sean Bean's recent comments that they ruin the flow of sex scenes

Emma Thompson defends intimacy co-ordinators
(Image credit: Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Staff/ Getty Images)

Emma Thompson defended intimacy co-ordinators in a new podcast interview and said that they are fundamental to helping her actually do her work. 

Emma Thompson recently starred in the sex-positive film Good Luck to You, Leo Grande. The plot focuses on Dame Emma who plays widow named Nancy who wants to experience real sexual pleasure and hires a male sex worker. The film contains a number of sex scenes and while promoting this film, Emma has spoken frequently about the importance of intimacy co-ordinators who help to make these scenes as comfortable as possible for the actors involved.

Speaking on a podcast with Fitzy and Wippa (opens in new tab), Emma Thompson said that intimacy co-ordinators are 'fantastically important'. She explained, "You might find that people go, 'It made me feel comfortable, it made me feel safe, it made me feel as though I was able to do this work.'"

"And no, you can't just let it flow," said Emma. "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."

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

Emma Thompson in Good Luck to You, Leo Grande 

(Image credit: Louise Jackson/Nick Hall )

These comments from Emma were triggered because the hosts asked her about the  recent statement from Sean Bean who recently claimed that intimacy co-ordinators ruined the 'thrust of' creating a sex scene.

Speaking toThe Times (opens in new tab), Sean said, "I should imagine it slows down the thrust of it. Ha, not the thrust, that’s the wrong word." He laughed and added, "It would spoil the spontaneity."

"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…' I think the natural way lovers behave would be ruined by someone bringing it right down to a technical exercise," said the actor.

Sean Bean

Sean Bean

(Image credit: Danny Martindale / Contributor / Getty Images)

The importance of intimacy co-ordinators has been discussed by at length in recent months, and the comments from Sean Bean have frustrated a number of actors who believe that professionals co-ordinating the intimate sex scenes are fundamental to their work. 

Star of West Side Story, Rachel Zegler, said in response to Sean Bean's comments, "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 + educated those around me who’ve had years of experience. spontaneity in intimate scenes can be unsafe. wake up."

See more

"Of all the newer positions in the film industry, the one I’m the most grateful for are intimacy coordinators. If they’re doing their job right - and all the ones I’ve worked with have - they simply make sure everyone is on the same page - the director & all actors involved," said actor James Gunn.

Reneé Rapp who starred in the Sex Life of College Girls and Mean Girls on Broadway said on Twitter, "This is a harmful ass statement. they’re vital to our safety. without our intimacy coordinator I would be wildly uncomfortable. not only does she make sure our set is safe and we are protected but she makes sure all parties are// and communicated with."

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty, and fashion news, and loves to cover anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.


Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.