Normal People actor reveals exactly how the cast filmed the show’s intimate scenes

normal people paul mescal explains sex scenes
(Image credit: Getty)

Normal People actor Paul Mescal has opened up on filming the show’s intimate scenes.

The BBC drama, which follows lovelorn couple Connell and Marianne as they navigate the ups and downs of life and relationships, has been a hit of the network, delivering BBC Three its best week ever with over 16 million iPlayer requests since its launch.

Based on the bestselling Sally Rooney book, the show conveys the young couple’s real relationship leaving viewers in equal fits of nostalgia, hope and heartbreak.

And in the spirit of communicating a real relationship, the series surprises viewers with a number of intimate (and very nude) sex scenes.

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So actor Paul Mescal, who plays one half of the couple Connell, has revealed exactly how he and fellow romantic protagonist Daisy Edgar-Jones filmed the awkward scenes, opening up on what it felt like to be filmed stark naked.

Revealing how the team filmed the many intimate scenes, Paul told Mr Porter, “We would discuss the scene and then Ita [O’Brien, intimacy coordinator] would block what we had discussed, so it wasn’t mine or Daisy’s responsibility to decide what was appropriate.

“You’re told what to do. It’s freeing!”.

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“On the first Friday of the first week, we had a full day of sex scenes,” he recalled, adding of his nerves, “It’s fair to say we were both incredibly nervous. That Thursday, I didn’t sleep”.

The star also opened up on how he felt about his nude scenes, saying, “I’m not concerned about it because I made a choice that this project is something that I’m proud of – well, on paper, that makes sense.”

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“The closer I’m getting to people seeing me fully nude on screen – it does make me slightly nervous,” he added.

He also explained why he thought the scenes were important, saying, “You see loads of TV shows and films that have been really quite good, but you don’t buy the chemistry at the centre of the relationship”.

Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is a digital shopping writer at woman&home—so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows what the best buys are at any moment. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 and has since worked with a number of brands including Women's Health, Stylist and Goodto. A year on the w&h news team gained her invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first—as well as an AOP awards nomination.