Sean Bean faces backlash for saying intimacy coaches spoil sex scenes

Sean Bean, 63, is told to ‘wake up’ as he is criticised by West Side Story’s Rachel Zegler and Jameela Jamil after saying intimacy coaches ‘ruin’ Hollywood sex scenes

  • Sean Bean, 63, criticised for saying intimacy co-ordinators ‘ruin’ sex scenes 
  • Jameela Jamil and West Side Story’s Rachel Zegler hit out at his comments 
  • He said intimacy coaches spoil spontaneity and reduce it to ‘a technical exercise’

Sean Bean has come under fire for saying intimacy co-ordinators ‘ruin’ Hollywood sex scenes by spoiling the spontaneity and reducing it to ‘a technical exercise’.

The Game of Thrones star, 63, was criticised by British actress Jameela Jamil and West Side Story’s Rachel Zegler, from New Jersey, after making the comments in a recent interview with The Times.

Intimacy coaches were largely introduced to protect actresses after the #MeToo campaign and have played a key role in creating sizzling sex scenes for hit dramas including Bridgerton and Normal People.

Hitting back at Bean’s remarks, Zegler wrote on Twitter: ‘Intimacy co-ordinators establish an environment of safety for actors,’ adding that the Sheffield native needed to ‘wake up’.

She said: ‘I was extremely grateful for the one we had on [West Side Story] – they showed grace to a newcomer like myself and educated those around me who’ve had years of experience. Spontaneity in intimate scenes can be unsafe.’


Sean Bean (pictured right in his upcoming series Marriage) has come under fire for saying intimacy co-ordinators ‘ruin’ Hollywood sex scenes by spoiling the spontaneity and reducing it to ‘a technical exercise’

The Game of Thrones star, 63, was criticised by British actress Jameela Jamil and West Side Story’s Rachel Zegler (pictured), from New Jersey, after making the comments in a recent interview with The Times

Hitting back at Bean’s remarks, Zegler wrote on Twitter: ‘Intimacy co-ordinators establish an environment of safety for actors,’ adding that the Sheffield native needed to ‘wake up’.

Meanwhile, Jamil added: ‘It should only be technical. It’s like a stunt. Our job as actors is to make it not look technical. Nobody wants an impromptu grope…’ 

Bean, who has filmed many explicit sex scenes throughout his career, said: ‘I should imagine it slows down the thrust of it. Ha, not the thrust, that’s the wrong word. 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.’

Bean’s most notable sex scene was with Joely Richardson in a 1993 adaptation of DH Lawrence’s novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

He said: ‘Lady Chatterley was spontaneous. It was joy. We had a good chemistry between us, and we knew what we were doing was unusual because she was married, I was married.

Meanwhile, Jamil added: ‘It should only be technical. It’s like a stunt. Our job as actors is to make it not look technical. Nobody wants an impromptu grope…’

 Bean’s most notable sex scene was with Joely Richardson in a 1993 adaptation of DH Lawrence’s novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover (pictured)

‘But we were following the story. We were trying to portray the truth of what DH Lawrence wrote.’

Sex-scene coaches are mandatory at the BBC and have been praised by actresses including Daisy Edgar-Jones, who starred in the daring 2020 BBC adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People.

Edgar-Jones has previously said having an intimacy coach was ‘brilliant’ because it was their job ‘to worry about how [the sex scenes] would work and we just turned up, did the choreography and carried on’.

But Bean said the importance of intimacy consultants ‘depends on the actress’. 

He referenced American actor Lena Hall, who filmed a nude scene with him in Snowpiercer, and claimed she ‘was up for anything’ because of her musical cabaret background.

Lena Hall spoke out in a Twitter thread soon after the interview was published, explaining that she needed ‘to clarify some information in this random article’ (pictured)

However, Lena spoke out in a Twitter thread soon after the interview was published, explaining that she needed ‘to clarify some information in this random article’.

‘Just because I am in theatre (not cabaret, but I do perform them every once in a while) does not mean that I am up for anything,’ she wrote. 

‘Seriously does depend on the other actor, the scene we are about to do, the director, and whatever crew has to be in there to film it.

‘Sean is an awesome actor and made me feel not only comfortable but also like I had a true acting partner in those bizarre scenes.’

She continued: ‘If I feel comfortable with my scene partner and with others in the room then I won’t need an intimacy coordinator.

‘But if there is any part of me that is feeling weird, gross, over exposed etc… I will either challenge the necessity of the scene or I’ll want an [intimacy coordinator].’

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