Sean Bean Criticizes Intimacy Coordinators, Snowpiercer Co-Star Lena Hall Responds

Changes in the way movies and television shows are produced in recent years has brought about the introduction of intimacy coordinators. These are crew members hired specifically to monitor any and all intimate scenes involving actors to ensure that everyone involved remains safe and comfortable. In 2018, HBO announced a new policy of employing intimacy coordinators for every project with intimate scenes.

Actor Sean Bean, as someone who starred in HBO’s Game of Thrones during its first season, is quite familiar with intimacy in fiction. Speaking with Times Magazine (via Variety), Bean recently criticized the inclusion of intimacy coordinators on the set. The actor remarked that what they do can “spoil the spontaneity” of these scenes, suggesting that it can make the moment feel more awkward and less natural. Bean recalls his experience filming 1993’s Lady Chatterly with Joely Richard as an example.


“It would inhibit me more because it’s drawing attention to things. Somebody saying, ‘Do this, put your hands 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. Lady Chatterly was spontaneous. It was a joy. We had a good chemistry between us, and we knew what we were doing was unusual. Because she was married, I was married. But we were following the story. We were trying to portray the truth of what DH Lawrence wrote.”

In the interview, Bean also touched on an intimate scene he shared with Lena Hall in the second season of Snowpiercer. Bean appeared to be disappointed with the censorship of the scene, which oddly had a literal mango playing a key role, suggesting a lot of great material had gotten axed.

“I think they cut a bit out actually. Often the best work you do, where you’re trying to push the boundaries, and the very nature of it is experimental, gets censored when TV companies or the advertisers say it’s so much. It’s a nice scene, quite surreal, dream-like and abstract. And mango-esque.”

But when asked directly how he feels about intimacy coordinators potentially protecting actors from misconduct, Bean said that it might depend upon the performer. He noted that his Snowpiercer scene was not a problem for Hall.

“I suppose it depends on the actress. This one had a musical cabaret background, so she was up for anything.”

Related: Game of Thrones: Every Major House in Westeros, Ranked


With her name personally coming up in this conversation, Lena Hall has weighed in on the situation. While Hall praised Bean as an actor and agreed she had no issues in filming any scenes with him specifically, she takes exception to the comment that she was “up for anything.” In a lengthy Twitter thread, which you can read in full below, Hall clarified that how she feels about intimate scenes depends upon a variety of factors, and that they just so happened to be met for her role in Snowpiercer.

I probably need to clarify some information in this random article since people are reaching out to me like “girl, are you ok?”

  • The infamous mango scene wasn’t a naked scene. I was “naked” (but not really naked) in the bathtub/suicide scene (which I guess is in that same moment) but Sean Bean was in the bathtub fully clothed in a tuxedo.
  • Just because I am in theater (not cabaret, but I do perform them every once in a while) does not mean that I am up for anything. 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. It was us against the world and we were gonna tell that story.
  • 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 IC.
  • I feel that when an actor has to do a scene that is extremely emotional (like committing suicide or being raped) there needs be some kind of mental health person available to talk to post shoot. Even though we are only acting we are still experiencing trauma.
  • I feel that when an actor has to do a scene that is extremely emotional (like committing suicide or being raped) there needs be some kind of mental health person available to talk to post shoot. Even though we are only acting we are still experiencing trauma.
  • Meanwhile, other actors have been firing back at Bean for making these remarks. West Side Story’s Rachel Zegler tweeted that she was “extremely grateful” for having an intimacy coordinator on the set of the Steven Spielberg film, adding that spontaneity “can be unsafe.” There are others echoing this opinion on social media as well, which may end up having Bean rethinking his stance on the subject.

    You can view the original article HERE.

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