Before the series premiere of Euphoria, the show’s star Zendaya posted the following message on her Instagram: “Just a reminder before tonight’s premiere, that Euphoria is for mature audiences. It’s raw and honest portrait of addiction, anxiety, and the difficulties of navigating life today. There are scenes that are graphic, hard to watch, and can be triggering. Please only watch if you feel you can handle it. Do what’s best for you. I will still love you and feel your support.” She wasn’t kidding — Euphoria was as explicit as expected; there’s a sex scene involving choking and another, as actor Eric Dane (McSteamy from Grey’s Anatomy) put it, “very difficult to shoot” scene where a 17-year-old trans girl, played by Hunter Schafer, gets raped. And that’s just in the pilot episode.
All of the boundary-pushing show is “difficult” to shoot, in fact, as Euphoria creator Sam Levinson (director Barry’s son) explained to the Hollywood Reporter. When discussing the on-set intimacy coordinator, who’s there to make the actors feel comfortable and provide them with a “safe environment,” he went into some of the “legalities” HBO has in place for filming sex scenes:
“There’s funny legalities. Like, ‘Oh they’re not allowed to hook up in the front seat, the rider says that they can only hook up in the back seat.’ So if two people are kissing in the front seat of a car and it’s, like, heavy petting or something, [intimacy coordinator Amanda Blumenthal] would be like, ‘Sam, you have to cut.’ I’m like, ‘Why? They’re supposed to hook up.’ And she’s like, ‘Well, the rider says for the back seat, not the front seat.’ Just the way HBO legal would do the contracts, it’s very specific as to what you can show and what you can’t show [based on] how it’s written in the script.”
Levinson noted that there are “so many of these kind of technicalities” that he likes having an intimacy coordinator around so “I don’t have to deal with them.” As for Blumenthal, she’s previously said that she’s “always thinking about how to make sure that we’re honoring the actor’s wishes and boundaries and still getting the shot and telling the story,” whether in the front or back seat of a car.
(Via Hollywood Reporter)