HBO has a long history of shows with racy sex scenes, like Game of Thrones, True Blood, and most recently The Deuce, and now the network is making the actors and actresses involved with the explicit material more comfortable.
As first reported by Rolling Stone, HBO “has adopted a policy whereby all of its shows and movies with intimate scenes will be staffed with an intimacy coordinator.” The changes are subtle but necessary, and Intimacy Directors International co-founder Alicia Rodis has already made a big difference.
As [The Deuce star Emily] Meade knelt down, a woman named Alicia Rodis, the network’s first-ever “intimacy coordinator,” was within eyeshot, watching the monitor. She had given Meade a pad for her knees, knowing that the hard floor would bruise them otherwise. Between takes, she offered mouth spray and flavored lubricant. And she had spoken with Meade before the scene about her concerns and relayed them to the director. In a moment when Meade was completely exposed, Rodis was there, providing physical, social, and professional protection. (Via)
Rolling Stone describes Rodis (who will also oversee Watchmen and the Deadwood movie) as a “mediator among actors, directors, producers, and crew,” with her priorities split between, among other tasks, reviewing the scripts and updating the cast when a sex scene is a surprise addition to shooting. “If you’re not giving someone a map or an exit or a voice, just asking actors to roll around and get off on each other, are you asking your actors to do sex work? Or tell a story with their movements?” Rodis said. “If your set doesn’t have an intimacy coordinator, at best, you might not be able to tell the story you wanted to tell. At worst, you have actors who are being physically assaulted.”
(Via Rolling Stone)