As expected, prequel series House of the Dragon is quickly following in the footsteps of its parent show Game of Thrones in terms of its graphic sex scenes. Miriam Lucia, the intimacy coordinator in charge of filming sex scenes in House of the Dragon has responded to Game of Thrones alum, Sean Bean’s criticism of the job.
In August, Sean Bean made headlines after he publicly criticized the role intimacy coordinators play in the filming of sex scenes. In his comments, Bean said that “the natural way lovers behave would be ruined by someone bringing it down to a technical exercise.” He went on to say the work of intimacy coordinators spoil the “spontaneity of a sex scene” mocking the intimacy coordinators who tell him “Do this, put your hand there, while you touch this thing”.
In an interview with Deadline, Miriam Lucia in response to Bean’s criticism said that despite her admiration for his work as an actor, he is from a different era and intimacy coordinators don’t take away from the creative process of sex scenes but instead, enables it. Read her full comment below;
“It was good to hear that following on from Sean Bean’s comments about how intimacy coordinators ruin spontaneity. But I get why he said that, because he doesn’t have the same experience of it, and because this is a new function on sets. People don’t really know what it is that we do. Some question why we’re there. It can still be weird for people who wonder if I’m checking up on whether they’re adhering to the rules of a closed set. But often my work has been done beforehand behind the scenes, talking to the director, the producer, the actors, even lawyers if necessary, in terms of waivers and things that need to happen. And if there’s an issue or a change, or something becomes physically uncomfortable, or mentally uncomfortable, we shift it, but at that point, the work has largely been done, and hopefully it’s seamless. We need to be ready for the shoot date but also to know there won’t be any ugly surprises…I love him as an actor, and I’ve just watched Marriage: he’s great in that. I just think he is a man of a certain age, who has been in this industry for a very long time, and he doesn’t have an experience of the other side. Or maybe he’s had a bad experience of working with an intimacy coordinator. All I would say is that in my experience so far, I don’t think it gets in the way of the creative process. I think it helps to enable the creative process, because I think once you’ve worked out what the actors are comfortable with in terms of touch and consent, and what the movements are going to be, then you add the emotion to it. And then you find the freedom, because you’re not scrambling and fumbling and trying to find it there and then in the moment.”
While discussing the importance of her role as intimacy coordinator, Lucia cited the sex scene involving 17-year-old Emily Carey (young Alicent Hightower) and Paddy Considine (Viserys Taygeryn) filmed in episode 4 of the show. According to Lucia, both Emily and Paddy had extreme discomfort filming the scene mainly due to the large age gap between them. Carey has gone on to say how important it was to have Lucia on set while filming it.
Following the huge sex scandal that shook the US entertainment industry in 2017, the importance of an intimacy coordinator on set to make sure all parties involved in scenes are perfectly consenting and comfortable cannot be overstated and regardless of Sean Bean’s opinions, intimacy coordinators have come to stay and the House of Dragon cast and crew are lucky to have Lucia on board.