Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones star as Connell and Marianne (BBC Three)
12 May 2020

Intimacy coach spills the beans about what really happened during filming of the Beeb's raunchy hit drama Normal People

It has been dubbed the BBC's raunchiest drama ever, but now the woman employed  as the intimacy co-ordinator for Normal People has revealed just what went on during filming.

And despite how it appears, she revealed that during the 41 minutes of sex scenes in the 12-part adaptation of Sally Rooney's novel, the actors' genitals never touched and their safety and comfort was always paramount.

In fact intimacy coach Ita O'Brien gave Daisy Edgar-Jones, 21, and Paul Mescal, 24, safe words to use while filming scenes which feature full-frontal nudity.

O'Brien divulged the methods she used in order to make the two stars feel empowered and comfortable while filming.

“If you're doing an intimate scene the fundamental rule is never ever should their genitalia touch,” she told RTE’s Brendan O’Connor Show.

“You'll have the actress wearing a modesty patch and the gentleman wearing a modesty pouch. 

“There are varying degrees of modesty garments as well from flesh coloured g-strings to flesh coloured shorts and tops,” she added.

“What we have in place is the actors are empowered and they have the autonomy to halt the action when filming an intimate scene,” she said.

“The actor will have a safe word to halt the action and share it with the crew and if anything happens through the take that isn’t comfortable or they need to take a break they need to call out to halt the action themselves.”

The show follows the rollercoaster relationship between the two teenagers (BBC Three)

O'Brien added that the role of co-ordinator is a recent addition to the acting world and that before the introduction, actors could be left feeling extremely uncomfortable and exposed.

“Actors were left to their own devices,” she said.

"Directors might have spoken really clearly about what they wanted from the intimate content, but there wasn’t that stage of making sure everywhere the actors were going to be touched or the sexual content they might be doing – or the degree of nudity.

“There was no agreement or consent in place and there was certainly no choreography,” she added.

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