It's no surprise that the best part of Bridgerton Season 2 was the lead-up to Anthony's (Jonathan Bailey) and Kate's (Simone Ashley) consummation. They teased fans with *so much* yearning, stolen glances, and light hand-holding throughout the season. When it came down to filming Episode 7, Bailey described the technicalities behind his sex scene with Ashley. They were given consent forms, which made for a comfortable environment: "No one went into a scene quaking, worrying about how it'd go," he said. "If you're concerned, you can talk to them [about] which bit of skin we are going to show in each scene, and where we will be touched and how."
Lizzy Talbot, Bridgerton's intimacy coach, told Insider: "[We spent] two days on Episode 7, so you can imagine there was a bunch more [sex] in it! There's always sex scenes that don't make the final edit."
Don't Worry Darling, Olivia Wilde's upcoming film, focuses on the US nuclear family in the '50s, the dark secrets behind the husbands' occupations, and a whole lot of sex. The new trailer is filled with steamy moments between actors Florence Pugh and Harry Styles. In a 2021 interview with Vogue, Wilde said: "[I want my audience to] realize how rarely they see female hunger, and specifically this type of female pleasure." Wilde explained that she drew inspiration from popular films like Fatal Attraction and Indecent Proposal for Don't Worry Darling's sex scenes between Pugh and Styles.
Harry Styles described his scenes with Florence Pugh as trustworthy. "We were lucky to have a trusting relationship with the people we worked with," he said. "It was discussed — above the filming and above the camera, it's me and you. We're doing this together, we trust each other, and at any point, we can stop."
3.Reneé Rapp, Alyah Chanelle Scott, Midori Francis, and Chris Meyer: The Sex Lives of College Girls (2021–present)
Mindy Kaling's latest brilliant TV show, The Sex Lives of College Girls, is a realistic portrayal of what young women actually experience when exploring their sexuality. In a 2021 interview with Entertainment Tonight, Reneé Rapp (Leighton) revealed she felt comfortable shooting her sex scenes: "There's very open dialogue about your comfort level on the day [of filming], before the day [of filming] — you have several conversations," she said. "There was one scene I remember I was just sitting with my scene partner, and it was taking forever — we were literally just sitting there naked, talking about skincare. It felt really great!"
Alyah Chanelle Scott, who plays soccer player Whitney, also described that filming these intimate scenes wasn't as sexy as outsiders might've thought. She said: "All of my friends are like: 'So tell me: How it was? Was it hot?' and I'm like: 'Not at all — if anything, it takes 5 hours and you're just sitting on top of this man.' She'd ask her scene partner technical questions like: 'Am I heavy? My hips kind of hurt — wanna move that way?'"
4.Sebastian Stan and Lily James: Pam & Tommy (2022)
In one of the most talked-about TV shows from 2022, Sebastian Stan and Lily James portrayed '90s couple Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson. From his full-body tattoos to his Mötley Crüe drumming skills, Stan was committed to portraying Lee in an honest light — especially when it came to his sex life.
Pam & Tommy creator, Robert Siegel, revealed to Variety that the scene where Sebastian Stan (Lee) talks to his penis in the mirror directly came from Lee's memoir Tommyland. "I was simply adapting a chapter from his memoir. I think it might be a first [for television]. There was gentle pushback, because you've got to push back a little when a talking penis is presented to you, but Hulu was extremely supportive."
There were four puppeteers "working with an animatronic penis" on set, which didn't intimidate Sebastian Stan's acting approach: "By the end of it, I treated it like it was an intimate buddy conversation that one might have when they’re falling in love."
5.Taraji P. Henson and Michael Ealy: Think Like a Man (2012)
If you've ever seen or heard of Think Like a Man, you know it's a classic 2010s movie filled with an incredibly stacked cast, featuring Taraji P. Henson, Gabrielle Union, Regina Hall, and Michael Ealy. And, if you've ever seen the movie, you're probably familiar with the memorable sex scene between Taraji P. Henson and Michael Ealy because...well, it's something.
While promoting the rom-com on Sway in the Morning in 2012, Taraji P. Henson described how excited she was to work with Michael Ealy, and how they shot their sex scene early in production. She told Sway: "The first day on set was the scene where he's putting chocolate on my thigh — that was the first day! [And] he licked it off — I was like, 'I need another take!'"
Taraji P. Henson revealed how professional Michael Ealy was while filming the scene, despite the pressure that their first scene together was a sex scene. "He asked: 'What's off limits? What can I touch, what can we not do?' and I was like: 'You know what — go for it' (in the most professional way possible.)" And those Michael Ealy kisses you know, love, and have watched on YouTube at least 50 times? "We were kissing for real," Henson said. "Real kisses."
6.DeWanda Wise and Ilfenesh Hadera: She's Gotta Have It (2017–2019)
In the TV adaptation of She's Gotta Have It (a film Spike Lee originally directed in 1986), there were no intimacy coordinators on set. DeWanda Wise (Nola Darling) took matters into her own hands in Season 2 when she created a contract and vocalized how she wanted her sex scenes to look with acting partner, Ilfenesh Hadera (Opal Gilstrap).
When it came to capturing Nola and Opal's intimacy on screen, DeWanda Wise explained how comfort was at the core of their sexual relationship. "The way Nola and Opal have sex and enjoy each other, not just in the kind of physical intimacy, but even the comfort that Opal has to allow Nola to sketch her, feels more vulnerable and intimate for some people than sex. We concerned ourself with the specificity and the quality of their relationship."
7.Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper: A Star Is Born (2018)
In his directorial debut, Bradley Cooper tackled the fourth iteration of A Star Is Born in an intimate and meaningful light. In a 2018 interview with MTV UK, he described his dual role as director and lead actor to be an advantage when filming his sex scenes with Lady Gaga. "I found it very easy — I actually thought that I had an advantage of being on the field while also orchestrating the shooting and the story-telling. I found it to be a real benefit," he said. "I'll [direct] while I'm doing the scene — I think [the actors] got used to it. But the benefit of that is you're also keeping the rhythm."
Their onscreen chemistry was palpable, eventually sparking all kinds of dating rumors (especially after their performance of "Shallow" at the 2019 Oscars). But in the end, it all came down to their close connection off-screen, and how it transpired in their characters' love story onscreen. "[Lady Gaga] knows everything about me — there is not one thing she doesn’t know," Cooper told Entertainment Weekly. "And I believe [it's] the same for me." Lady Gaga revealed their chemistry was instant, and "from the moment we met, I felt a kindred spirit in him."
8.Joe Alwyn and Alison Oliver: Conversations with Friends (2022)
Conversations with Friends, the new Hulu series adapted from Sally Rooney's novel of the same name, stars Joe Alwyn and Alison Oliver. Like many other modern TV shows and films, Conversations with Friends had an intimacy coordinator on set, which made the two actors feel comfortable. Although they were at ease, Alwyn told the Guardian that their scenes were pretty mechanical and unsexy to film: "We were guided through it with an intimacy coordinator, [so] they're choreographed. They're like fight scenes — and obviously, they're weird, funny, [and] strange things to do with your friends."
Joe Alwyn's costar, Alison Oliver, also described the environment on Conversations with Friends as healthy. "You go through a lot of rehearsal and in-depth conversations about the intimate scenes, and what kind of story we're trying to tell," she revealed to Extra. "Hopefully, each intimate scene feels different, or there's some kind of progression in their relationship.”
And ever since it was revealed that Joe Alwyn and Alison Oliver filmed sex senes for the show, Taylor Swift fans were obsessed with her opinion on the matter. In an interview with Extra, Alwyn said: "I mean, [Taylor's] read the book and she loves the book, so she knows it. She couldn't be a bigger fan of the project."
9.Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith: Queen & Slim (2019)
While promoting Queen & Slim in 2020, Daniel Kaluuya did an interview with Marie Claire and talked about shooting with Jodie Turner-Smith on a closed set. He felt lucky he "had someone like Jodie who is so cool, chill, and really caring in the moment." Kaluuya went into further detail about the intimacy and meaning behind Queen and Slim's first time in the car, saying: "We had to treat it like any other scene, and sex is the language and dialogue of that scene. If we're not telling the story, then it's just indulgent and showing people 'having it off.'"
In a joint interview for Extra, Jodie Turner-Smith felt proud to have filmed this intimate moment with Daniel Kaluuya because of how it juxtaposed with the intense plot, and for that, it spoke "to the Black experience." And after joking around that they had to stop shooting because her leg was stuck in the car dashboard, Turner-Smith explained the importance of this particular scene. "I felt proud of it — as a Black woman, you're often depicted in this animalistic and hyper-sexual way, [but] it was just so gentle and elegant."
10.Jane Fonda and Robert Redford: Our Souls at Night (2017)
In their fourth movie together, Jane Fonda and Robert Redford portrayed two people in their eighties coping with loneliness after their spouses died. They previously starred in movies like Barefoot in the Park (1967) and The Electric Horseman (1979), but Our Souls at Night took on a whole new meaning when it came to romantic love.
Jane Fonda was happy to reunite with her long-time collaborator, especially when it came to filming sex scenes. "We played that young love just getting married [in Barefoot in the Park], and now we play old people love and old people sex [in Our Souls at Night]," said Fonda at the Venice Film Festival in 2017. "I live for sex scenes! [Robert Redford's] a great kisser — it was fun to kiss him in my twenties and then to kiss him again in my almost eighties."
11.Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara: Carol (2015)
Carol was released in 2015 to critical acclaim and sparked a big conversation on the importance of telling celebratory love stories between women. While promoting the movie, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara were constantly asked how they developed their dynamic onscreen chemistry, specifically for their sex scenes. At BFI London's Film Festival, Mara said: "It was easy for me to feel chemistry towards Cate [because] my character spent much of the film in awe of this woman and enamored with her. That was easy for me to embody."
The second sex scene in the film between Cate Blanchett (Carol) and Rooney Mara (Therese) was one of the first scenes the actors shot together. Blanchett revealed in a Q&A once they got on set, they learned there were bed bugs in the hotel room — so initially, it was a difficult day shooting in the nude. But, ultimately, Blanchett thought it was a moving experience: "The consummation of their relationship is really important," Blanchett told BFI London. "We talked about the scene, and there's a great sense of trust between Rooney and I."
Cate Blanchett went on to describe how powerful it was to film the sex scene with Rooney Mara because of how isolated their characters were in the film leading up to the moment. She said: "They go through a lot of processing these volcanic feelings independent upon one another, so frankly, it was a relief to do these scenes with Rooney. It's like: 'Finally, we get to be together.'"
12.Viola Davis and Billy Brown: How to Get Away with Murder (2014–2020)
In the Hollywood Reporter's roundtable for lead actresses in a drama series, Viola Davis opened up about filming a specific sex scene in Season 1 of How to Get Away with Murder. She tried to honor her craft as an actor as much as possible in that moment: "I allowed myself to be uncomfortable — I'm not gonna talk myself out of it," Davis said. "I'm just a human being at the end of the day, and I'm doing something very private in public. The nerves and the insecurities and [everything] I feel is a part of Annalise. I cannot will her to be made of Teflon before she dives on top of a very hot-looking guy!"
When Viola Davis appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2016, she went into further detail about the physical damage and effort that went into filming. "[Billy Brown and I] really went for it. I said: 'I'm always playing a maid, I'm always gaining 40 pounds for a role — I wanna be sexy. I'm pulling out all the stops!' So I went for it, and I threw my back out," Davis told Kimmel. "He [slammed] me up against the wall, and six people [were] behind the wall holding it up — that thing [was] shaking. [The scene] sounded sexy, but it really wasn't."
13.And lastly, Kim Cattrall and Cynthia Nixon: Sex and the City (1998–2004)
Before every Sex and the City episode, Kim Cattrall always came in prepared with a variety of different angles and suggestions to see what would fit better for Samantha and the man she was having sex with. Whether it was the hot priest from Season 4 or the fireman from Season 3, Cattrall always came with ideas. She said: "In the sex scene with the fireman, I suggested: 'Let me do an orgasm with the sound of a fire engine, let me try different things.' You don't know if one's going to be too much or not enough, so it's nice for [the SATC crew] to have a few choices."
According to Cynthia Nixon, filming sex scenes for Sex and the Citywasn't sexy or realistic in the slightest. She said most of the men who came on the show had never filmed a sex scene before, so things would naturally feel awkward. "Even when [the sex] seems real, it feels very fake because we don't show an entire lovemaking session," Nixon said. "It's quiet, and then you hear, 'Action!' and all of a sudden you start screaming."
And all of the men who ended up filming sex scenes on Sex and the City wore a cup so nothing would actually show onscreen. The cups were labeled "KC" for Kim Cattrall's initials.