The toolkit of a film intimacy coach – put on set to ensure actors are comfortable and scenes look realistic – is a diverse one, as Bridgerton‘s new leading man, Jonathan Bailey, shared this week.
Speaking to the Radio Times, the actor who plays Viscount Anthony Bridgerton, revealed that he’d been instructed to use a half-deflated netball when acting out lustful scenes with the character of Kate Sharma, played by Simone Ashley, in season two of the show.
The semi-flattened sporting equipment, he said, enables actors to move against each other in a realistic manner, without intimate parts of the body touching.
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New couple: The actor – who plays Viscount Anthony Bridgerton – takes on the leading role, with the show focusing on his romance with Kate Sharma, played by Simone Ashley
Pictured in the trailer for season two of the hit Netflix series, Jonathan Bailey, who plays Viscount Anthony Bridgerton, has been speaking this week about how the new series’ sex scenes were filmed
The second season of Bridgerton hits Netflix on March 25th and uses Lizzy Talbot (pictured centre on the first series with Phoebe Dynevor and Rege Jean Page) the same intimacy co-ordinator as the first series
Bailey explained: ‘It’s amazing how that whole industry has just come on, even in a year. There are new tricks to the trade – little cushions – and it’s amazing what you can do with a half-inflated netball.’
The actor elaborated on the use of the netball, saying: ‘If there are two people doing a sex scene, the rule is they must have three barriers separating them and there are certain acts where a half-inflated netball can allow for movement without having to connect physically.’
The second season of Bridgerton hits Netflix on March 25th and uses Lizzy Talbot, the same intimacy co-ordinator as the first series.
Yesterday she tweeted her delight at helping bring the scenes between Bailey and Ashley to life, saying: ‘There’s nothing like working with these two heroes.’
On Lorraine in 2021, Bailey revealed how flesh-coloured paint had been used to make it appear like his derriere was exposed during an al fresco love scene
‘It’s pretty silly but we have some hilarious moments’: Bridgerton’s leading man Jonathan Bailey shared the bizarre methods the crew use while filming show’s sex scenes
Bailey pictured during the last series of the hit Netflix show, which quickly earned a reputation for its raunchy scenes
Bailey has also praised Talbot’s work on set, saying: ‘It’s pretty silly really and we have some hilarious moments, but it makes it less awkward.’
It’s not the first time the actor has lifted the lid on some of the show’s intimacy co-ordinators’ secrets.
Appearing on Lorraine to promote the first series last year, he told the daytime TV host how his underwear-covered derriere had been painted with flesh-coloured make-up for an al fresco love scene against a tree.
Other tricks commonly used to make raunchy scenes sing include aloe vera to prevent chafing – particularly if actors spend hours re-filming, breath mints to ensure kissing tastes palatable to both parties and nipple daisies to allow intimate scenes to take place with some modesty preserved.
The intimacy coordinator’s toolkit
Intimacy co-ordinators will often devise a choreographed routine where the actors know exactly whose hands are going where and when.
Other times they’ll take a looser ‘paint by numbers’ approach where one section of the body, like from the neck to the lower back, will be free to work with.
But both performers in the scene will know that beyond that designated area is off limits…
Half-deflated netball – used on series two of Bridgerton, a half-deflated netball keeps a distance between the two actors involved but allows intimate scenes to look realistic
Nipple daisies — to cover an actor’s areola, ensuring only side breast is visible
A half-deflated netball can prove a useful ally for keeping a barrier between actors but still allowing movement that appears natural Right: Nipple daisies are used to cover an actor’s areola
Heat pads are used under robes to keep actors warm between takes
Hibue/shibue — strapless thongs, in a range of skin tones, that stick to the pelvis and prevents genitalia from touching
Merkins — a pubic wig, often used in period dramas or to provide additional covering
Flesh-coloured underwear — these can be long enough to cover the thighs and, with the right colour, match remain invisible
Small cushions stuffed with lambswool — to create a barrier between the actors’ genitalia during sex scenes
Mints — to freshen breath for kissing scenes, especially after one actor has taken a cigarette break
Glycerine and water spray — to create the illusion of beads of sweat during/after vigorous sex scenes
Heat pads — used under robes to keep actors warm between takes
Aloe Vera gel — soothes skin chafed or irritated by modesty garments
Aloe vera gel is considered a helpful lubricant to stop chafing between actors filming the same scenes many times…and mints are used to freshen an actor’s breath between takes
The latest season of the show sees Phoebe Dyvenor return as Daphne Basset, with Jonathan Bailey taking a more central role as Anthony Bridgerton
Sex scene co-ordinator Vanessa Coffey, who worked with Billie Piper on Sky Atlantic series I Hate Suzie and Daisy Edgar-Jones in H. G. Wells’s War Of The Worlds, told the Mail in 2021 that there’s some poetry in organising intimate moments between actors.
‘Choreographing a sex scene is very much like choreographing a dance. The actors need to know exactly where hands are going, where body parts are going to be, what’s going to be visible or not visible on camera,’ said Vanessa.
‘Many have areas, whether that’s nipples or their intergluteal cleft (bum crack, to you and me) that they’re not comfortable showing on screen, so we have to respect and accommodate that with careful camera angling.’
Bridgerton season two will be released on Netflix on Friday March 25th.