Why Jennifer Aniston Refused an Intimacy Coordinator for Jon Hamm Sex Scene
The two stars filmed an infamous love scene for The Morning Show.
In recent years, intimacy coordinators have become more and more prevalent on movie and TV sets, allowing actors to feel comfortable and safe filming love scenes and serving as another line of defense when it comes to preventing abuses of power. But, when she was tasked with filming a sex scene with Jon Hamm for The Morning Show, Jennifer Aniston turned down working with an intimacy coordinator. She explained her reason why in a new interview with Variety.
In an interview with co-star Reese Witherspoon, Aniston opened up about several aspects of the Apple TV+ show, which she and Witherspoon also executive produce, including her character Alex's relationship with Hamm's character Paul. "I've known the Hammanator for a long, long time," Aniston said, adding that their mutual friend Paul Rudd introduced them 12 years ago.
Asked how she and Hamm prepared for their sex scene, Aniston said that they didn't, and praised both her co-star and director Mimi Leder for creating a safe space.
"Having Mimi there, you're protected. I never felt uncomfortable," the 54-year-old said. "Jon was such a gentleman, always—I mean every move, every cut, 'You OK?' It was also very choreographed. That's the beauty of Mimi and our gorgeous editor, the music and lighting. So, you don't prepare."
Aniston said that she and Hamm were offered the services of an intimacy coordinator, but she declined.
"I'm from the olden days, so I was like, 'What does that mean?'" she continued. "They said, 'Where someone asks you if you're OK,' and I'm like, 'Please, this is awkward enough!' We're seasoned—we can figure this one out. And we had Mimi there."
Intimacy coordinators became more widely used in the wake of the Me Too movement, during which many actors spoke out about feeling powerless or pressured filming intimate scenes. Intimacy coordinators can serve as advocates for the actors and make sure that everyone on set follows protocols. According to the actors' union SAG-AFTRA, "An intimacy coordinator is an advocate, a liaison between actors and production, and a movement coach and/or choreographer in regards to nudity and simulated sex and other intimate and hyper-exposed scenes." Some actors have received backlash for speaking out against the use of intimacy coordinators, while others have praised them as a necessary addition to sets.
Leder also reflected on directing the sex scene with Aniston and Hamm and shared more details about the set-up. "It was a closed set, and two very grown-up actors who really understood the nature of the storytelling and were very much a part of it," she told Variety in October. "We wanted it to be sensitive. We wanted it to be sexy. We wanted it to be adult. We wanted it to be emotional. They really let go. They're great actors. And there you have it."
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