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John David Washington Says He Hated Doing Sex Scenes in His New Movie

"I hate 'em, I hate 'em, I hate 'em."

In case you didn't know, one of the biggest new actors around is the son of one of the biggest stars of all time. Denzel Washington's son, John David Washington, has built an exciting career of his own in the past few years with starring roles in BlacKkKlansman, Tenet, and his latest, Malcolm & Marie. But even though he's been around Hollywood his entire life, there is one aspect of shooting a film that Washington is totally uncomfortable with: sex scenes.

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Washington talked about having to film a sex scene with his co-star Zendaya for their Netflix film Malcolm & Marie and he was not into it.

Kissing—and pretending to do everything else—in front of a camera with other people watching was a real struggle for Washington. "Kissing scenes, huge challenges for me," the 36-year-old actor told Rolling Stone. "Love scenes? I hate them. I hate 'em, I hate 'em, I hate 'em. They make me so uncomfortable. Maybe just kissing in public. There's a gaffer, there's a cameraman, there's the video village over there. I don't know, it's an intimate moment. It's weird."

Of course, Washington is far from the first actor to speak out about how excruciatingly uncomfortable filming sex scenes can be. Read on to see what a few other stars had to say about the process, and for a truly difficult one, check out Salma Hayek Said This Was the Hardest Sex Scene She Ever Had to Film.

Dakota Johnson

Dakota Johnson at the Venice Film Festival in 2018
Denis Makarenko /

As the daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson—and the granddaughter of Tippi HedrenDakota Johnson grew up surrounded by the entertainment business like Washington. But that's not the only thing she has in common with him—she's talked about how uncomfortable sex scenes are, too. Johnson starred in the erotic romance series Fifty Shades of Grey, but told Marie Claire that the sex scenes are "never easy."

"It's not casual and it's not fun. It never got easy," she added.

She also shared that she had to have a type of modesty underwear superglued to her body. "Most of [our preparation] is just really figuring out exactly how we are going to accomplish the scene beforehand—so that there's not a lot of waiting around while we're both vulnerable," she told the magazine. "But, if something is very, very difficult, it's sometimes necessary to have a shot of something strong beforehand."

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Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence at the premiere of "Dark Phoenix" in 2019
Tinseltown /

Like Johnson, Jennifer Lawrence tried using alcohol to calm her nerves before a sex scene. While appearing on The Hollywood Reporter's actress roundtable in 2015, Lawrence talked about having to film a sex scene for the first time for the movie Passengers.

"I had my first real sex scene a couple weeks ago and it was really bizarre," she said (via HuffPost). "Everything was done right; nobody did anything wrong. It's just a bizarre experience." She added that she tried drinking to stop being so nervous. "I got really, really drunk. But then that led to more anxiety when I got home because I was like, 'What have I done? I don't know,'" she said.

She also had trouble knowing that her co-star, Chris Pratt, was married. "It was going to be my first time kissing a married man, and guilt is the worst feeling in your stomach. And I knew it was my job, but I couldn't tell my stomach that," she said.

For more on this star, check out Jennifer Lawrence Reveals the Real Reason She's "Incredibly Rude."

Chris Pratt

Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt at the premiere of "Passengers" in 2016
Tinseltown /

Pratt also commented on shooting the moment with Lawrence and said "there's really nothing sexy about" movie sex scenes.

"For all the sense of anxiety that comes leading up to a scene like this, you get into it and you realize there's really nothing sexy about it at all," he said on a SiriusXM Town Hall (via People). "It's just really awkward. But you know, it's part of the gig and you just do what you can to check in with the other person and try to minimize any discomfort that they feel."

And for more stars who have drawn the line, check out Keira Knightley Says She'll Only Do Sex Scenes in These Circumstances.

Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart at the Venice Film Festival in 2019
Andrea Raffin /

In an interview with Harper's Bazaar UK, Kristen Stewart talked about shooting a sex scene for Twilight with Robert Pattinson. The actor said that she usually doesn't mind sex scenes, but this one was different.

"I only hate them when they're contrived. That's when it's grotesquely uncomfortable," she said. "On Twilight, we had to do the most epic sex scene of all time [when Bella Swan finally weds her handsome vampire]. It had to be transcendent and otherworldly, inhuman, better sex than you can possibly ever imagine, and we were like… 'How do we live up to that?' We were so self-consciously aware of that, me and Rob [Pattinson] and the producers. It was agony."

For more former couples like Stewart and Pattinson, check out 15 Onscreen Couples You Totally Forgot Dated in Real Life.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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