To your average person, the idea of getting naked and pretending to have sex with a relative stranger in front of cameras and an entire film crew could be considered one of the most embarrassing things you could ever suffer. Professional actors, on the other hand, probably know that these activities are just part of the territory and a sex scene is no different from any other dramatic scene, right?
Well, no, not at all. It's true that actors might be more accustomed to appearing in the buff for their roles, but, being humans, that doesn't always mean every scene goes by without a hitch.
Actors have used all sorts of methods to cope with the awkwardness of having to pretend to engage in an intimate encounter with someone you don't know all that well. Some actors will use body doubles that look similar to them and just avoid showing their faces, much like was recently (and controversially) done for an Amber Heard film. In the case of French film Blue Is the Warmest Color, two actresses who starred in graphic sex scenes wore rubber reproductions of their anatomy over their actual anatomy as to avoid making physical contact with one another's intimate areas. Or, in the case of Vincent Gallo's The Brown Bunny, he skipped pomp and circumstance entirely and he and ex Chloë Sevigny just did the deeds without any trickery.
Even after going through ever precautionary measure possible, there are still some pretty wild stories behind famous sex scenes in movies and TV. Scroll down to read some of the craziest behind-the-scenes experiences that went into pulling off movie magic as compiled by Decider.
The first time Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo celebrated their arranged marriage, it was far from romantic. Eventually, the two characters began to truly love one another, with future scenes showing a far more loving, and consenting, form of intercourse.
Despite the intensity and awkward feelings of the unwanted lovemaking, star Emilia Clarke explained to Graham Norton that her co-star Jason Momoa went the extra mile to make sure the two didn't take things too seriously.
As often is the case when shooting sex scenes, Momoa was given a "modesty sock" to cover his most important bits. However, rather than opt for a subtle sock, the star used one that was pink and fluffy to show off his humorous side. Clarke revealed of witnessing the odd accessory, "It's huge, and it's pink, and I don't know what to do!"
Ever since her debut in Winter's Bone, Jennifer Lawrence has become one of the most sought-after actresses of her generation, whose talents are rivaled only by her beauty. Despite the variety of films she's starred in, it wasn't until last year's Passengers that she actually had to shoot a sex scene, which she did alongside Chris Pratt, another one of Hollywood's biggest sex symbols.
Filming the intimate encounter wasn't a comfortable experience, with Lawrence explaining to The Hollywood Reporter, "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.'"
Adding extra anxiety to the situation is Pratt being married to actress Anna Faris, with Lawrence revealing, "And he was married. And it was going to be my first time kissing a married man, and guilt is the worst feeling in your stomach."
Audiences first met Anne Hathaway in the wholesome Princess Diaries films, in which she played a "dorky" girl who learned she had royal lineage, forcing her to embrace her regal side.
As Hathaway got older and attempted to transition into more mature roles, she showed skin in films like Havoc and Brokeback Mountain, leaving the young and innocent perception of herself behind.
Starring alongside Jake Gyllenhaal in Love & Other Drugs, Hathaway had to bare it all in a number of scenes, with one, in particular, requiring her to accidentally drop trou in front of an unsuspecting character. Hathaway perhaps got a little too eager to shoot the scene, confessing, "I have to remove my trench coat and be nude underneath, and I thought we were filming, but it turned out we were just rehearsing and I got unnecessarily naked in front of a lot of people!"
Having been romantically attached to Blake Lively, Scarlett Johansson, and Sandra Bullock, to say that Ryan Reynolds is one of the most desirable actors in Hollywood would be an understatement. Olivia Wilde, however, had no problem deflating his ego a bit for a scene in which she had to appear opposite Reynolds in The Change-Up.
"So in the scene she's sitting there, and I take her top off, I take her bra off, and she has those pasties on, but she's drawn these adorable little smiley faces on them. And I forget every line in the scene. Not just from this movie, from every movie I've done," Reynolds explained.
"At some point in the scene, she takes my hands and puts them on her breasts," he continued.
I take my hands away, and I look down at my hands, and there are two frickin' smiley faces on them and I have no idea what to do. And I reflexively, like an idiot, just put my hands right back on her breasts!"
Few films have accurately captured the excitement and awkwardness of young love like Superbad, which featured multiple sex scenes, one of which ended with vomit.
The more tame sex scene in the film featured McLovin, played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse, having sex with a girl he had a crush on. Although the scene itself isn't incredibly awkward, the fact the the actor was a minor, meaning a parent had to be on set with him for the sequence, resulted in some family trauma.
Mintz-Plasse recalled the experience of his mom watching his sex scene, saying, "She got there, and I had fake sexual intercourse in front of her." He added, "Afterwards we didn't talk about it; we still don't speak about that moment."
One of Henry Cavill's breakout roles was starring in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, portraying Superman in the first film to kick off the DC Cinematic Universe. Unfortunately, Cavill's "steel" moniker proved a little too true while filming a sex scene for TV series Tudors.
When speaking to Men's Health, Cavill explained, "A girl had to be on top of me, she had spectacular breasts, and I hadn't rearranged my stuff into a harmless position. She's basically rubbing herself all over me and, um, it got a bit hard."
He added, "I had to apologize profusely afterward. It's not great when you're in a professional acting environment, and somebody gets a boner, is it? No, not acceptable."
The Lena Dunham-starring HBO series Girls never shied from showing the less-than-romantic elements of relationships, often depicting nudity with normalcy to convey it becomes a common occurrence amongst partners. Star Allison Williams wanted to ensure her partner was comfortable for a sex scene, going to extreme lengths to cater to each one of her co-star's senses.
When speaking with Vulture, Williams explained, "I grabbed the makeup girl and said, 'I want to smell like a cake,' so we put vanilla cream everywhere so everything smells good. And then I'm like, 'Grace, we're going to rig something invisible from the side but that feels like a pillow when he puts his face into it.' And, that's what we did!"
Clearly Williams tapped into her inner MacGyver, explaining, "It was so elaborate -- it involved Spanx that we cut away and glued down and involved menstrual pads and two of those weird thongs."
Considering director David Cronenberg had previously made Crash, which was about couples who are sexually excited by the concept of car collisions, it's no surprise that he had the stars of his film Maps to the Stars get intimate with one another. When Robert Pattinson and Julianne Moore were required to film a sex scene, things got far more hot than heavy, resulting in Pattinson perspiring profusely.
When speaking to Heat Magazine, the Twilight star admitted, "I sweat like a f**king crazy person."
He added, "I was trying to literally catch drops of sweat to stop them hitting her back! Afterwards she was like 'Are you having a panic attack?' It was so embarrassing."
As the title implies, the Showtime series Shameless has no problem showing its cast in a variety of compromising positions, including actress Emmy Rossum. For the cast to regularly appear naked in front of one another, you build up a level of intimacy, but the actress revealed a precautionary measure that's taken to make sure her co-stars don't inadvertently get too intimate.
When speaking with Chelsea Handler, Rossum revealed, "We like it to be realistic but not real, but I wear something I call the 'vag pad'...it's kind of a little triangular panty liner that you stick to you."
Things can get pretty steamy when shooting a sex scene, so to help make it look more authentic, the people behind a sex scene featuring Allison Janney and Michael Lerner wanted to make it look more authentic, resulting in the two performers being covered in a slippery and shiny substance to replicate glistening sweat. This liquid, unfortunately, was much more slippery than anyone had imagined.
Janney confessed, "We had to have sex up against a wall and they started spraying us with glistening stuff to make us look sweaty, but no one seemed to realize that we were standing on a marble floor."
She added, "They said action and he...pulled me up against the wall and his feet slipped out from under him and he went crashing down on the floor. "It was terrible, but it was one of those moments I'll never forget."
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