15 Actors Who Had To Do Physical Stuff They Weren’t Comfortable With On Set

15 Actors Who Were Uncomfortable Doing Sex Scenes


In Interview with the Vampire, 11-year-old Kirsten Dunst had to kiss 31-year-old Brad Pitt. She also had to bite another actor’s neck. “That was the worst thing I did and also having obviously to kiss Brad Pitt at that point. I was a little girl and he was like a brother to me, and it was very weird even though it was a peck. I was very not into it,” she told Vanity Fair in 2021.


Hilarie Burton said that filming her first intimate scene in One Tree Hill felt “inappropriate,” and that she was “so whacked out about it,” in particular referencing a moment where she had to kiss costar Chad Michael Murray’s bare stomach. “Chad was cool to leave a white tank top on underneath his button-up shirt so I wasn’t just kissing his bare body,” she revealed. “Because that’s weird. We’d all known each other for a couple of months, a couple of weeks?” She said she was left crying in her trailer, feeling “dirty” and like “a prostitute.” She ultimately said she’d only do three takes of the scene, but overall felt she had to film the scene and “couldn’t question it.”


April Pearson and Laya Lewis also felt unprotected on set while starring on their teen drama, Skins. Pearson, who was 17 when she was cast in the show, said, “At the time you’re young and you don’t know any better. You don’t really know what to say, to speak out, is this okay… And as with a lot of victims of trauma, you look back at it and think: ‘Yeah, that was f–ked up.’ …. I do feel like I was too young, I feel like I wasn’t protected.” Pearson also said there was no intimacy coordinator, as “that just simply wasn’t a thing” back then, and that other actors had stated they had negative experiences in the show’s sex scenes as well.

Lewis, who was 18 when she first appeared on the show, said she felt she had to do more sex scenes than the other cast members due to her age. “I do think fair enough, we are actors and we are acting,” she said. “But I think if you want to pluck children out of the street, which is essentially what they were doing to have this authentic onscreen thing going on, there needs to be a bit more help.”


Reese Witherspoon says there was no sex scene in the script for Fear, so she wasn’t expecting to film one. “It wasn’t explicit in the script that that’s what was going to happen, so that was something that I think the director thought of on his own and then asked me on set if I would do it, and I said no,” Witherspoon, who was 19 at the time, revealed. She requested a double for anything below the waist, but was denied. “I didn’t have control over it,” she said. “It wasn’t a particularly great experience.”

“I’m certainly not traumatized or anything by it, but it was formative. It made me understand where my place was in the pecking order of filmmaking,” She continued. “I think it’s another one of those stories that made me want to be an agent for change and someone who maybe can be in a better leadership position to tell stories from a female perspective instead of from the male gaze.”


Harvey Weinstein allegedly told Salma Hayek he was going to shut down production on Frida because the only thing she had going for her was sex appeal and there wasn’t any in the movie. He then said that he would let her finish the film if she agreed to do a sex scene with another woman and did full-frontal nudity.

She agreed to do the sex scene, and had a nervous breakdown on set that required her to take a tranquilizer to get through the scene. “It was not because I would be naked with another woman,” she wrote. “It was because I would be naked with her for Harvey Weinstein.”


Salma also had a negative experience doing a sex scene for Desperado back in the early ’90s. She was not aware she had a sex scene in the film, and when she found out, she started to cry, saying, “I don’t know that I can do it. I’m afraid.” While she maintains that neither her costar Antonio Banderas nor the director Robert Rodriguez put pressure on her to perform the scene, and that they tried to make her feel comfortable, she still couldn’t stop crying while trying to film it.

“I was not letting go of the towel,” she recalled. “They would try to make me laugh. I would take it off for two seconds and start crying again. But we got through it. We did the best with what we could do at the time.” Hayek says she kept thinking of her father and brother, and if they might see it, or get teased over her scene. She also said it was difficult because Banderas “was very free. It scared me that for him, it was like nothing,” adding that men don’t have to be as worried about how they’ll be perceived after doing sex scenes on camera: “Your father will be, ‘Yeah! That’s my son!'”


Nicole Kidman felt ashamed after filming her sex scenes for Big Little Lies. Notably, her character was in an abusive relationship, and many of the sex scenes included, or were preceded by or followed by violence. “I felt very exposed and vulnerable and deeply humiliated at times. I mean, I remember lying on the floor in the bathroom at the very end when we were doing the scenes in episode 7, and I was lying on the floor and I just wouldn’t get up in-between takes. I was just lying there, sort of broken and crying, and I remember at one point [director] Jean-Marc coming over and just sort of placing a towel over me because I was just lying there in half-torn underwear and just basically on the ground with nothing on and I was just, like [gasps].”

However, she does not say she was pressured to film any of the scenes, and ultimately said she persevered because she would remind herself of real women in similar situations and wanted to portray this for them. “At times I would have flashes of images of women that have gone through this and I’m like, ‘This is authentic, this is the truth and this is what I have to do, and it would just come through like that.’” She also said, “I’m here to tell the story and to be true to the art, not to bring my own problems in terms of what I feel comfortable with, not comfortable with. I’ve got to go work that stuff out so that I can come as a pure vessel to the work.”


Jennifer Lawrence felt super uncomfortable filming a sex scene for her film Passengers with Chris Pratt, who was married to Anna Faris at the time. It was her “first real sex scene,” and she called it “really weird” and “bizarre.” She continued, “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.”

Lawrence at one point called her mom to get reassurance, then said she got drunk to feel more comfortable shooting the scene, calling it “the most vulnerable I’ve ever been.”


Last Tango in Paris star Maria Schneider accused director Bernardo Bertolucci and costar Marlon Brando of adding a scene where Brando’s character anally rapes her character using a stick of butter as a lubricant. Schneider, who was 19 at the time, said Brando had come up with the idea and only told her just before the scene. She described feeling humiliated and “a little raped, both by Marlon and by Bertolucci.” Bertolucci later admitted to keeping the butter detail from Schneider because he wanted Schneider’s humiliation to appear real.


Similarly, on the set of Crash, directed by Paul Haggis, Thandiwe Newton says she was not told the details of what would be done in the sexual assault scene until directly before filming it. Upon hearing what the scene would entail, she returned to her trailer and cried because she wasn’t comfortable with the depiction. Haggis has not appeared to comment on Newton’s allegations.


Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos were not 100% comfortable while filming their sex scenes in Blue is the Warmest Colour. Seydoux and Exarchopoulos talked with the Daily Beast about the horrible shooting conditions and revealed that their famous sex scene took 10 days to film. Later, Seydoux told the Independent that filming the sex scenes was humiliating.


The same director, Abdellatif Kechiche, also faced allegations of pressuring actors into sex scenes in another of his films, Mektoub, which included a 15-minute-long oral sex scene between Romeo De Latour and Ophélie Bau. A person “close to the production” alleged “Kechiche absolutely wanted a non-simulated sex scene, something the actors didn’t want to do. But by the way of insistence, and over time and with alcohol being regularly consumed, he managed to get what he wanted.” Talent representatives for Kechiche declined to comment.


While Debbie Reynolds knew there would be a kissing scene in Singin’ in the Rain, she did not expect the kiss to include any tongue and was uncomfortable when it did. She claimed in her memoir Unsinkable that Gene Kelly essentially “shoved his tongue down [her] throat.”

“It was the early 1950s, and I was an innocent kid who had never been French-kissed,” she said. “It felt like an assault. I was stunned that this 39-year-old man would do this to me. Gene had stepped back, not amused. After a few minutes, I calmed down enough to face his now-icy stare and we redid the scene as you see it in the film.” Reynolds was 19 at the time.


Marina Sirtis says she was pressured into performing a graphic sex scene in Death Wish 3 by director Michael Winner. She said in a 2019 interview that she hopes the late director will “rot in hell for all eternity.”


Megan Fox said that she and Amanda Seyfried were “horrified” at having to “make out” for Jennifer’s Body. “Her more so than me,” Fox revealed to Variety. “I was slightly more comfortable being able to do it. She was not excited about having to film that scene at all. I remember we were both stressed out because we had chin acne and there was gonna be this micro-close-up of us kissing. [I remember thinking] ‘They have to paint that out!’ I don’t even know if they did, but that was a very stressful scene for the two of us.”

Seyfried later said, “It was my first time doing a real kissing scene with a woman,” calling it “just weird.” She continued, “It is a woman. With a woman’s smell — soft and floraly — and maybe the pheromones are different. Something about it felt uncomfortable for me.” Though Seyfried later called the scene “actually really sexy,” saying she and Megan “kissed really well together” and had “similar kissing styles.”

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