Sir Ian McKellen says intimacy coordinators can ruin the ‘purity’ of theater

Sir Ian McKellen says having trained intimacy coordinators on set can affect the ‘purity’ of theater productions.

The stage and screen veteran said that early in his career, matters requiring such coordinators would have “taken care of themselves.”

In an interview with Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, Sir Ian, 83, spoke of the many changes to the theater industry, some of which were “not always for the better”.

The theater veteran joined his Lord of the Rings co-star Sean Bean in criticizing intimacy coordinators on sets (Yui Mok/PA)

Listing a number of production roles, including lighting and sound designers and dialect coaches, he singled out intimacy coordinators.

“It’s not yet mandatory, but I can imagine there are situations where you have to be careful and people find it difficult to be intimate, and so a coordinator is exactly what is needed,” said he said on BBC Radio 4’s The Poet. The winner’s program and podcast left in his shed.

“But why isn’t the director doing this? Why does it have to be someone who has been trained to do it? »

He continued: “It’s been a huge change and it’s been a bit of a beef for me because with all these names of people doing all these jobs that previously seemed to take care of themselves, you won’t see actors other than the ones you see in the play that night because they don’t have permanent jobs.

He went on to say that he preferred the “purity” of a production in which there are “as few people as possible who get in the way”.

This follows comments by Sir Ian’s Lord of the Rings co-star Sean Bean, who said intimacy professionals can ‘spoil the spontaneity’ of sex scenes, have been criticized by female members of the ‘industry.

Actresses including Rachel Zegler have spoken out following Bean’s remarks in August, with Dame Emma Thompson hailing the role as “fantastically important”.

Gillian Anderson and Bridgerton star Rege-Jean Page also praised the intimacy coordinators for their work in the on-screen productions.

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Dame Emma Thompson called intimacy coordinators ‘fantastically important’ (PA)

Anderson, who stars in Netflix’s steamy coming-of-age comedy Sex Education, said these professionals made sure all cast members were “comfortable” and “felt protected” .

Page, who rose to fame as Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings, in the period drama – also on Netflix – said the show’s intimacy coordinator helped take the ‘risk’ out of the scenes of sex.

Emilia Clarke and Gemma Whelan, stars of HBO’s hit Game Of Thrones, have also previously spoken about the need for on-set intimacy professionals.

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