The other night I was watching My Wife is an Actress , a French film on IFC. The story follows the husband of a sexy movie star. His wife, Charlotte, is well-known for her steamy love scenes in her various movies. This fact drives Charlotte’s husband crazy. He all but calls her a prostitute, since her job requires her to tumble into bed with people. For her part, Charlotte insists that the love scenes are just part of the job and that there is no real feeling behind them. In fact, she insists, she does not enjoy doing them at all. This is a statement I’ve even heard real movie stars make – that initimate love scenes are among the least pleasant scenes to shoot.
Anyway, this brings up my question. In mainstream movies, how much of the love scenes are “simulated”? How are the actors prevented from, well, completing the act, so to speak? Are they prevented at all?
Now, I am not an actor at all. However, it occurs to me that if I were required to pretend to make love to, let’s say, Diane Lane, I might get a bit “excited”. As an actor, I would hate to insult the professionalism of the lovely Ms Lane. Do actors have exceptional training or control in these situations?
In college, I played in the band for a production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum . My roommate at the time was the actor who played Pseudolus (sp?). In one scene, one of the slave girls rubbed up against him and attempted to seduce him. My friend said that, during that scene, he would think of the least sexy things he could come up with. He was concerned that his tight costume would reveal that the actress was, in fact, quite good at seducing him. Do professional actors use similar techniques? In my friend’s scene, he was supposed to just stand there and act uninterested in the girl. His technique simply reinforced that. If, however, he was supposed to be seduced, his technique might have hindered his performance.
Sorry if this post is too long or appears to address a prurient interest. I’m genuinely curious how actors “make love” without actually “making love.” Or do they?