The Snowpiercer series is based on Bong Joon Ho’s film of the same name and stars Sean Bean and Lena Hall. The latter responded to the former’s comments about the need for an intimacy coordinator. 

Bean, known for playing Ned Stark in Game of Thrones, was speaking to UK’s Time Magazine, promoting his latest series Marriage. There, the 63-year-old said, “I think the natural way lovers behave would be ruined by someone bringing it right down to a technical exercise”, adding that co-star Hall was “up for anything” due to her “musical cabaret background”. 

Hall responded in a Twitter thread, saying “Just because I am in theater (not cabaret, but I do perform them every once in a while) does not mean that I am up for anything. Seriously does depend on the other actor, the scene we are about to do, the director, and whatever crew has to be in there to film it.”

She defended Bean, however, by adding, “Sean is an awesome actor and made me feel not only comfortable but also like I had a true acting partner in those bizarre scenes. It was us against the world and we were gonna tell that story.”

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Coming to the issue of the intimacy coordinator itself, Hall added “If I feel comfortable with my scene partner and with others in the room then I won’t need an intimacy coordinator. BUT if there is any part of me that is feeling weird, gross, over exposed etc… I will either challenge the necessity of the scene or I’ll want an IC.”

She also said, “I feel that when an actor has to do a scene that is extremely emotional (like committing suicide or being raped) there needs be some kind of mental health person available to talk to post shoot. Even though we are only acting we are still experiencing trauma”. 

The 42-year-old concluded “I do feel that intimacy coordinators are a welcome addition to the set and think they could also help with the trauma experienced in other scenes. Sometimes you need em sometimes you don’t but every single person and scene and experience is different.” 

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Rachel Zegler of West Side Story also shared her take, saying “intimacy coordinators establish an environment of safety for actors. i was extremely grateful for the one we had on WSS— they showed grace to a newcomer like myself + educated those around me who’ve had years of experience. spontaneity in intimate scenes can be unsafe. wake up.”

Sets have increasingly included intimacy coordinators in a post #MeToo world after several female actors detailed uncomfortable and even unlawful interactions on sets while shooting intimate scenes (remember Bertolucci’s Last Tango in Paris). Like stunt coordinators, intimacy coordinators choreograph scenes in a safe and appropriate way.