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Game Of Thrones Star Reveals Filming Sex Scenes Was A ‘Frenzied Mess’

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Game Of Thrones Star Reveals Filming Sex Scenes Was A 'Frenzied Mess'Warner Bros. Television Distribution

Game of Thrones star Gemma Whelan has opened up about the experience of filming sex scenes on the show, describing it as a ‘frenzied mess’. 

The hit HBO fantasy show became defined by its violence, dragons, sex and nudity from the off. Whether it was Daenerys and Khal Drogo’s scenes, Melisandre or Jaime and Cersei getting incestuous, the series never shied away from graphic content.

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Showrunners DB Weiss and David Benioff have been criticised over the years for their treatment of sexual violence and explicit moments on-screen, with the cast having spoke at length about their involvement in such scenes.

Yara and Theon Greyjoy. (HBO)HBO

Whelan, who played Yara Greyjoy, sister of Alfie Allen’s Theon, recently spoke to The Guardian about working on Game of Thrones. She was actually pregnant during the final season, to which she joked, ‘It’s a great way of getting loads of closeups.’

She also described how people’s behaviour has changed in a post-Weinstein world, saying, ‘There’s a very different choice of language now. If anyone makes an innuendo, everyone shuts down. I think, five or 10 years ago, if there was a double entendre, everyone would jump on the bandwagon and see how many laughs they could raise.’

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Yara and Theon Greyjoy, and Daenerys. (HBO)HBO

According to Whelan, performers were mostly left to their own devices. ‘They used to just say, ‘When we shout action, go for it!’, and it could be a sort of frenzied mess. But between the actors there was always an instinct to check in with each other,’ she said.

‘There was a scene in a brothel with a woman and she was so exposed that we talked together about where the camera would be and what she was happy with. A director might say, ‘Bit of boob biting, then slap her bum and go!’, but I’d always talk it through with the other actor.’

Yara and Theon Greyjoy. (HBO)HBO
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When Yara and Theon first met, he doesn’t recognise her – and as such, relentlessly tries to seduce her, leading to an incestuous sexual encounter.

‘Alfie was very much, ‘Is this okay? How are we going to make this work?’ With intimacy directors, it’s choreography – you move there, I move there, and permission and consent is given before you start. It is a step in the right direction,’ Whelan explained.

In 2018, after the vast majority of Game of Thrones’ sexual scenes were completed, HBO mandated the hiring of intimacy coordinators for projects going forward.

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Topics: Film and TV, Game of Thrones, Sex

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The Guardian
  1. The Guardian

    Gemma Whelan: ‘Sex in Game of Thrones could be a frenzied mess’

Cameron Frew
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