Olivia Wilde made her directorial debut with the 2019 movie Booksmart

By Georgia Slater
February 13, 2020 12:24 PM
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Olivia Wilde wants to use her time behind the camera to make her actors feel as comfortable as possible.

The 35-year-old — who made her feature directorial debut with the 2019 movie Booksmart — recently sat down with Katie Couric during the 2020 Makers Conference where she opened up about her goal to create a “new standard” when it comes to filming sex scenes.

Wilde explained that her experience working on Booksmart allowed her to set a precedent for setting up these intimate scenes and making her cast feel at ease

“I thought, ‘Okay, I’ll finally teach everyone what a closed set means,'” she recalled of filming a sex scene in Booksmart, per Yahoo. “And I said to our actresses that are doing this intimate scene, ‘When you’re on your next film set, I want you to demand what I’m showing you today.’”

Olivia Wilde and Katie Couric
Credit: Emma McIntyre/Getty

She explained that during this particular scene, she only called in the necessary actors and crew to set and included additional security measures.

“It takes a lot of effort,” she said. “But it’s one example of providing an example of how things can be and telling these actresses, ‘Now go off and demand this new standard.”

Wilde — who took home the award for best first feature for Booksmart at the Independent Spirit Awards on Sunday — said she realized that as director, she would be “finally steering this ship.”

“I learned that many of the parts of the system that we accept just to be true, the way a film set works, the hierarchy and how it exists are actually something — it’s something we have more control of than we assume,” she added.

Olivia Wilde and Katie Couric
Olivia Wilde and Katie Couric attend The 2020 MAKERS Conference.
| Credit: Rachel Murray/Getty

“Do I have to steer it the same way I’ve seen guys do it? Or can I do my own thing?” she recalled asking herself. “I can do my own thing. So I’m going to change the way this usually works.”

Looking back at her experience, Wilde added that she “loved the opportunity” and hopes she will continue to “make it a better environment for the actors.”