12 Behind-the-Scenes Tales About the Most Iconic Sex Scenes Ever
KEIRA KNIGHTLEY ON ATONEMENT
Knightley revealed that the unforgettable green dress she wore for her love scene with James McAvoy was so delicate that it kept getting damaged during filming. "I break them all. Well, maybe I didn't break them all, but I broke most of them," she told BBC Radio 1 about the 2007 movie. "The problem with a sex scene in a dress like that, it was all laser cut at the front — so all the patterns were laser cut, and literally, if you touched it [they would break]. So they had so many [and] the tops were constantly being resewn and redone."
NEVE CAMPBELL ON WILD THINGS
When Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen asked the Skyscraper actress how she and her Wild Things costar Denise Richards prepared for their now-infamous scene together, Campbell had two words for him: "We drank."
KATE WINSLET ON TITANIC
Who can forget that sweaty hand going down that steamy window? Winslet opened up about filming the legendary moment with costar Leonardo DiCaprio shortly after the film's 1998 release.
"Doing that scene — it so wasn't us," she told Rolling Stone. " And yet we were so locked into what all that had to be about. The Rose in me was really sort of loving the Jack in him, actually. And even though I didn't feel that way about Leo, it was quite nice to sort of feel that way in the scene. It was quite lovely. And then, y'know, the camera stopped rolling, and he gets up and walks off, and the scene's done. And I remember lying there thinking, 'What a shame that's over.' Because it was quite nice. It was."
DEMI MOORE ON GHOST
Moore and Patrick Swayze's 1990 pottery wheel-based love scene is one of the most beloved in cinema history, but pulling it off did involve some blushing. "[We] felt like we were in high school on a first date," the actress told PEOPLE. "And here we had to act like we had known each other and were comfortable with each other. We were all arms. His face was so beet red! I would say, 'Please don’t let my breast be exposed.' And he would say, 'Okay.' If he noticed my shirt coming up over my rear, he would pull it down. We finally just said, 'I'm really nervous and I hate this.' Then it was okay."
KIT HARINGTON AND EMILIA CLARKE ON GAME OF THRONES
The actors’ fan-favorite characters, Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, finally got romantic in the season 7 finale. Unfortunately for everyone, the moment coincided with the big reveal that Snow and Targaryen are actually related.
"Usually you go into a movie and meet [your costar] for the first time and you develop that chemistry over that time. But if you've known somebody for seven years and shared this incredible journey in your own lives together … we're both kind of freaking out about it," Harington told Entertainment Weekly about building up the romance in season 7. "I would be like, 'What's the sexual tension in this scene?' and she's like, 'Stop talking about sexual tension!' It's a unique experience to be in as an actor and you know the world is watching."
Clarke added, "Yeah [I would say], ‘Would you just stop? Just give me some sexy eyes, don’t keep talking about sexual chemistry all the time … I love that when we get to the saucy stuff it’s a beautiful acceptance of a wordless … yep."As for the revelation that the pair are related, Clarke was just as freaked out as the rest of us. "As actors, it's just weird," she said in behind-the scenes commentary for HBO. “The reality of what they are to each other, I don't know how that's going to … I think [gags] might be the reaction."
JULIA ROBERTS ON PRETTY WOMAN
The prospect of getting intimate for the 1990 classic was nerve-racking for the actress, but her close relationship with her coworkers helped ease the anxiety.
"I had never done this kind of stuff before, and I was really nervous. And I get hives," Roberts told ABC News in 1990 about shooting sexy scenes. "They say, 'kiss,' and I get a hive. But the funny thing is that we'd become such a family. This particular crew, we became so close to one another that by the time a scene like this came up, everyone knowing the way that I felt and my kind of value ideas about it, and then my own personal ideas about it, and my problems with it or what have you, that by the time we got down to anything that was a bit scary everybody was more nervous than I was."
JON HAMM ON BRIDESMAIDS
Hamm's sex scene with Kristen Wiig got the 2011 comedy off to a hilarious, unforgettable and awkward start. "It's like running in the rain. There's a certain point where you go, 'F--- it, I'm already wet. I’m not going to get any less wet so I might as well enjoy how this feels," Hamm told Playboy about the on-set experience. "I mean, sure, there's an awkwardness about being in a weird flesh-colored thong, bouncing on top of an actress. And I am not a small human being. I weigh at least 200 pounds and I'm six-foot-two. And Wiig is a twig; she's a skinny little thing. I told her, 'Just punch me in the side if I'm hurting you.' It's weird and uncomfortable at first but then all the awkwardness melts away and you think, 'All right, we're doing this, so let's have fun with it.'"
MICHELLE WILLIAMS AND RYAN GOSLING ON BLUE VALENTINE
The actors had the challenge of depicting the intense, angry sex lives of a tumultuous couple in their 2010 drama. "We never rehearsed anything, and those were really dark days," Williams admitted to W Magazine about their "raw" sex scene.
"We shot the beginning of our relationship first, and it was fun and alive. Then we did the sex scenes and it was … toxic. Ryan and I had stopped relating to each other as Ryan and Michelle. Those scenes took forever. I had a long drive from set to home each night, and I would roll down all the windows and turn up the music as loud as I could and hang my head out the window like a dog and scream. It was my escape," she shared.
"It was hard," Gosling agreed. "A lot of times actors can trick people into thinking something is happening when it's not happening, and we had to call ourselves out on anything that didn't feel honest. Actors become very professional and proficient about watching out for each other's light and not stepping on each other's lines. All of these things are artificial, and you have to strip that away if you're going to achieve a sense of intimacy. In real life sex is messy, and we wanted to get at that wonderful messiness."
KRISTEN STEWART ON THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN
Years of fan anticipation preceded the moment Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swan's (Stewart) post-nuptial lovemaking finally reached the big screen, and the pressure took its toll on the actress.
"On Twilight, we had to do the most epic sex scene of all time. It had to be transcendent and otherworldly, inhuman, better sex than you can possibly ever imagine, and we were like, 'F---. How do we live up to that?'" Stewart admitted to Harper's Bazaar U.K. "We were so self-consciously aware of that, me and Rob and the producers. It was agony. Which sucks, because I wanted it to be so good."
NATALIE PORTMAN ON BLACK SWAN
Portman recommended that director Darren Aronofsky consider her friend Mila Kunis to join her in the Black Swan cast, but didn't consider the fact that it would mean they'd be sharing a sex scene.
"I didn't really think through the fact that I was going to have to have sex with her in the movie," she told MTV News. "It was pretty awkward. I almost feel like it would be easier to do it with someone you didn't know. But, having said that, it was great to have a friend there who, we could laugh and make jokes and get over it together."
The actress managed to keep any cringing from making it on-screen, and went on the win the Best Actress Oscar for her role.
ROSAMUND PIKE ON GONE GIRL
Pike and Neil Patrick Harris certainly left an impression on audiences with their violent scene in the 2014 thriller, and rehearsing it was no less memorable. "When you're actually shooting it and you've got a whole crew around you it's remarkably normal," Pike shared on Late Night with Seth Meyers. "However, the odd thing that [director David Fincher] asked us to do was rehearse this scene for two hours, alone, on an empty soundstage — just Neil and myself. And that is when it feels highly inappropriate. You're alone with a man who's not your husband who also has a husband. He's in his underwear, you're in your underwear and you're sort of dry humping on a bed."
"So then we think, 'Okay, we should be professional about this. We should probably film it on an iPhone and sort of see how it looks,'" she continued. "We watch this thing back and it looks like we're making some sort of super creepy home porn movie."
HALLE BERRY ON MONSTER'S BALL
The performance that earned her the 2002 Best Actress Oscar required Berry to tap into some of her more primitive instincts.
"There was no real direction in the screenplay, it just had to be animalistic, and they had to be having sex not just for the act itself but for all the other reasons that they were coming together," the actress, who starred alongside Billy Bob Thornton, told The Guardian.
"It was four days before the end of shooting, so we knew who these people were, and we just went for it. We both agreed to be uninhibited with our bodies, so it wasn't just the woman who was being exposed, and we just said, 'Let's service these characters.' We only had to do it one time, which is good, because you don’t really want to have to go there that many times ..."