Home and Away has ramped up the romance, action and drama over the past few years, with many couples getting hot and heavy on screen. While steamy scenes between fan-favourite characters look spontaneous and realistic, the production and actors take scripted intimacy seriously.
After Alyssa Milano amplified the #MeToo movement in 2017, the conversation around sexual harassment, especially on film and television sets, was something producers couldn't ignore. It’s now common for productions to hire intimacy coordinators to help actors establish boundaries and feel safe on set.
Matt Evans’ character Theo Poulos has had two serious relationships on the show. His first was with Chloe Anderson, played by Sam Barrett, and he’s currently involved with Kirby Aramoana, played by Angelina Thomson.
The star tells Yahoo Lifestyle that working with an intimacy coordinator before any sex scenes is a really ‘important step’ for the cast.
“They will basically get you into the room and you talk about what you are comfortable with, what you’re not comfortable with, [and teach] the simple things [like] asking permission before you touch each other,” he says.
The intimacy coordinator also provides a sheet for actors to fill out, so they can list how comfortable they are when it comes to different actions.
While the actors don’t block the actual intimate scenes until they step onto set, rehearsal is a safe space where they can get familiar with touching each other.
“You’re touching each other’s hands, shoulders, things like that. And then we’ll do basic things of [going] through…where you like to be touched, and not like to be touched,” he explains.
“It’s pretty essential, and it’s a very good thing to have.”
Aussie star Margot Robbie faced backlash recently for comments she made to E! News about an unscripted kiss with Brad Pitt on the set of Babylon. She told the publication that she decided she would “just go for it”, because it might be the only chance she has to kiss him.
She later clarified that director Damien Chazelle approved the kiss and assured Entertainment Tonight that she had established ‘clear boundaries’ with her co-star before making the move.
Matt says that there can be times when the cast wants to add or remove intimate actions, but they always make sure to chat about it with their scene partner first.
“A lot of the time, you’ll probably chat with your partner about it beforehand, [saying],'Hey, if there’s a kiss scripted here, we could do that’.
"Or sometimes if it’s not scripted, you might want to put one in there just for effect, and you can talk to each other about that. It definitely makes it a lot easier,” he tells us.
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