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‘Sex Education’ Cast Broke the Ice by Performing Animal Mating Rituals Before Filming

The breakout Netflix comedy series recently scored a second season renewal.

Sex Education Season 1

“Sex Education.”

Jon Hall/Netflix

Netflix’s breakout comedy series “Sex Education” features a cast of young adult actors performing a wide array of different simulated sex acts, so it was essential for series creator Laurie Nunn to have an intimacy coordinator on the crew from the beginning in order to both ease nerves and guarantee appropriate behavior on set. One of the first things the coordinator had to do was break the ice among the actors, which was achieved through a rather unusual cast workshop.

As revealed in the featurette below, the “Sex Education” cast was assigned to watch videos of animals’ mating rituals, from slugs to lions, cats, dogs, and more. “We watched those, and then when we had a workshop the next day and we spent the afternoon replicating the aforementioned rituals on chairs and on walls,” said Emma Mackey, the breakthrough actress who plays high school rebel Maeve Wiley in the series.

The cast agrees the ridiculousness of reenacting animal mating rituals not only got them over the awkwardness of the show’s subject matter but helped get them into their roles by differentiating the sex lives of their characters from their personal lives. The sex coordinator stayed on through production and was on set for every sex scene. Connor Swindells, who stars as bully Adam Groff, said the coordinator provided “support and comfort” during what could have been uncomfortable moments on set.

“She was a really nice presence,” added Aimee Lou Wood (Aimee Gibbs). “She took away the mystery. After you rehearsed [with her], you know like eight thrusts here and nine thrusts there, it becomes like a dance routine.”

“Sex Education” has been a major hit for Netflix since debuting January 11. The streaming giant reported last month the series is on track to be viewed by over 40 million users in its first four weeks. The series recently picked up a second season renewal.

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