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‘House of the Dragon’ Intimacy Coordinator: We’re Sensitive to ‘Thrones’ Bad Rap for ‘Gratuitous’ Sex

Miriam Lucia also criticized "Game of Thrones" alum Sean Bean's comments about intimacy coordinators blocking spotaneity on sets.

A man speaks closely with his teen daughter, both in medieval garb inside a palace; still from "House of the Dragon."

“House of the Dragon”

HBO

House of the Dragon” is continuing to distance itself from “Game of Thrones” — despite sharing a lot in common each week with the legacy series.

Intimacy coordinator Miriam Lucia addressed the stark (pun intended) difference between the prequel series and its HBO predecessor, especially in terms of onscreen consensual and non-consensual sex scenes.

“‘Game Of Thrones’ had a negative reputation – which they’ll admit — in terms of the press and the #MeToo movement, and with Emilia Clarke and other actors talking about how difficult and gratuitous it could be at times, and how much pressure they felt,” Lucia told Deadline. “So, I think what you get on ‘House of the Dragon’ is not only a production team that are sensitive to that, but you get a cast that is very aware of it and careful about what they will agree to. That precedent had been set.”

Lucia continued, “[Sexual content and nudity] is part of the show, it’s part of the essence of what it is, but we’re in a new era. I was invited at the very beginning to be involved in rehearsals, discussions, read-throughs, so that everybody knew who I was, and it was all open.”

“Game of Thrones” alum Sean Bean, who played Ned Stark in the series, recently dissed the use of intimacy coordinators on set, saying that the practice would “spoil the spontaneity” of love scenes.

Lucia responded to Bean’s claims, noting that while she does “love him as an actor,” his perspective on the practice is inherently outdated. “I just think he is a man of a certain age, who has been in this industry for a very long time, and he doesn’t have an experience of the other side,” Lucia, who also works on “The White Lotus,” said. “Or maybe he’s had a bad experience of working with an intimacy coordinator. All I would say is that in my experience so far, I don’t think it gets in the way of the creative process.”

Lucia, whose work also includes “Industry,” clarified that HBO has a new agreement in place that “if there’s any nudity or any simulated sexual intercourse on their shows then there is an intimacy coordinator expected on set.” Lucia also was requested to be on set during the intense birthing scene in the pilot episode of “House of the Dragon” as actress Sian Brooke felt her “presence made her feel more comfortable” during production.

“House of the Dragon” actress Emily Carey recently spoke out about being “scared” to shoot a love scene with Paddy Considine who plays her onscreen husband, and is 30 years her senior in real life. Carey credited Lucia for being “amazing” in helping her prepare and feel safe on set.

“She basically said she was very frightened ahead of that scene, and that without an intimacy coordinator she wouldn’t have known how to handle it,” Lucia explained. “It was good to hear that following on from Sean Bean’s comments about how intimacy coordinators ruin spontaneity. But I get why he said that, because he doesn’t have the same experience of it, and because this is a new function on sets.”

Lucia added that she didn’t just work with Carey to assure her comfort, saying, “It was also about talking Paddy through the whole thing, and checking that he was OK. He has a child Emily’s age after all.”

Lucia said, “People don’t really know what it is that we do. Some question why we’re there…We need to be ready for the shoot date but also to know there won’t be any ugly surprises.”

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