Mia Hansen-Løve Says Intimacy Coordinators ‘Aren’t Necessary’: I’d Rather Not Have ‘Virtue Police’ on Set

"I understand why some people might feel reassured, but it’s very far from the experience of my own film sets."
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 08: Mia Hansen-Løve attends the "One Fine Morning" screening during the 60th New York Film Festival at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on October 08, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for FLC)
Mia Hansen-Løve
Getty Images for FLC

It’s hard to think of a film industry profession that has attracted more attention in the past year than intimacy coordinators. As Hollywood continues to take gradual steps to make sets more inclusive, hiring experts to choreograph sex scenes and ensure that all performers agree to what they’ll be doing has become a popular trend. The prevalence of voices calling for more sex scenes only adds to the demand for the job.

But for every artist who praises the experience of working with an intimacy coordinator, there seems to be another one who criticizes the practice. Debates over the delicate balancing act between performer safety and artistic spontaneity don’t appear to be going away any time soon, and it’s hard to find a Hollywood figure who doesn’t have a strong opinion about it.

In a new interview with The Guardian, Mia Hansen-Løve offered her take on the controversial issue. The “Bergman Island” and “One Fine Morning” director counts herself firmly in the camp of filmmakers who think that intimacy coordinators needlessly get in the way of the creative process on set.

“No, I don’t. As long as I’m not forced to, I won’t use them,” Hansen-Løve said when asked if she had worked with intimacy coordinators. “I don’t think I need it. I’m extremely sensitive and pay lots of attention to the respect that the actors need to have for one another. I’ve never had any kind of problem. I’ve never forced any actor to do anything. Everything is discussed and happens in a very smooth way. So for me, intimacy coordinators aren’t necessary. If I was forced to have some kind of virtue police on set, I’d rather not film those scenes. I understand why some people might feel reassured, but it’s very far from the experience of my own film sets.”

While Hansen-Løve’s comments probably place her outside the mainstream Hollywood consensus about intimacy coordinators, her opinions are aligned with many of her fellow European arthouse filmmakers. When Gaspar Noé was asked about the recent prevalence of intimacy coordinators in an interview with IndieWire, the “Irreversible” director gave a blunt answer. “That doesn’t exist in France.”

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