Phoebe Dynevor, the actor who starred in the recent Netflix sensation Bridgerton, has opened about the well-publicised sex scenes which have dominated discussions around the show.
Set in an aristocratic English society, Bridgerton features a house-filled with siblings who count on the eldest daughter, Daphne Bridgerton, to find herself a suitable match which would help step up her sisters’ respective games in the marriage market. The oldest brother is a preserver of traditions but secretly beds his mistress. There is a dashing young Duke who, despite brimming with sass and trauma, eyes only the beautiful, virginal Daphne. The neighbours try to outdo the Bridgerton clan in the marriage market. However, all plans are thwarted, and all scandals are brought to light by an anonymous woman named Lady Whistledon, who exposes the conspiracies and scandals of this ostentatious society.
Phoebe Dynevor’s character, Daphne Bridgerton, is central to the marriage drama and becomes the focus of a number of raunchy sex scenes. Despite being just 25-years-old, Dynevor has been a working actor for a number of years and, more importantly, has been involved in the ever-evolving world of safety on set. Now, as part of a major bid to act on the number of sexual harassment claims, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artist has enforced new rules to protect artists working in film.
Now, as part of a protection plan, it has been made a vital rule that ‘intimacy coordinators’ must be required to have “one-on-one meetings with actors to be clear about what they consent to”.
Union president Gabrielle Carteris said in a statement: “Under the guidelines, intimacy coordinators should have pre-production meetings with producers, directors, and writers to establish the exact degrees of nudity expected and the specifics of simulated sex as established in scripts.”
Adding: “These protocols and guidelines will help to normalise and encourage the use of intimacy coordinators in productions, therefore ensuring the safety and security of SAG-AFTRA members while they work.”
For Dynevor, her experience working alongside colleague Rege-Jean Page on Bridgerton was successfully aided by the new guidelines: “It was so great, because it felt safe and fun: you choreograph it like a stunt, or a dance,” she said in an interview with Grazia in reference to the sec sex scenes.
Worryingly though, she added: “I’ve done sex scenes before that I can’t believe I did: it was only five or six years ago, but it would not be allowed now,” in what is a damning reflection of previous standards of safety.
Founder of the Intimacy Professionals Association, Amanda Blumenthal, said the new guidelines “strike the right balance between describing the roles and responsibilities of intimacy coordinators while still allowing for flexibility from show-to-show”.
Co-founder and associate director Alicia Rodis added: “It is our hope that this process can be widely adopted for an effective and reasonable path for productions to work with a trained intimacy coordinator.
“With these protocols already field-tested by an ever-growing number of productions and studios, we believe we can make important and welcome industry changes.”