Emma Thompson deeply enjoyed making her new Hulu sex comedy Good Luck to You, Leo Grande. But the emphasis on intimacy in the film, which is about an older woman who hires a sex worker to help her find her orgasm, got her thinking about the way sex scenes used to be filmed — and how much better those situations are for actors now than they used to be.
Though they didn’t end up using an intimacy coordinator during the making of Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, Thompson is very happy that the job even exists.
“I am so glad that that’s there now for young actors, because a lot of the time back in the day, it was just: ‘Right, now, take your clothes off.’ And everyone just took their clothes off, because they thought that was the job. And then they ended up feeling abused, which is in fact what they were,” she said in an interview with IndieWire ahead of the film’s Hulu premiere on June 17.
The reason they decided to forego the popular new set feature came down to personal preferences.
“It was just two of us, and only us,” she said of her experience with co-star Daryl McCormack. “We had preparation, and we had rehearsal. And we had Sophie [Hyde], our wonderful, extraordinary director. We thought we didn’t need one.”
When she first read the script by actress and screenwriter Katy Brand, who she previously worked with on Nanny McPhee Returns, she was immediately obsessed.
“This is extraordinary. You’ve crossed every boundary, but you’ve kept it light and funny and humane, and compassionate and fun. The script itself is such a pleasure. We have to make this and we have to make it right now,” Thompson said.
But pulling off the daring screenplay would require a very specific and fine-tuned approach.
“There’s lots and lots of risks,” she said. “Finding the right director, if you’ve got the tone wrong it could have been uncomfortable — now a little bit too comic, or too serious. We tried so many fine lines.”
Main Image: Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack in Good Luck to You, Leo Grande courtesy of Hulu