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Ewan McGregor says he had an intimacy coordinator for sex scenes with his wife

Written by on March 20, 2024

Ewan McGregor (left) and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (right) at the premiere event for "A Gentleman in Moscow" in New York City on March 12.

(CNN) – Hollywood star Ewan McGregor has said it was “still necessary” to have an intimacy coordinator for the sex scenes in new drama series “A Gentleman in Moscow,” even though he was performing alongside his wife Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

“It’s still necessary, because it’s also about the crew, and it’s odd to be naked in front of people, it’s odd to be intimate in front of the camera,” McGregor told UK magazine Radio Times in an interview for its latest cover story.

“If you were doing a dance scene, you’d have a choreographer,” added the 52-year-old. “It’s an important part of the work now, because it’s somebody that the director and actors meet in the middle.”

The couple have been married since 2022. They share a son, Laurie, who was born the previous year.

The role of the intimacy coordinator is to support the actor in any intimate action on set, such as contact kissing, physical touch and simulated sex.

They often plan, choreograph and liaise with actors and the production team to ensure that those in front of, and behind, the camera feel safe and comfortable with every aspect and stage of the process.

Intimacy coordinators have become increasingly common in recent years, which McGregor, who has four daughters from his previous marriage to production designer Eve Mavrakis, believes is a good thing.

He cited 22-year-old daughter Esther in the Radio Times interview, suggesting that an actor of her age might feel they have to do a naked scene if asked to do so by a famous director in order to advance their career.

“Then five years after that, she could look back and go, ‘I wish I hadn’t. Why am I naked in that scene? It’s unnecessary,’” he added.

“Now there’s somebody she talks to whose career doesn’t rest on the shoulders of this person.”

McGregor plays Count Alexander Rostov in the new Paramount+ series “A Gentleman in Moscow,” while Winstead plays actress Anna Urbanova.

Scheduled for release on March 29, the series follows a Russian aristocrat who is placed under house arrest while the Bolshevik Revolution plays out before him, according to Paramount+.

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