It’s hard to make me blush on the job, since I do a lot of nude and erotic modeling. I stick to my guns on my limits, yet I do move outside my comfort zone if I truly believe the situation warrants it.
Recently I was on set for a film I am starring in, Gone with the Dead and we shot the lovemaking scene. Last year, when the Director first contacted me about the opportunity, I almost backed out completely when he mentioned the implied sex scene. He told me they would work within my comfort…
One of my big hard limits is no posing with nude men, or interacting in a sexual way with a male on screen. This might seem odd coming from an erotic nude model, but I don’t like being touched by males unless I am romantically involved. High fives and hugs are okay, but beyond that puts me on edge (unless I am REALLY comfortable being around the individual, like one of my old roommates or something)
I talked to my significant other about it, and he said I should take the role anyway- he has acted in films in the past where he had to perform similar scenes with nude females. So I agreed, and have been anxiety-ridden about this scene for MONTHS!
The thing I was most nervous about was screwing up the scene. I do not have professional acting training, and I was really uncertain about my ability to get intimate with a male actor I only met once before (on the prior shoot date). If I screwed up the scene, I would have to do it over and over again which, I worried, would exacserbate my anxiety. I felt like a sissy even having to run through the situation in my head like this….
So on the day of, we shot some other plot based scenes (stuff around the house, discovering some Zombies, a car scene with some dialog… etc) And one of the last scenes was the strip tease/implied sex scene. Throughout the day, I was uneasy about making eye contact with my male counterpart. Maybe I was trying to psychoanalyze if he was looking forward to it or just as nervous as I was…. or if he was just really professional and didn’t give a shit?? I couldn’t tell.
Some of the other actors were having conversations about their own personal super kinky sex escapades (talking about corporal punishment and spanking to the point of bleeding and stuff…), which intrigued me but actually made me even a little more nervous to get the scene over with!
So we finally get to the bedroom part and the lighting guy was playing with gel filters on LED panels while the director’s assistant went over “exactly what we planned to do” in this scene. There were three lines “You got this on tap now, baby”, “Yeah I wanna tap that ass”, and “So come and get it” but we had to drag out the strip tease and physical interaction a bit. The script was a little vague.
This is an “R” rated film, so obviously nothing overly gratuitous… we still had our clothes on, but walked through step by step where I would be standing while stripping, and how he was going to move closer to me, then my body movements for the strip tease…. to fully nude, and then him picking me up, laying me on the bed, kissing me on the lips, on the neck, and between the boobs, then the scene would fade out. I told him not to kiss me until the camera started rolling because I would have to re-do my lipstick and stuff.
After the clothed practice, the lighting people took like 20 more minutes fidgeting with the lights while I awkwardly sat on the bed. The owner of the house we were using was this funny stoner guy and he kept taking snapshots of us in his roommates bed… The camera man and the lighting guy were bantering about how to shoot our movements to make it “artful” and not tacky.
Finally after 45 or so minutes of prepping, lighting, moving the bed around, reorganizing the room, bumping into the boom mic and light switches a few times, my male counterpart stripped down to his bun-huggers and socks and sat on the bed….
(shit I can’t even look at him straight…) lights…. (don’t fuck up….) camera…. (this will be over soon…..) action! (…pretend like it’s just a photoshoot…….?)
The strip tease was the easy part, I do this shit all the time! Boy am I glad I am not insecure about my body…. I Seductively peeled off the shirt, gracefully teased down my tight jeans, he scooted closer (is he acting or is he really turned on…. AH try not to lose it!)
A trick I learned from modeling with other females without bursting into laughter, is to look at their nose or eyebrows instead of into their eyes. Something about sensually stroking a stranger while looking into their eyes JUST MAKES MY BLOOD FIZZ and I knew it would affect my microexpressions… I think he was trying to look me in the eye, but I just could NOT do it!!!
Awkwardness pumped through my veins, and I could feel my arms and legs getting shaky with the jitters, and not in a happy flirty butterflies type jitters, but the kind you feel when you’re about to make a speech on stage in front of a stiff crowd.
We shot the same strip tease, him touching me, picking me up fully nude, swinging me around onto my back on the bed and kissing me lips-neck-chest like 6 or 7 times (different angles, multiple takes of each angle). I just had to block my thoughts and shut down my fear-mongering inside chatter.
The crew was counting on me to do my job as the talent, when one person screws up (like a cell phone buzz, a tiny bump of the camera, focus, sound, ANYTHING) means you have to redo that take again.
The crew said we did really good and everyone was super happy with the outcome. It was not an awful experience, I just had tension building up to the action happening, like when you know you have to get a shot at the doctor…. the anticipation is worse then the actual pinch of the needle.
Would I do it again? Only if the film role would benefit my future career. I would probably still have anxiety at future love scenes. I am more of a model than an actress, but I took this gig to add “Star Actor” to my Resume, and how often does a director contact ANYONE who has no experience acting for a LEAD role? Once I deduced the film was legit, I agreed to take the discomfort.
If any of the cast are reading this, thank you for being professional on set! I felt respected and as comfortable in the situation as I could have been given my own personal issues and lack of experience. Success!
Thanks for taking the time to read this, I know it’s a longer than usual post!
Have you ever signed up for something you were really nervous to follow through with? Share with me in the comments!