Outlander teaser: "I Am Not Alone" – Season Finale
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Starz series Outlander is off-screens at the moment with fans in for quite a wait until season seven. While viewers try to survive the so-called Droughtlander, many are eager for any new bits of trivia from the show. Although season six was the shortest outing to date, it had some of the most poignant plot points as well as some tender moments between the central couple Jamie (played by Sam Heughan) and Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe).
Speaking to Express.co.uk, intimacy coordinator Vanessa Coffey, explained how she worked with Heughan and Balfe on the new series, saying her role was different compared to other shows.
Coffey was enlisted by producer and actor Heughan to work on Outlander with the intimacy coordinator now busy on season seven as filming takes place in Scotland.
Heughan wanted an intimacy coordinator to offer support to the cast, particularly the younger members who were new to the industry.
When Outlander first aired, the show didn’t have an intimacy coordinator with the cast working without one.
Intimacy coordination has come about relatively recently off the back of the #MeToo era. Now many shows from Bridgerton and Sex Education to I May Destroy You, have a dedicated intimacy coordinator on hand to work with the cast to ensure safety.
In fact, sex scenes are now treated with the same rigorous planning as a fight scene with many discussions, choreography sessions, and rehearsals taking place prior to filming.
Coffey, who has also worked on Netflix’s Fate: The Winx Saga and Sky’s I Hate Suzie, said: “Sam and Caitriona already do have a mode of working together, so really it’s a little bit different on Outlander working with the leads because it’s about how I can come in and help enhance those scenes.
“They already have a great deal of trust between the two of them, which is really lovely. I think it’s really apparent they’ve got a good working relationship.”
She said her job was more about how she could assist Balfe and Heughan with these intimate moments, explaining: “So then it’s about, ‘Okay, let’s talk about the literal things that are going to happen in this scene: the angles we’re going to be shooting it from. Maybe adding in some of the things they hadn’t previously spoken about that they may have spoken about together that we can have a conversation about as a group with production.
“As an example, whether the characters go through to orgasm. That’s not a conversation you want to have on the day of the shoot. You want to ask, ‘Is this going to happen?’
“It’s about having that conversation before we get to the time of the shoot.”
Coffey added: “Both of those actors have also said very kindly that it’s been a real help to have an intimacy coordinator come on the show, to have those conversations that hadn’t been had before but were had in the context of if they were going to do a fight.
“They prep the fight scene and we need to prep intimacy in the same way.”
The intimacy coordinator said before she was brought on board, the two stars would have a conversation between themselves about what the scene would be and where they thought it would go.
Coffey’s job involves looking at the scripts for the show and having numerous conversations with the cast and crew about the intimate scenes in question.
She starts off by speaking to individual cast members before bringing everyone to have a discussion about the artistic vision and direction of these moments.
Next is the choreography of the scenes and the literal things taking place in the scene with rehearsals coming after this.
The final stage of the process is filming with rehearsals and further talks about any last-minute tweaks taking place before the cameras roll.
Coffey would also be on hand after the scenes were filmed to offer further support to the actors, if they were required to shoot some of the darker scenes.
She said of her addition to Outlander: “I think that what this process adds is that extra piece of tying things in and say, ‘Right, from the get-go, what do they want artistically as show-runners, directors, actors?’
Outlander season 6 is streaming on STARZPLAY now and season 7 is in production
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