Actor Christopher Eccelston says he once faced a major betrayal on set with an A-list actor who accused him of “copping a feel” during a sex scene.
Fresh off a sex scene with Jodie Foster on this latest season of HBO drama True Detective, Eccelston told The Independent much has changed in the industry with the implementation of intimacy coordinators.
While his scene with Foster—an admitted longtime crush—was smooth sailing, Eccelston said the addition of intimacy coordinators are there to protect men too, recalling a rocky situation he experienced years back, what he called an “abuse of power.”
“I did a sex scene with an A-list actress—not Nicole Kidman, who was brilliant—and she implied, in front of the crew, that I was copping a feel. Because she didn’t like me.”
Though Eccelston didn’t offer any further detail about which series or movie this was, he said he’s grateful it happened before the #MeToo movement took off, as he would’ve been “put in the stocks for it.” And the actor still isn’t ready to make nice with the alleged actor, saying he’d “sooner have put my hands in a food blender than copped a feel of that person.”
Eccelston, who also starred in Doctor Who and The Leftovers, among many other projects, isn’t the first actor to comment on this industry shift, as Hollywood continues to adjust to a post-#MeToo landscape. While cancel culture hater Jennifer Aniston recently shrugged off these safety measures as unnecessary in an interview with Variety, Eccelston says it’s “a wonderful innovation in the industry.”
“As a bloke, as a young man, you walk onto the set and see the majority of people in the crew are male. Then there’s a beautiful woman who’s naked,” he told the Independent. “So unless you are a complete asshole, you just continually ask her: are you comfortable? Is there anything I can do?”
A reevaluation of past sex scenes has become common practice by both Hollywood stars and audiences in recent years amid a reckoning of sexual abuse and harassment. British actor Sean Bean dismissed the role as unnecessary in 2022, worried they’d “spoil the spontaneity” of the scene.
Meanwhile, Romeo and Juliet stars Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting filed a lawsuit against Paramount Pictures, alleging child abuse over the sex scene in the infamous film. While they were initially told there would be no nudity, the two—both children at the time—were pushed to perform naked, the lawsuit alleges.