Dame Joan Collins says she had to get ‘plastered’ before performing intimate scenes

Actor recalled director handing her a bottle of rum before shooting intimate scene

Ellie Muir
Thursday 06 June 2024 11:23 BST
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Dame Joan Collins has reflected on being encouraged to get “plastered” while performing sex scenes in a pre-Me Too film industry.

In a new interview, the 91-year-old actor recalled working on the 1970s films The Stud and The B****, for which she had to get “so drunk” before performing intimate scenes. The Stud, released in 1978 and written by her sister Jackie Collins, follows Fontaine Khaled (played by Collins), the wife of a wealthy businessman who spends her husband’s money on her nightclub.

Collins said that she relied on alcohol while shooting sex scenes for the film, because she founds intimate scenes such “hard work”.

“There was an orgy scene and Oliver Tobias, Sue Lloyd, Mark Burns and I got really plastered beforehand,” she recalled.

Collins reflected on shooting another film, which was never released, when the director encouraged on-set drinking and handed her a bottle of rum before performing a sex scene.

“It was the same with an Italian film which, thank God, no one has ever seen, where I had [a] love-making scene and the director gave me and the actor a bottle of rum and said, ‘Enjoy, and come on set in an hour.’”

This would raise eyebrows in today’s film industry, which now has intimacy coordinators – trained professionals working closely with actors to choreograph and establish boundaries in intimate scenes – present on Hollywood sets.

However, the Dynasty and Empire of Arts actor said that she would hate to have to do sex scenes today because she thinks intimate scenes have become “so explicit” in recent years.

Collins recalled one director handing her a bottle of rum before shooting sex scene
Collins recalled one director handing her a bottle of rum before shooting sex scene (Getty Images)

“Maybe some actors can express extreme passion. It’s a hard thing to do unless you feel it. I don’t think I could do that today — not at my age anyway,” she told MailOnline.

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Collins added that she was rarely considered for sex scenes past her twenties, stating that the industry deemed her “past her prime” when she turned 27.

“My contract at 20th Century Fox came to an end when I was 27, because that was considered the point at which a woman was past her prime,” she said. “That’s when I settled down and had babies and I thought, ‘Right, had it now’, and retired.”

Collins remarked that she believes that younger women actors working in today’s industry do not face the same barriers.

Joan Collins in the 1978 film ‘The Stud’
Joan Collins in the 1978 film ‘The Stud’ (Artoc Films)

“And now look where we are!” she said. “You have Jennifer Lopez at, what, 55? And Demi Moore is prancing around at 60 looking fabulous.”

‘There is no barrier now, or at least not the same sort of barrier,” she said.

Elsewhere in the interview, Collins addressed her lack of desire to retire from acting, stating that she thinks people “crumble” and “don’t have any impetus” in retirement.

“They don’t have anything that makes them want to get up in the morning, and you know, lying in bed and watching daytime TV is very addictive. I do it sometimes and I could do it all day. But no. I want to get up and do things and experience... life.”

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