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Joanna Lumley says sex scenes are ‘rude and horrible’ and should be ‘cut altogether’

‘Absolutely Fabulous’ star said intimate scenes bore her

Ellie Muir
Wednesday 28 February 2024 10:35 GMT
Joanna Lumley surprises stressed British commuters

Joanna Lumley has shared her disdain for sex scenes in TV and film, as she said she finds them “rude and horrible”.

In a new interview, the Absolutely Fabulous star, 77, expressed her hatred for performing or watching sex scenes – and said that they “bore” her.

“The second you take your clothes off, the audience looks at you, the actor, and your attributes – what your breasts and genitals are like,” she explained.

“You’ve immediately lost the character you’ve built,” she toldRadio Times magazine’s podcast. “There’s a playground element to it… pull your pants down and let’s see what you’ve got.”

The Fool Me Once actor added that she thinks sex scenes slow down the narrative of TV shows and films, and that if she was the director, she’d remove them altogether.

“I’d cut them. They slow things down. They’re rude and horrible. I don’t watch people on the lavatory!”

Lumley said that throughout her career, nudity has been seen as something that female actors had to endure.

“Vanessa Redgrave, Julie Christie – we all had to take our top[s] off. It was part of the titillation of the time,” she said.

Lumley said sex scenes ‘bore’ her (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Different stars of stage and screen have recently spoken out against sex scenes.

Argylle star Henry Cavill recently told Josh Horowitz’s Happy Sad Confused podcast that he is “not a fan” of sex scenes.

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“I think there are circumstances where a sex scene actually is beneficial to a movie, rather than just the audience, but I think sometimes they’re overused these days,” he said.

“It’s when you have a sense where you’re going, ‘Is this really necessary or is it just people with less clothing on?’” he continued.

Henry Cavill said he is ‘not a fan’ of sex scenes (Getty Images)

He said it can be a bit of a cop-out if a TV show or movie is “just filled with gyrating bodies”.

“And that’s when you start to get more uncomfortable and you’re thinking, ‘There’s not a performance here, there’s not a piece which is going to carry through to the rest of the movie,’” he said.

Last year, Penn Badgley, who plays the stalker Joe Goldberg in Netflix’s psychological thriller You, revealed that a “phenomenal reduction” in intimate scenes was made at his request for the series’ fourth season.

“This was actually a decision I had made before I took the show,” he said on his podcast, Podcrushed; “Do I want to put myself back on a career path where I’m always [the] romantic lead?”

Badgley added: “Fidelity, in every relationship, and especially my marriage, is important to me.”

“It got to a point where [I thought], ‘I don’t want to do that,’ so I said to Sera, like, ‘My desire would be zero [intimate scenes], to go from 100 to zero.’”

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