Celebrity sex scenes changed in 2020 – and there are memes for that
Coronavirus has changed the film industry as we know it. One of the biggest struggles that TV producers have faced lately is, “How are we going to film kissing and sex scenes now?” Here are a few different amusing ways that TV shows are handling the change.
The Bold and the Beautiful
The long-running CBS soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful has taken the most unusual (and hilarious) approach to the COVID-19 safety precautions as far as romance scenes go. Being one of the first shows to return to production, the producers had to get a little creative. At first, they tried to take out the love scenes but the producers felt like the show came up a bit flat since it’s about romance and family interactions.
Now this is where it gets interesting – executive producer Bradley Bell said, “One of the first ideas we had was to bring in mannequins for the intimate scenes and hospital scenes, and it’s working quite well – we’re shooting it from a great distance or in a way you can’t see the form in inanimate.” (Did he just say mannequins?? YUP.)
Bell stated, “We have some life-like blow-up dolls that have been sitting around here for the past 15 years, that we’ve used for various other stories – [like] when people were presumed dead.” (Sexy.) Bell continued, “We’re dusting off the dolls and putting new wigs and make-up on them and they’ll be featured in love scenes.”
The show must go on 🤣🤣🤣 #covid #lmfao #dying #makeitwork #theboldandthebeautiful #mannequin #trynottolaugh #safetyfirst
♬ Happy Laughing – Sound Effect
Curious to see if people noticed that the actors were kissing mannequins? Check out this TikTok video from @cristinafuentes128. (Hint: they noticed).
When asked how the actors are reacting to their inanimate costars, Bell responded, “We’ve had a lot of strange looks and questions like, ‘Do you really want to do this?’” Bell continued, “But everyone is game. They are getting their first latex kiss.” (This feels very Lars and the Real Girl. . . maybe they can hit up Ryan Gosling for some tips)
Fortunately for some actors, including Denise Richards, their spouses are allowed to fill in for kissing scenes if they resemble the actor closely enough. Richards’s husband, actor Aaron Phypers, could not resemble The Bold and the Beautiful star Thorsten Kaye more if he tried.
A 2020 television sex scene. We’re back. #ThisIsUs pic.twitter.com/0UK7uvpUW8
— Dan Fogelman (@Dan_Fogelman) September 24, 2020
This Is Us
This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman tweeted out this photo of a masked Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia with the caption, “A 2020 television sex scene. We’re back. #ThisIsUs”.
Chrissy Metz, who plays Kate on This Is Us, has her doubts that there will be a whole lot of romance this season. She told ET, “I don’t think we’re going to be kissing.” Metz continued, “I think we might [do] like the side church hug or something, but I don’t know if we’re going to be kissing, y’all. I doubt it.”
Fogelman confirmed on Twitter that they have decided to take on the pandemic during the season. Considering the show covers so many deep topics such as drug abuse & grief, it makes sense for them to include the pandemic into the script.
The CW hit show Riverdale plans to feature mannequins in the audience for a graduation scene but unlike The Bold and the Beautiful, they will not be featured in any steamy love scenes.
CW showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa stated, “There’s a weird retro 1950s vibe to Riverdale.”
Aguirre-Sacasa continued saying, “One of the things we sometimes do is suggest sex through coded language – I think we’ll almost lean into that melodrama and suggestive behavior.” (Very Hays Code.)
K.J. Apa (Archie Andrews) posted an Instagram video of himself & Camila Mendes (Veronica Lodge) swishing around some mouthwash before a kissing scene. Apa captioned the video, “Our new normal is washing our mouths before every take of a make-out scene. . . .” One of the top comments is, “Y’all weren’t doing that before?”
Actress Caterina Scorsone (Dr. Amelia Shepherd) posted numerous on-set selfies to her Instagram page with a few creative COVID safety precaution signs. (This particular sign is a bit suggestive and very clever).
As far as sex scenes go, Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff dicussed her thoughts on The Hollywood Reporter’s “TV’s Top 5” podcast.
Vernoff shared, “Obviously you can’t have people making out, but there’s been a lot of sex on Grey’s Anatomy that doesn’t involve kissing. There’s a lot of sexy lifting of clothes and pulling down of clothes and taking off of things and standing behind a person in a sexy way. There’s a lot of ways to skin that cat, so to speak.”
Vernoff reassured, “Safety is our number one concern.” She continued, “In the beginning, it felt a little like the blind leading the blind. And now it feels like we’ve got more of the right elements in place – the right people to run a COVID department and to create safety.”
Grey’s Anatomy is another show that will address the pandemic in the storylines.
CW’s Dynasty, a revival of the 80s soap opera with the same name, has also caused the producers & writers to scramble for creative solutions during these times. Reims told NYTimes, laughing, “Phone sex has certainly come up a lot.” He continued saying, “I was looking through the first episode written before all this, and basically removed everything that said, ‘And then they kiss.’”
Reims added, “The joke amoung the writers is that we will watch two characters say they want to have sex and then cut to them saying, “That was some great sex.” (That’s one way to do it. . . .)
It’s interesting to think about how different our favorite TV shows will look in the coming year. At a time of uncertainty, one thing that’s for sure – Normal People would look a whole lot different if it was filmed post-pandemic.