Filming raunchy scenes was empowering, says Emily Watson
Emily Watson has said that filming raunchy scenes in her new BBC1 drama was "empowering" because casting directors had stopped asking her to play sexual women.
The 50-year-old plays a middle-aged scientist whose life spirals out of control when she embarks on a passionate affair with a stranger in the drama, Apple Tree Yard.
She said that sexuality in women over 40 is not usually acknowledged on screen.
Watson told Radio Times magazine that she and her co-star, her friend Ben Chaplin, planned every detail of a steamy scene - set in a crypt below the House of Commons.
"We've known each other a long time, and we didn't want to fumble about, waiting for someone to shout 'Cut!', which usually happens," she said.
"We plotted and planned every detail. We wanted it to be realistic - what would it be like in that situation, in a cupboard with a complete stranger? Which was great."
Watson said that it was refreshing to play the part as the industry tends to fixate on sexuality in the roles for younger actors.
"I'd never laughed so much and it felt... empowering! How great to be playing a woman who's my age, and sexual, complicated, grown up, aware that female sexuality is a very powerful thing at this age," she told the magazine.
"It's a very different thing from being a sexualised being in your 20s - it's a vibrant, creative, powerful thing, which isn't necessarily about having affairs but just part of who you are.
"As you grow older, you really feel that this isn't culturally acceptable or acknowledged in storytelling."
She added: "Someone once said to me that I'm a character actress who gets laid, and I've certainly done a lot of playful sexual creatures, but it got less and less as time went by, then stopped! And suddenly here I am, in every available doorway!"
Her comments come after the actress told The Sunday Telegraph that producers asked to film the sex scene in the crypt under the House of Commons - but were turned down.
"We were banished. Because as it turns out you can blow up James Bond on Westminster Bridge but no sex, please!", she told the newspaper.
The mother-of-two said she was glad that she was based in the UK instead of Hollywood.
She added: "I don't think I could have lived with the scrutiny. I feel like here I'm an actress and there I would have been a product."