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Monday 28 May 2018

Caroline Morahan: My husband hated my steamy scenes - until he filmed them

Caroline Morahan with co-star David Arquette
Caroline Morahan with co-star David Arquette
Niamh Horan

Niamh Horan

Actors often complain about the difficulties of recording love scenes.

Far from every girl's fantasy, Dakota Johnson memorably said "this is the worst thing ever" when filming her S&M scenes with Jamie Dornan, while Olivia Wilde deflated expectations telling fans that off-shot: "There is always a particularly large and hairy man holding a boom and wearing a crop top... somewhere in the vicinity of your face."

Michael Douglas spoke too about the added pressure of an audience where "everyone is a judge".

"I don't know the last time you murdered somebody or blew anyone's brains out, but everyone has had sex and probably this morning, which means everyone has an opinion on how it should be done."

But the biggest problem stars face is their real-life partners watching them get intimate with a stranger.

Now Irish actress Caroline Morahan has the perfect solution - let your partner film and direct it.

Caroline Morahan on the set of ‘The Old Man’s Hands’
Caroline Morahan on the set of ‘The Old Man’s Hands’

Morahan, who is married to Daithi O'Caoimh, discovered that letting her husband behind the camera helped him come to terms with her steamy scenes.

"When we moved over here it was a big change for him too, because I hadn't been a professional actor when we first met, I was a TV presenter," she says. "So he was a bit [reluctant about it] at the start. He would say: 'oh I wouldn't be into that now. I wouldn't be into you doing sex scenes."

But that all changed when a last-minute audition came along, and Caroline asked him to film and direct it. She says: "I got an opportunity to record a tape for a show and I didn't have time to 'dilly dally' so I grabbed him and asked him to help out. The scene involved a lot of kissing and heavy petting and my husband was the person who ran camera and directed it.

"When he was part of the process and realised how technical it is and what it takes to turn around the product for the tape, it completely demystified it for him and ever since then he has never had an issue with it."

Now the Dubliner has landed a dream role as wife of Hollywood actor David Arquette in a new short movie The Old Man's Hands.

Describing David as "very sweet" with "a lovely gentle energy to him" Morahan jumped at the opportunity when director Marc Bowen sought her out to play Arquette's on-screen wife.

The script came about when Bowen was chatting to his barber, who shared a story about his life estranged from his father. The man described how he was raised by a single mother and only came into contact with his father again when the man died. The barber, Greg Krupa, who moonlights as mortician, was asked to prepare the body. The man said the experience finally brought him the closure he needed to move on.

Morahan, who was attending the Irish contemporary feminist exhibition The Mart Gallery in Los Angeles, says the symbolism of her on-screen relationship with Arquette and their children is to portray the idea that "past hurts are not going on to the next generation."

Not limiting herself to acting, the former RTE star has also set up a successful theatre company, InHouse Theatre. She has also appeared in the hit US show Once Upon a Time, as well as movie Lionhead and What About Love.

Read more: Irish actress Caroline Morahan on casting couch culture in Hollywood: 'It was treated as something actresses have to do'

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