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Life as an intimacy director: ‘Watching a film or TV show, I can tell if an actor is uncomfortable doing a sex scene’

Intimacy director Sue Mythen from Wexford ensures the comfort and safety of actors during sex scenes in theatre and film, and says actors deliver more nuanced performances when they are given agency over the work they’re creating 

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Intimacy coach Sue Mythen at work, with actors Alex Conlon and Barry McKiernan. Photo: Mark Condren

Intimacy coach Sue Mythen at work, with actors Alex Conlon and Barry McKiernan. Photo: Mark Condren

Intimacy coach Sue Mythen at work, with actors Alex Conlon and Barry McKiernan. Photo: Mark Condren

I became an actor in the 1980s and worked for over 15 years with various theatre companies. Along the way I became more interested in physical storytelling so I went to the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London and did a masters degree in movement for actors.

As part of that work we learned every element of physical storytelling and the non-verbal communication of acting. I went on to become a movement director and a movement teacher at The Lir Academy, TCD and then, after training with Intimacy for Stage and Screen, I began to work specifically on intimate content in theatre and film.


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