A while back, I asked if anyone knew how mainstream actors and actresses kept on-screen sex scenes from . . . getting out of hand. Agnostic at Dusk in Autumn links to a modest example from the filming of The Other Boleyn Girl:
Actors usually don’t have a problem staying in control during love scenes. Since romance is blocked and rehearsed and shot under the hot lights and in front of a large crew, even the most intimate scenes are usually little more than a carefully choreographed, technical exercise.
However, on the set of this one period film, things got a little out of control. During a kissing scene between a handsome, foreign-born actor and a sexy American actress, the actress suddenly stopped and backed away a few paces from her co-star. The actor was left standing there alone. Well, he wasn’t exactly alone. He was accompanied by the incredible bulge in his pants. Filming had to be halted for several minutes while the actor cooled off...
When Bana started getting excited during a love scene, Johansson simply backed away and waited for assistance. According to our source on the set, Johansson was totally professional about the whole situation, and went right back into the scene after a brief “cool down” period.
Agnostic laments that today’s actresses’ unwillingness to “get in the moment” diminishes the quality of movie love scenes. I don’t know whether that’s necessarily true. Were Kate Winslet and David Kross “in the moment” when they filmed one of the more deeply passionate love scenes I have ever had the pleasure of watching? Either way, it’s a counter example to Agnostic’s generality.
But more to the point, there are other considerations. In 2008, Scarlett Johansson was starting her (brief) marriage to Ryan Reynolds. Now, I’m not necessarily arguing that married actors and actresses have to be as fastidious as, say, Kirk Cameron, although I fully respect his position. But it would have been deeply inappropriate for Johansson to allow herself to become aroused during a love scene with a man-not-her-husband. The presence of cameras do not make the immoral moral.