HBO’s “House of the Dragon” star Emily Carey recently opened up about her uneasiness over filming uncomfortable sexual scenes for the show.
Carey, who plays Alicent Hightower in the fantasy series, appeared in Sunday night’s episode with her significantly older husband — King Viserys (played by Paddy Considine) — in several intimate scenes.
The first scene shows her helping bathe him in a tub. In the second, she appears visibly uneasy while lying beneath him in bed as they have intercourse.
Speaking on the nearly 30-year age gap, Carey shared that she was “still 17” at the time of casting and 18 when filming began.
In a recent interview with Newsweek, she revealed she felt “scared” to carry out the scenes with the then-47-year-old Considine.
“We have an intimacy coordinator who was amazing,” Carey told the outlet. “Again, still being 17, the first scene that I read from the show was my sex scene and my intimacy scenes, that includes the scene where I’m bathing the king ― anything that felt intimate was considered an intimacy scene, which I thought was great.”
On film and television sets, “intimacy coordinators” are responsible for ensuring the well-being of actors who participate in on-screen sex scenes.
“But, it scared me, because at that point I still hadn’t met Paddy, I didn’t know how much of a joy he was and how easy he was going to make [the scene], and all I saw was, you know, a 47-year-old man and me, I was a bit concerned,” she continued.
“And having that outlet of the intimacy coordinator, to be able to talk everything through and not be shunned, or not feel awkward, or not feel like ‘Oh, this isn’t your job. I don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable but can I ask you ... ’ it was never any of that, it was just that open dialogue,” Carey added.
The now-19-year-old went on to share that despite her apprehension, the ordeal was “a lot easier than I thought it was going to be.”
Carey — who also revealed that she had never watched the series’s forerunner, “Game of Thrones,” before being cast — said she was “nervous” about the “violent sex” themes when she finally watched the show in the pre-production period.
“I’ve never seen ’Game of Thrones’ before, and so in the pre-production period I sat down to try and watch [it] and of course the first season, even just the first episode of ’Thrones,’ there’s a lot of violence upon women,” she said. “There’s a lot of violent sex and it made me nervous. I was like, ‘Oh God, what am I gonna have to do in this show?’”
Carey isn’t the only cast member to be taken aback by the abundance of steamy scenes.
In August, Matt Smith, who plays Prince Daemon Targaryen in the series, told the British Rolling Stone that he thinks the slew of sex scenes his character appears in is “slightly too much, if you ask me.”
The show’s prequel, “Game of Thrones,” has also found itself under fire for its risque nudity in past years.
Late last year, actor Gemma Whelan, who played Yara Greyjoy in the series, called the show’s sex scenes “a frenzied mess” in an interview with The Guardian.