Suranne Jones has insisted the sex scenes in her upcoming drama Gentleman Jack are not “gratuitous”.
The 40-year-old actress plays wealthy landowner Anne Lister in the BBC series written by Last Tango in Halifax’s Sally Wainwright.
The 19th-century diarist is regarded as a pioneer in LGBTQ+ history, partly because she documented her same-sex romances in code in order to keep her love life under wraps.
But while sex scenes were scripted and rehearsed to be as authentic as possible, Suranne has revealed they were not shot to titillate TV audiences.
“It was really important that we did all of that work [with the intimacy coach]. The intimacy [and] the tenderness is what we went for actually,” Suranne is reported to have said.
“So there’s a lot of looks that we can do that speak volumes, and being really confident with each other and it didn’t have to be gratuitous in any way.
“And the bed scenes were fully clothed because if someone walked in on the two of us, we would have to very quickly pull our nightclothes down and pretend we were friends. So it worked so well without showing too much. It’s just beautifully done.”
Reflecting on how the coach encouraged cast members to discuss their experience of filming sex scenes on other shows, Sally added: “I thought it was important to do it, and really responsibly. And if an all-female cast can’t do it responsibly, no one else is going to!”
Set in 1832, Gentleman Jack depicts Anne returning to her Shibden Hall estate in West Yorkshire after a long period travelling, having been on a mission to breathe new life into her faded ancestral home and find herself a partner.
The series has already aired over in the US on HBO.
– Gentleman Jack airs on BBC One at 9pm on May 19
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