That’s what intimacy coordinator Kristina Arjona maintained in an interview Thursday after the new erotic thriller spurred backlash on social media for a sex scene between Ortega, 21, and Freeman, 52.
“There was many, many people throughout this process, engaging with [Ortega] to make sure that it was consistent with what she was comfortable with, and she was very determined and very sure of what she wanted to do,” Arjona told The Daily Mail.
The movie, written and directed by Jade Halley Bartlett, centers on a writing student (Ortega) who finds herself in a relationship with her teacher (Freeman). While some called the results “gross” on X, formerly Twitter, others are defending Ortega’s choices.
One person wrote: “Jenna isn’t a child and it’s a movie, please relax.” Another argued: “Jenna read the script & knew what she was getting into. Not sure why [there’s] any backlash. If you don’t wanna see sex scenes, make sure you do research on movies before watching them.”
Arjona has worked as an intimacy coordinator for years and has guided stars like Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon through similar scenes. Arjona told the Mail she adapts to “the comfort level” of her actors, especially “where there is a large age gap.”
“Part of my job too is supporting her decisions,” she said of Ortega. “I’m hyper aware of both of my talent and making sure that we’re consistently checking in and that at no point are any of their boundaries being surpassed.”
Jenna Ortega, at left, is best known for her role in the family-friendly Netflix series "Wednesday." She co-stars in the movie "Miller's Girl" with Martin Freeman, at right.
Arjona, who is also an actor and director, told the Mail that she demands “continuous consent” during sex scenes, “especially with someone who’s significantly younger” than their co-star. She also noted that each actor can change their mind “on the day.”
Some social media users noted that Ortega has filmed sex scenes before. While she remains best known for her role as a teenager in the Netflix series “Wednesday,” she appeared in the 2022 horror film “X” when she was 19, and had a sex scene with Kid Cudi, who was 31 at the time.
The sex-scene discourse itself has skyrocketed in recent years, with various studies suggesting many members of Gen Z dislike them, and even stars like Henry Cavill criticizing them as often gratuitous. Still, there are those who see the consternation over Ortega’s latest role as unnecessary.
“Y’all do understand she is a grown woman,” one person wrote on X. “She is 21. It should always be about what the actors are comfortable with no matter female or male.”
“Miller’s Girl” is now in theaters.