“It was important that we felt safe”: Zendaya Champions the Need for Intimacy Coordinators in Hollywood That Has Faced Some Criticism from a Few Hollywood Stars

Zendaya praises intimacy coordinator's vital role in filming Challengers.

“It was important that we felt safe”: Zendaya Champions the Need for Intimacy Coordinators in Hollywood That Has Faced Some Criticism from a Few Hollywood Stars

SUMMARY

  • The Emmy-winning actress Zendaya is set to star alongside Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist in the upcoming romantic sports drama Challengers. 
  • The film follows her as a pro tennis player entangled in a love triangle with her husband and former flame and features intimate scenes among the characters.
  • However, Zendaya has shared the invaluable assistance of the intimacy coordinator in capturing such sequences for the film.
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After starring in the acclaimed Dune sequel, the Hollywood star Zendaya is gearing up to grace the silver screen once again in the upcoming romantic sports drama, Challengers. She has described the film as a significant stride toward the next chapter of her career with more mature roles as Challengers features her in some of the most erotically charged scenes of her career.

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Zendaya, Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist in Challengers (2024)
Zendaya, Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist in Challengers (2024)

While she admitted feeling a bit scared about it, the Dune star recently opened up about finding the invaluable assistance of an intimacy coordinator in capturing such sequences for the film.

Zendaya Highlights the Crucial Role of Intimacy Coordinators

Luca Guadagnino’s upcoming film starring Zendaya alongside Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist, Challengers, follows a former tennis pro turned coach, Tashi Duncan, who decides to enroll her husband in a Challenger Tour, leading to a face-off with her ex, Patrick.

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Zendaya as Tashi Duncan in Challengers (2024)
Zendaya as Tashi Duncan in Challengers (2024)

With the romantic sports drama poised to explore themes of eroticism and emotional tension, the Euphoria star, who is portraying Tashi Duncan in the film, opened up about the significant role intimacy coordinators played in ensuring a safe working environment for the cast.

“We had an intimacy coordinator which was fantastic and very helpful because it was important that we felt safe,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. The actress further elaborated on the measures taken to foster comfort among the cast, sharing that she and her co-stars engaged in various activities to cultivate a sense of comfort.

Zendaya in Challengers (2024)
Zendaya in Challengers (2024)

“I spoke with my colleagues so that we could find a way to feel at ease. We played tennis together, we went out together, we rehearsed together. We got to bond and feel good with each other.”

Mike Faist also echoed her sentiments as he shared that they spent a significant time together and were able to get to know each other before moving ahead with the filming. While the Challengers cast found having an intimacy coordinator comforting and helpful, it’s worth noting that opinions on their presence during filming vary among Hollywood stars.

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Hollywood Celebrities Who Prefer Not Having an Intimacy Coordinator

Similar to Zendaya, many Holywood stars have emphasized the necessity and significance of intimacy coordinators when filming intimate scenes. However, some still perceive such assistance as unnecessary, including actors like Sean Bean and Jennifer Aniston.

Sean Bean in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
Sean Bean in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

The Game of Thrones actor has expressed opposition to such formalities, asserting that they detract from the natural flow of a scene. “It would spoil the spontaneity,” he said before adding, “I think the natural way lovers behave would be ruined by someone bringing it right down to a technical exercise.”

Toni Collette is another actress who has voiced discontent with intimacy coordinators. She has shared that while they are meant to ease the actors through intimate scenes, their presence only made her more anxious. “They weren’t helping, so I asked them to leave,” she said.

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Jennifer Aniston and Toni Collette in The Yellow Birds (2017)
Jennifer Aniston and Toni Collette in The Yellow Birds (2017)

The Friends star Jennifer Aniston has also opted against employing an intimacy coordinator for her intimate scenes with Jon Hamm in The Morning Show. Aniston suggested that having another person present might heighten the discomfort of the situation, and said that they were experienced enough to navigate such scenes without additional assistance.

Challengers is set to be released on April 26, 2024.

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Written by Laxmi Rajput

Articles Published: 2447

Laxmi Rajput is a writer at Fandomwire. She finished her Post Graduation in Broadcast Journalism and worked as a Business News writer for a year. But her interest in entertainment and pop culture compelled her to find a way towards Entertainment Journalism. She has worked across various fields and has 2 years of experience in content writing. She likes reading, music, movies, and traveling. She aspires to become a fiction writer in the future.