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Olivia Colman originally wanted sex scenes cut from ‘Empire Of Light’

“I said, ‘Why can’t they go for the kiss, and cut, and then pretend that it had already happened?'”

Olivia Colman has admitted that she originally wanted the sex scenes in her new film Empire Of Light to be taken out of the final cut of the film.

The film was directed by Sam Mendes, who also directed the likes of Skyfall and 1917, and is set in a coastal cinema in the 1980s. It follows the love story between the cinema’s manager Hilary (played by Colman) and her much younger employee Stephen (Micheal Ward).

Colman told the Daily Mail that she had hoped Mendes would remove the sex scenes from the final edit of the film. “I always wanted Sam to take out the sex scenes because I was so embarrassed,” she said [via FilmNews].

“I said, ‘Why can’t they go for the kiss, and cut, and then pretend that it had already happened?’”

Despite “begging” Mendes to scrap the sex scenes, Colman told Newsweek that her mind was put at ease when intimacy coordinator Ita O’Brien, who she went to drama school with, was brought on board. “I would request her on every job, forever,” she said. O’Brien has previously worked on productions for film and TV such as Sex Education, I May Destroy You, Lady Chatterley’s Lover and It’s A Sin. 

Colman is set to appear on The Graham Norton Show tonight (December 31) and it has already been revealed that she discussed a funny moment that came about when filming one such scene.

“There was one particular moment when I was astride Micheal in a compromising and slightly embarrassing situation and he said, ‘It’s my mum’s birthday today’,” she recalled.

Colman also addressed rumours that Mendes wrote her part with her in mind. The actress said: “Apparently it was [written for me]. But Sam is so nice he would say that anyway. He was watching The Crown at the time and thought of me.

“We had a Zoom conversation during lockdown and I said ‘okay, yes’ before I even knew what it was. It is an incredible accolade for him to write something for me. It was an amazing part thank God – can you imagine if it had been rubbish!”

Empire Of Light is released January 13 and has been touted as a potential candidate for the Oscars.

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