‘House of the Dragon’ star Emily Carey says the show’s sex scenes ‘scared’ her at first, but an intimacy coordinator made everything comfortable

-> Warning:- Spoilers ahead for HBO’s “House of the Dragon” season one, episode four.
-> Emily Carey was 17 years old when they were cast in the new “Game of Thrones” prequel.

“House of the Dragon” star Emily Carey plays young Alicent Hightower, a teenager who finds herself married to a much older king who summons her to his bedroom for sex in the show’s most recent episode.

Speaking with Newsweek, Carey said as soon as rehearsals started there was an “open dialogue” with showrunners Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan Condal about how the new HBO series would approach sensitive storytelling.

“‘Look, this is how we’re approaching the show,'” they recalled the two men saying. “‘This is how it’s going to be different from the original. This is what we want to talk about. This is what we want to put out. This is how we want the viewers to view the women in our show.'”

That open dialogue was there from the start when it came to the sex scenes Carey, who was 17 years old when rehearsals started, would be filming with then 47-year-old actor Paddy Considine, who plays King Viserys, Alicent’s husband.

“We have an intimacy coordinator who was amazing,” Carey told Newsweek. “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.”

They continued: “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.”

In episode four, which aired on Sunday, Carey’s character Alicent (who is around 18 years old at that point in the show) is woken up in the middle of the night and told that the king (who is in his mid-40s or so) has requested her presence in his bedroom. Though Alicent notes the late hour, the servant implies that this isn’t a request she can say “no” to.

Later, the episode cuts to Alicent laying on her back in the king’s bed as he thrusts into her repeatedly while she stares at the ceiling and anxiously picks at her fingernails. The discomfort she feels is palpable to the audience, but her husband seems oblivious to her unenthusiastic participation.

Carey said that the rehearsals with the intimacy coordinator helped stave off any awkwardness during filming.

“In the rehearsal room she was a massive help and on set she was a massive help,” Carey said. “Yeah, it was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be.”

Intimacy coordinators have become a commonplace part of any TV show or movie crew, ensuring that safety and efficiency are baked into the process of filming sex scenes or any other intimate moments.

For more on “House of the Dragon” and “Game of Thrones,” read our round up of 16 times the series’ stars have talked about filming sex scenes here.

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