Emma Thompson: On-set intimacy experts have led to less 'tacky, puerile, peeping Tom' behaviour

Actor Dame Emma Thompson and director Sophie Hyde spoke to ITV News Entertainment Reporter Rishi Davda ahead of the release of their latest project, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

Actor Dame Emma Thompson said the introduction of intimacy coordinators on film sets in recent years has led to less "tacky, puerile, peeping Tom-style b******".

Speaking to ITV News ahead of the release of her latest film, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, the multi award-winning actor said the influx of intimacy experts in the film industry has been much needed.

She said: "I'm very glad there are intimacy coordinators now because the levels of abuse and sort of just really tacky, puerile, peeping Tom-style b****** that was going on on every set where any young woman took their clothes off was just horrible, horrible, horrible - and I know a lot of young women who went through that."

Dame Emma Thompson and director Sophie Hyde sat down with ITV News Entertainment Reporter Rishi Davda. Credit: ITV News

Thompson said that to navigate the intimate scenes in the new sex-positive flick - during which her character hires a sex worker - frank conversations were had about their relationships with their bodies.

"During the rehearsal period, the three of us closed the set and took all of our clothes off and sat and talked about our bodies, and our relationship with our bodies and how it had changed over the years," she said.

"We all have difficulties accepting our bodies."

When the project first came across her desk, Thompson said she had no hesitation in accepting the role.

"It was an immediate yes," she said.

"I've never seen a 63-year-old religious education teacher hire a sex worker."

The film follows Thompson's character Nancy Stokes, a widow in her fifties, seeking out excitement, a connection, and sex.

In search of a good time, she meets sex worker Leo Grande, played by Daryl McCormack.

And it was through speaking to real life sex workers that director Sophie Hyde guided the actors' authentic interactions. "It was vital to speak to lots of sex workers and to hear from their point-of-view," she said.

"It wasn't like we were ever going to represent sex workers, we couldn't, but to hear the varied stories that they had changed how we wanted to explore that character and what we wanted to do."

Dame Emma Thompson and director Sophie Hyde. Credit: ITV News

And it wasn't just the characters having all the fun. Thompson and her colleagues also had plenty of laughs along the way. "I will never forget my favourite direction. Soph said 'at this point, Daryl and Emma I'd just like to see a little bit of boob action'," she laughed.

"And we went - like dutiful little actors - we said 'okay, boob action coming up'." While searching for sex, Emma's character found something much more important - self acceptance.

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande will be released in the UK on June 17.

Listen to Unscripted, the arts and entertainment podcast from ITV News