About 16 minutes into their interview on the Happy Sad Confused Podcast with Josh Horowitz, the conversation shifted to the depiction of sex in cinema, a subject both guests had strong opinions on.
The “Awkwardness” of Sex Scenes
The discussion began with Vaughn expressing his discomfort with directing sex scenes, stating, "I can’t get my head around sex scenes. I feel quite awkward about them." This prompted a laugh from Cavill. “You feel awkward about them?” he asked. Vaughn then elaborated on his point, saying, "It’s like, "take your clothes off, get in bed." Is that acting? I suppose it is,” to which Cavill responded, "There are actually circumstances where a sex scene is beneficial to a movie, but I think sometimes they’re just overused these days. I think it’s when you get that sense of, is this really necessary, or is it just people with less clothing on?"
The Power of Imagination
Cavill also added that the human imagination can often provide a more impactful experience than a depiction on a screen. "Sometimes those scenes can add something great to a movie, but usually the human imagination will trump it." He further critiqued the overreliance on explicit content, stating, "It’s a bit of a cop-out if a TV show or movie is just filled with gyrating bodies."
A Shared Dislike
The conversation concluded with Vaughn unapologetically stating his dislike for sex scenes, a sentiment Cavill agreed with, concluding that he is “not a fan of doing them.” This exchange offered a rare glimpse into the personal views of two prominent industry figures, highlighting their shared preference for storytelling that relies less on explicit content and more on narrative and depth.
The Future of Film
Their dialogue reflects a broader conversation within the film and television industry about the role and necessity of sex scenes in storytelling. Cavill and Vaughn’s perspective underscore the importance of considering whether these scenes serve the narrative or are included for other reasons, challenging creators to find more nuanced ways to explore relationships and intimacy. It’s especially important given that Gen Z’s interest in sexual content in movies seems to be declining.
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