Meet HBO's sex scene coach

Alicia Rodis is HBO's "lead intimacy coordinator." This means that she choreographs and coaches actors in sex scenes. In The Atlantic, Kate Julian profiles Rodis and shares the, er, intimate details of the work. Here's a description from the set of The Deuce:

Ahead of the shoot, the episode’s director, Steph Green, explained her vision of the scene to Rodis, who called the actors to run through a proposed plan. Afterward, Rodis made sure that each actor’s contract had a rider stipulating that (Ryan) Farrell would touch (Emily) Meade’s clothed breasts, and Meade would grab Farrell’s crotch through his pants, under which he’d be wearing a prosthetic penis. The day of filming, Green, Rodis, and both actors met in private to prepare. (Green has long run trust- and chemistry-building exercises before intimacy scenes.) Before rehearsing the scene, she and Rodis asked the actors to hold each other’s gaze for a long interval. The actors also took turns inviting each other to touch agreed-upon body parts: hand, knee, thigh, and so on.

When it was time to shoot, the aforementioned prosthetic was produced. “It was an actual fake penis that they use in some of the scenes,” Farrell said. “I was like, ‘That’s pretty extreme!’ ” He put it in his pants. “Emily got to actually feel it when it was on top of me,” he said, “and when things like that start happening, it’s an icebreaker, and everybody loosens up a bit.”

Farrell and Meade got in the back of the limo, together with a cameraperson, while Rodis and Green watched the scene via monitor.

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Taika Waititi's got some great advice for writers and film directors

If you're a Taika Waititi fan, like I am, it's been one hell of a year. The What We Do in the Shadows TV series was absolutely brilliant. Last week, it was announced that he'd be directing the fourth Thor movie and, earlier today, the first trailer for Jojo Rabbit dropped. He's a writing and directing machine! If you've ever wondered what Waititi's creative process is like, then you'll want to dig into the insight offered up in this interview with the good folks at BAFTA.

My biggest takeaway: Keep writing no matter what. Force yourself to write and don't be afraid of blank pages. It's a grind, but no matter what you're scribbling about, you'll get there in the end.

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And now, 35 minutes of commercials directed by David Lynch

It's the only mainlined injection of capitalism worth your time this week. Read the rest