Employed on film and TV sets to help ensure the consent and safety of performers while filming scenes that involve sex or nudity, intimacy co-ordinators are now commonplace across the industry.
However, a number of well-known actors and directors have criticised the practice, such as Sean Bean and Sir Ian McKellen, claiming that it interferes with the acting process.
“I totally understand. I completely get where they’re coming from,” he said. “It’s the typical thing, because when I trained as an intimacy coordinator, before it was established, the fear was that ‘is this going to really just be a bit of health and safety? Is it going to get in the way of acting, or directing? Is it going to get in the way of a process?’
“But once you’ve gone through it, once you’ve actually worked with an intimacy coordinator, and had a brilliant process where you can go, ‘Oh, I found so much more detail. I can still respect what your acting process is, I still respect your directing process, and I’m just gonna give you a couple of tools to be able to go, ‘Oh, that’s a lot easier, we’ll just do that’.”
Sex Education, which follows a teenage sex therapist played by Asa Butterfield,is note-worthy for its frequent sex scenes.
Thackeray continued: “Or, ‘Wow, with having this open communication and consent, we can go even further’. And I won’t have to be thinking about my scene partner in a way that I’m really worried about, when you’ve got an intimacy coordinator there and you’ve had that dialogue and communication.
“So for me, I think, find out what it’s about and hopefully you have a great process with a great intimacy coordinator, and hopefully you will change your mind.”
As well as working on Sex Education, Thackeray has also worked on series such as Heartstopper, I Hate Suzie, It’s a Sin and Industry.
The fourth and final season of Sex Education debuted on Netflix on Thursday (21 September).
In a three-star review of the series, The Independent’s Nick Hilton wrote: “The triumph of Sex Education has been making didacticism appealing. There are few shows that have pulled off a sermonising tone with such panache. The quality of the acting, writing and production put the series firmly in the middle of the televisual pack, but as a progressive voice it has been all but peerless.”