Priyanka Recalls ‘Dehumanising Moment’ When Filmmaker ‘Needed To See Her Underwear’

Priyanka Chopra On Intimate Scene, Priyanka Chopra On Dating Co Stars
Actor Priyanka Chopra has been candid about both her personal and professional lives. In a recent interview with The Zoe Report, she revealed that in 2002–03 she was performing an intimate scene in a specific film where she was undercover and seducing the man when the filmmaker said he “needed to see her underwear” and that it was “dehumanising.”

She was asked to take off one piece of clothing at a time. While she wanted to “layer up,” the filmmaker said, “No, I need to see her underwear’. Otherwise, why is anybody coming to watch this movie?”

Priyanka Chopra On Intimate Scene

She further shared that the filmmaker didn’t say it to her directly but said it to a stylist in front of her. “It was such a dehumanising moment,” said Chopra, adding that she felt like her art or what she could contribute as an actor wasn’t important. She also revealed that two days later she walked out of the film because she “just couldn’t look at him (the filmmaker) every day.”

While intimate scenes might seem romantic, sensual, and effortless on screen, they are exhausting for the actors who are actually performing them. Apart from being technically challenging, performing an intimate act in front of bright lights and dozens of people could be extremely uncomfortable.

So, there needs to be a basic respect for the actors involved; their comfort and safety should be the top priority, and boundaries should be set up to make the scenes as secure as possible. While it is completely the personal choice of female actors to perform intimate scenes, they don’t deserve to be objectified and sexualised just because they have agreed to perform certain acts. How is it fair to take them for granted or be disrespectful towards them because they are open to doing bold scenes? Female actors agreeing to work on bold scenes doesn’t entitle filmmakers to force them into doing things they are uncomfortable with. Is expecting basic morals and work ethics a big ask for women?

In an interview with Bollywood Hungama, Bhumi Pednekar, who performed an intimate scene in Lust Stories with Neil Bhoopalam, revealed that she was nervous when she did Lust Stories and that they didn’t have any intimacy coordinators at that time. She said that what helped her was a conversation she had with her co-star Neil Bhoopalam and her director about setting clear boundaries. This is a wonderful way to shoot an intimate scene.

Communication can be of great help to put out everyone’s point of view, develop understanding, and work through it accordingly, thus ensuring everyone’s comfort.

As the captain of the ship, it’s the director’s responsibility to make sure that all the support is available for actors while they perform intimate scenes. It’s their duty to ensure that everything has been communicated well and that the actors involved are comfortable and secure at all times. Deepika Padukone, who performed intimate scenes with co-star Siddhant Chaturvedi in Gehraiyaan, mentioned that Shakun Batra, the director, ensured that she and the other actors felt comfortable, safe, and secure because intimacy is not easy. Director Shakun Batra also shared in the interview that he believes that intimate scenes also need specialist supervision like choreography and action.

Radhika Apte, who is no stranger to performing bold scenes, opened up in an interview with Bollywood Hungama about how it was essential to hire an intimacy coordinator to create a safe environment while shooting intimate scenes. She added that people do get exploited, and sometimes people who exploit don’t do it intentionally either.

Priyanka Chopra’s recent comment is a reminder, emphasising the need for intimacy coordinators. It is a relatively new concept, but their presence on every team is of high significance. Involving an intimacy coordinator would make intimate scenes very comfortable for everyone, especially women. It’s refreshing to know that more people are aware of the importance of having an intimacy coordinator on the team and that female actors are clearly laying out what they want on the table.

Suggested Reading: Intimate Scenes In Films: How Much Say Do Actresses Have?

Views expressed by the author are their own