Olivia Wilde believes there aren’t enough women directors in Hollywood. That was her inspiration to shift to doing more directing, she was determined to change things however she could. As a huge star, she has the tenacity and the wherewithal to be a driving force in that change. One thing she thinks must change is how sex scenes are filmed.
The Tron: Legacy star sat down with Katie Couric at the 2020 MAKERS Conference to talk about her career and especially about her shift to directing after receiving rave reviews for her debut last year, Booksmart. Wilde talked about a wide range of issues women face in the film industry and one she focused on was how sex scenes are handled.
Wilde is no stranger to such scenes as an actress, but as she talks about it, she felt it was time to redefine what a “closed set” means. Rather than minimizing the crew on set for love scenes but still ending with many (mostly male) crew members on set, Wilde went much further. “I’m finally going to teach everyone what a closed set means,” Wilde said. “A closed film set means the people in the room are the essential crew members,” she continued, “Instead of an [camera] operator filming the scene, I had the cinematographer operate.”
Wilde reduced the crew on the set to herself, the cinematographer, a focus puller, and the actors. She went even further though, turning off all the monitors on the stage as well. “Usually there’s 30 monitors at different places on the set. All turned off.” Wilde made sure they stayed off by having an assistant director “police” the screens. “People try to turn the monitors on; they have to turn those off.”
She hoped that not only the crew, but the actors as well would take all this to heart and practice it in the future. Wilde said to them, “When you are on your next film set, I want you to DEMAND what I’m going to show you today.” Wilde believes this was how she can “provide an example of how things can be.” It doesn’t have to be the same as its always been and a feminine perspective, with a working understanding of how things have operated for years without one, is the most valuable thing Olivia Wilde can do to change things for the better.