Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan choreographed their own sex scenes in 'Ammonite'

Tom Beasley
·Contributor
·3-min read
Saoirse Ronan and Kate Winslet in the trailer for 'Ammonite'. (Credit: Lionsgate)
Saoirse Ronan and Kate Winslet in the trailer for 'Ammonite'. (Credit: Lionsgate)

Kate Winslet has revealed that she and Saoirse Ronan were responsible for choreographing their own sex scenes in upcoming romantic drama Ammonite.

The Oscar winner told The Hollywood Reporter that director Francis Lee was “naturally very nervous” about filming intimate scenes for the movie.

Read more: Acting union creates new rules for sex scenes

Winslet plays 19th century British palaeontologist Mary Anning and the film depicts her romance with the wife of a fellow fossil hunter, played by four-time Oscar nominee Ronan.

“Saoirse and I choreographed the scene ourselves,” said Winslet. “It’s definitely not like eating a sandwich. I just think Saoirse and I, we just felt really safe.”

Mary Anning, painted before 1842. (Credit: Wikipedia/Creative Commons)
Mary Anning, painted before 1842. (Credit: Wikipedia/Creative Commons)

Winslet said she encouraged Lee, who made acclaimed gay romance God’s Own Country in 2017, to allow her and Ronan to take the lead.

The 44-year-old added: “We marked out the beats of the scene so that we were anchored in something that just supported the narrative.

“I felt the proudest I’ve ever felt doing a love scene on Ammonite. And I felt by far the least self-conscious.”

Read more: Emilia Clarke uncomfortable with Game of Thrones nudity

Sex on the big screen has been under the spotlight in recent years, with intimacy coordinators now a regular part of TV and film productions.

In the UK, the professional organisation for directors released its own guidelines for how filmmakers should approach nudity and intimate scenes.

Kate Winslet attends SFFILM's 60th Anniversary Awards Night on December 5, 2017. (Photo by C Flanigan/Getty Images)
Kate Winslet attends SFFILM's 60th Anniversary Awards Night on December 5, 2017. (Photo by C Flanigan/Getty Images)

Ammonite will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, having originally been due to screen in May at the Cannes Film Festival, before it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The film has also been announced as the closing night movie at the BFI London Film Festival.

Read more: God’s Own Country director angry over streaming censorship

It has already proved controversial, with relatives of Anning suggesting that the film’s love story is entirely fictional and that there’s little evidence she had romantic relationships with women.

The first trailer for the film arrived online this week, depicting some of the romantic moments between Winslet and Ronan.

Winslet is currently working on her role in the Avatar sequels and revealed she can now hold her breath for more than seven minutes underwater as a result of her aquatic role.

The movie reteams Winslet with Titanic director James Cameron, more than 20 years after the actor played one of her most memorable roles in what was then the biggest movie of all time.

Read more: Avatar 2 set photo reveals underwater filming

“Time has changed him,” Winslet said. “Jim has become a father a few more times over.

“He is a calmer person. Chilled. You can just feel him enjoying it more this time.”

Ammonite will be released on 13 November by Neon in the USA, with Lionsgate yet to announce a UK release date.