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Legendary British actor regrets making controversial movie with real unsimulated oral sex scene

Legendary British actor regrets making controversial movie with real unsimulated oral sex scene

He said he wished he hadn't made the film

Among the British actors currently plying their trade on the stage and screen there are some stars who are particularly luminous.

Sir Mark Rylance is certainly one of those, and while it might be a difficult debate to nail down which role is his best, his performance as Thomas Cromwell in Wolf Hall has certainly got to be up there.

Fans of the legendary actor will be happy to hear that there will be a follow-up to the 2015 historical drama in the form of Wolf Hall: The Mirror and the Light.

Sadly we'll likely have to wait until the end of 2024 or even the beginning of 2025 for it to arrive on our screens but if it's anything like its predecessor it ought to be well worth the wait.

While audiences likely know him best from the likes of Wolf Hall, The Trial of the Chicago 7 and The BFG, there's a film he did in 2001 which he has since said he regrets, one that contains a scene involving unsimulated oral sex.

Kerry Fox and Mark Rylance appeared in the 2001 film.
Studio Canal

The film is Intimacy, in which Rylance plays a bartender who has weekly sex with a woman he doesn't know (Kerry Fox), and then starts to develop feelings for her.

While Intimacy won Best Film at the Berlin Film Festival that year, there was controversy over the unsimulated scene of oral sex, and Rylance himself has said he wishes he hadn't made it.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal about his critically lauded appearance in Wolf Hall in 2015, Rylance also opened up about the 2001 film.

The WSJ reported that Rylance felt he had been taken advantage of by the film's director, the late Patrice Chéreau who died in 2013.

Rylance said: "It soured me on my life two months, It’s my mistake, but I felt Patrice put undue pressure on me on set to do that.

Rylance said he regretted doing the film.
Hoda Davaine/Dave Benett/Getty Images

"And at that point I didn’t have the confidence as a film actor to say no. Now I think a lot of actors that people say are difficult are actually just being sensible."

The celebrated actor would give his view on Intimacy again the following year in a web chat for The Guardian.

Replying to a question from a fan who wanted to know Rylance's view on Intimacy and why he chose to to the movie, the actor wrote: "Intimacy was the most difficult job I've ever had.

"Hanif Kureishi's work and Patrice Chéreau's words convinced me it was a very true and vital story about the difficulties people face finding intimacy in a big city like London.

"I know Hanif Kureishi's writing couldn't have been more intimate and revealing, but I found the making of the film and the subsequent publicity and personal attacks very, very painful. And I wish I hadn't made it."

Featured Image Credit: Studio Canal/Getty/Karwai Tang/WireImage

Topics: TV and Film, Celebrity, Sex and Relationships