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Claire Foy Says Filming Sex Scenes Is 'Grimmest Thing'

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Claire Foy Says Filming Sex Scenes Is 'Grimmest Thing'

Actor Claire Foy has revealed how 'exploited' she feels when filming sex scenes, saying they are the ‘grimmest’ thing. 

Foy, who is known for starring as Queen Elizabeth in The Crown, is due to appear in BBC miniseries A Very British Scandal, which airs over Christmas.  

The drama sees her take on the role of the Duchess of Argyll, Ethell Margaret Campbell, a British socialite was famously involved in one of the 20th Century’s most expensive and most notorious divorces – which became highly publicised as intimate photographs and scandalous testimonies were leaked to the press. 

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

Speaking on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour about performing sex scenes, 37-year-old Foy said: “It’s a really hard line because you do feel exploited when you’re a woman and you’re having to perform fake sex on screen. 

“You can’t help but feel exploited.” 

She added: “It’s grim, it’s the grimmest thing you can do. You feel exposed. Everyone can make you try to not feel that way but it’s unfortunately the reality.” 

However, Foy explained that she wanted to explore her character’s sexuality in the series, which includes scenes of the Duchess with her lovers. 


She said: “I felt very strongly [sex] had to be in [A Very British Scandal] but I wanted it to be female and I did not want it be that sort of awful climactic sexual experience you often see on the cinema screen.” 

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Foy also spoke about the history of ‘sl** shaming’, with the Duchess regarded as the first woman to be publicly shamed in such a way - having been humiliated by the press while her husband married six weeks after their divorce without any reaction. 

The actor continued: “I mean, I hate the phrase ‘sl**-shaming’, I absolutely hate it. But I think women have basically been sl**-shamed forever. 


“I think Eve was probably sl**-shamed. I mean, look what she did to Adam. 

“There’s something about it which I just hate the rephrasing of, the ownership of. That title and it being used in a way which is sort of, justifies it even more.” 

A Very British Scandal also stars Paul Bettany as the Duke of Argyll, Ian Douglas Campbell.

It begins at 9pm on BBC One on Sunday 26 December, and continues for the next two nights (27 and 28 December). All three episodes will also be available to watch on BBC iPlayer from 26 December.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Celebrity

Jess Hardiman
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