Henry Cavill doesn't 'understand' sex scenes in movies and TV: 'I'm not a fan'


Henry Cavill is sharing his opinion on sex scenes in movies and television.

During a Monday appearance on the “Happy, Sad, Confused” podcast, the 40-year-old “Argylle” star and the film’s director, Matthew Vaughn, gave their thoughts on intimate scenes. Vaughn noted that he “doesn’t really” direct sex scenes, adding that he “doesn’t understand them.”

“I also don’t understand them. I’m not a fan,” Cavill said. 

Vaughn explained that he feels “quite awkward” about directing sex scenes.


“You feel awkward?” Cavill asked with a laugh.

The “Man of Steel” and “Witcher” actor continued, “I think there are circumstances where a sex scene actually is beneficial to a movie rather than just the audience.

“I think sometimes they’re overused these days,” he added. “It’s when you have a sense that you’re going, ‘Is this really necessary or is it just people with less clothing on?’”

“That’s when you start to get more uncomfortable, and you’re thinking, ‘There’s not a performance here. There’s not a piece which is going to carry through to the rest of the movie.'”

Cavill went on to say that “sex scenes can be great in a movie” and that “They can really help with the storytelling,” he continued. “But most of the time, human imagination is going to trump it.”

“And so I think it can be a little bit of a cop-out if a TV show or a movie is just filled with gyrating bodies, and you’re going, ‘OK, but what is this doing for us apart from the idea of, ‘Oh, naked person? Great,'” Cavill added.

“I agree, but we’re just English prudes,” Vaughn joked.

“Perhaps,” Cavill said with a laugh. “But I’m not a fan of doing them.”

Cavill is far from the first star to express his discomfort with sex scenes. Liam Neeson, Margot Robbie, Kirsten Dunst, Keira Knightley, Charlie Hunnam and Penn Badgley are among the celebrities who have previously commented on the awkwardness of filming explicit scenes.

Last February, Badgley revealed on the “Popcrushed” podcast that he requested to film fewer intimate scenes for the fourth season of his hit Netflix psychological thriller series “You.”

During an interview with Variety, the “Gossip Girl” alum explained that he finds explicit scenes “disturbing” to film.

“It’s not a place where I’ve blurred lines,” Badgley said. “There’s almost nothing I could say with more consecration. That aspect of Hollywood has always been very disturbing to me — and that aspect of the job, that mercurial boundary — has always been something that I actually don’t want to play with at all.”

He added, “It’s important to me in my real life to not have them.” When asked for clarification, Badgley responded, “My fidelity in my relationship, it’s important to me. And actually, it was one of the reasons that I initially wanted to turn the role down. I didn’t tell anybody that. But that is why.”

Badgley married actress Domino Kirke in 2017 and the pair welcomed a son in 2020.

During an interview with Vanity Fair last February, Neeson admitted that he is still uncomfortable with filming sex scenes despite shooting many over his decades-long career.


When asked about Badgley’s stance on steamy scenes, the “Taken” star said, “I absolutely agree and support him,” adding, “I don’t like to do them.”

He continued, “I’ve done quite a few … sex scenes and I would have preferred to leave it to the imagination, especially for ladies, the actresses.”

Neeson also acknowledged that he doesn’t enjoy watching sex scenes in movies or television series.

“I’ll be honest, when I see a sex scene, I just can’t look at them. I just get embarrassed,” he said.

The Ireland native added, “I know they are choreographed and stuff, but I don’t need to see that.”

Cavill’s latest film, “Argylle,” is rated PG-13 and does not feature any sex scenes. “Argylle” is a spy action comedy that follows an introverted author named Elly Conway (Bryce Dallas Howard) who “writes best-selling espionage novels about a secret agent named Argylle (Cavill) who’s on a mission to unravel a global spy syndicate,” per a plot synopsis for the movie.

“However when the plots of her books start to mirror the covert actions of a real-life spy organization, the line between fiction and reality begin to blur.”

“Argylle,” which also stars Bryan Cranston, Catherine O’Hara, Sofia Boutella, John Cena, Samuel L. Jackson, Dua Lipa, Sam Rockwell and Ariana DeBose, was released in theaters on Feb. 2.

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