Blue is the Warmest Colour star addresses famously controversial sex scenes: ‘I know the truth’

Adèle Exarchopoulos

Adèle Exarchopoulos, who starred in seminal French lesbian film Blue is the Warmest Colour, has set the record straight about her experiences on set.

The film, which is often hailed as one of the greatest sapphic love stories in modern media, won the prestigious Palme d’Or at the 66th Cannes Film Festival in 2013, and catapulted Exarchopoulos and co-star Léa Seydoux to fame.

After Blue is the Warmest Colour was released, however, the film became mired in controversy, with both Exarchopoulos and Seydoux speaking out about the gruelling working conditions on set, and behaviour of director-producer Abdellatif Kechiche, who reportedly required the stars to perform as many as 100 takes while filming graphic sex scenes.

Exarchopoulos has previously described the experience as “horrible” and Abdellatif as “tortured” and “manipulative”.

“He wanted to have sex scenes, but without choreography,” Exarchopoulos said at a press conference at the Toronto Film Festival in 2013. “Once we were on the shoot, I realised that he really wanted us to give him everything. Most people don’t even dare to ask the things that he did, and they’re more respectful.”

Now, the actress has set the record straight on her experiences shooting the film.

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Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos in Blue is the Warmest Colour
Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos in Blue is the Warmest Colour. (YouTube)

Speaking to i News, she said that the conversations around the sex scenes in Blue is the Warmest Colour, which celebrates its ten year anniversary in November 2023, were blown out of proportion.

“I know the truth,” Exarchopoulos said. “I loved this experience. It was hard, it was intense, it was not conventional – but I love him and his contradictions. We are two wild animals.”

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Exarchopoulos added that the absence of an intimacy coordinator was reflective of the time in which they filmed.

“I never experienced [having an intimacy coordinator],” she continued. “But I’ve been in casts, and people speak about the nudity. [They say] ‘It’s OK, you will speak before and you will be accompanied …’ Me, I don’t know this.”

An intimacy coordinator is someone whose role it is to carefully choreograph sex scenes in media, making sure all actors feel safe and respected when filming explicit scenarios.

Exarchopoulos went on to explain that she’s glad there are now better protections in place for actors.

“I think it’s good for the system that there is something [protecting actors]… you can feel free if you feel security.”

The actress can next be seen in Ira Sachs’ upcoming film Passages, which follows a long-term male couple who become embroiled in a love triangle.

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