Claire Foy says filming sex scenes as a woman is ‘grim’: ‘You do feel exploited’

Claire Foy says filming sex scenes as a woman is ‘grim’: ‘You do feel exploited’
Actor performed intimate scenes for new role as Duchess of Argyll in BBC drama

Claire Foy has opened up about filming sex scenes, saying they make her feel “exposed” and “exploited”.

The actor, 37, is best known for portraying Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown. While she filmed no sex scenes in that role, her new part in A Very British Scandal meant doing a lot more sequences in the bedroom.

In the new BBC series, airing on Boxing Day, Foy plays the Duchess of Argyll, an aristocrat whose divorce transfixed the nation in 1963. During the divorce, the Duke of Argyll (played by Paul Bettany) alleged she had slept with 88 men and provided photographs of the Duchess giving an unknown man oral sex.

Speaking on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour about performing sex scenes on camera, 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.”

Claire Foy and Paul Bettany in ‘A Very British Scandal’

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.

“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.”

A Very British Scandal is one of The Independent’s picks of the best TV series to watch over Christmas. Read the full list here.