One of the first movies that I watched that was a genuine “experience” was the 1984 sci-fi/horror movie “The Terminator.”
It was the first movie that scared me to my core (The titular Terminator dragging its severed top half to kill the protagonist is a recurring nightmare of mine) and was the first R-rated movie I had ever seen. And no, I wasn’t 17 years old when I watched it.
WARNING: Mild spoilers for a nearly 40-year-old movie: The film was also my first experience with a nude sex scene in a movie.
Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor and Michael Biehn’s Kyle Reese share an intimate scene as they’re trying to hide from Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s Terminator about midway through the seminal film.
And even I at age [redacted] found that scene weird, misplaced and unnecessary as it only served to create a paradox in the narrative (Reese was sent to the past to protect Connor by Connor’s son — a freedom fighter combating Terminators — from the future. And yes, Reese is the father of that son).
Sure, that paradox may have been the point, but the weird time-hopping family tree aspect of “The Terminator” is literally the weakest plot point of the franchise — and remember, this is a movie franchise that habitually incorporates the notoriously finicky aspects of time travel.
Which brings us to 2024, and star actor Henry Cavill sharing shockingly similar thoughts with my [redacted]-year-old version of me.
Speaking on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Cavill and director Matt Vaughn (who had both worked on the recently released “Argylle”) covered a wide range of topics.
But it was the discussion about sex scenes in movies that garnered the most coverage. Media outlets ranging from Variety to IGN covered Cavill’s remarks… and it’s easy to see why once you listen to him.
As Hollywood continues to creep towards lurid content being normalized, Cavill and Vaughn want to push back on that.
WARNING: The following clip contains some language that viewers may find offensive.
“The thing I really don’t understand, and you’ve noticed I don’t really direct them because I can’t really get my head around sex scenes,” Vaughn said. “It’s just something I don’t understand.”
“I also don’t understand them,” Cavill said in agreement. “I’m not a fan.”
After Vaughn and Cavill joked about the awkward circumstances (and whether or not simulating sex is actually acting), the “Superman” actor expanded on his thoughts.
“I think there are circumstances where a sex scene is beneficial to the movie, and rather than just the audience,” Cavill said.
He added: “I think sometimes they’re overused these days.”
Cavill elaborated that he often questions himself in any intimate scene.
“It’s when you have a sense where you’re going, ‘Is this really necessary or is it just people with less clothing on?'” Cavill said. “And 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 and be a crescendo.'”
Cavill has filmed intimate scenes, perhaps most famously in Netflix’s adaptation of “The Witcher,” but per IGN, Cavill avoided any sex scenes in Vaughn’s “Argylle” movie — which is currently in theaters.
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