Industry‘s breakout star Myha’la Herrold said she fully “embraced” the explicit sex scenes in the acclaimed BBC 2 series because she “hadn’t seen a body like mine doing many before”.
The 24-year-old actress plays bright US graduate Harper in the compulsive banking drama, created by former bankers Konrad Kay and Mickey Down. The series follows Harper and four of her peers as they’re initiated into the unscrupulous world of investment banking – while indulging in lots of partying, sex and drug-taking to temporarily alleviate the pressure and aggression of the trading room.
“I was actually really stoked to do a sex scene,” Herrold told The Times. “Sex is a part of life and certainly a part of these people’s lives, and the show handles it really well. I learnt so much. Sex isn’t always cute and sexy, it’s clumsy and literally dirty!
“I also felt like I hadn’t seen a body like mine – tattoos, small tits, short – doing many sex scenes, so I really embraced that.”
While she says the drug scenes were often improvised – including that blow-out between Harper and Harry Lawtey’s Robert – the sex scenes were scripted and meticulously choreographed.
“We had two intimacy coordinators,” Herrold continued. “One would rehearse with us and we’d talk it all out. We’d go through the script and be, like, ‘Is this OK if I touch here?’ ‘How many kisses are we going to have?’ So when we were on set there were no surprises.”
All actors had full frontal nudity in their contract, the actress revealed, and she wore a silicone vagina during nude scenes, which she requested not be shown on camera.
“I wore this thing called a merkin, which is this silicone vagina, over the top of my own vagina and it looks real, but it means I’m not touched,” she explained.
“But you don’t actually see it which was my request when I went through with the coordinator. So every now and then when filming you’d hear someone go, ‘we’re catching some merkin there!'”
Of the four directors on the series, three were women, including Lena Dunham, who directed the first episode. Herrold added of Dunham: “I felt like I had a fan, a friend, a cheerleader and an ally on set.”
Industry is available to stream on iPlayer now. A second season was recently confirmed.
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