Joanna Lumley on sex scenes: 'They bore me rigid'

Joanna Lumley says raunchy ­sex scenes on screens and in theatres “bore me rigid” and should be cut because they’re a distraction.

The former Absolutely Fabulous star compared them to peep shows and said she would get rid of them if she was in the director’s chair.

Joanna, 77, believes when actors take their clothes off they lose the character they have built up, because the audience now focuses on their private parts.

The actress, who also played Purdy in The New Avengers in 1976 and 1977, said: “I’m bored stiff with sort of sexy love scenes on screen or on stage.

“They bore me rigid, so I kind ­of have to whistle or just wait until they finish.

“As an actor, you have got the audience with you, believing in your character.

“The second you take your clothes off, people look at you, the actor, and what your attributes are – what your breasts are like, what your genitals are like – they look at you.

“So you have immediately lost the character you have spent so long building up, because they are looking at you.” Joanna says she “can’t see the point” of such displays, but admits people love them.

She said: “There’s a great peep show element, there’s a great playground element, pull your pants down, let’s see what you’ve got – that kind of thing.

“That still goes on. I’d cut all those scenes altogether, they slow things down. And they are rude, they are horrible.”

Joanna told the Radio Times podcast: “I don’t watch people on the lavatory, I don’t watch people in bed when they are making love.

“I don’t have to see them, so I don’t know why they are there…unless something happens during it – a dagger stuck through the neck or somebody manages to see where the tattoo is on somebody’s bottom. Unless there’s an actual reason for it.

“If you are just watching bonking, I can’t bear it. It’s a sealed thing. You can always say, ‘No, I don’t want to do this’…and you lose
the part.

“Well that’s OK if you don’t want to do it, you can’t keep saying, ‘Well I’ll do it and I’ll hate it and I don’t think its right and I think it’s wrong, but I’ll do it because I want money’. Get money another way.”

Joanna said that was why all actors “should have a second string to their bow – serve in a pub, write, play a violin, learn to be a plumber”. She added: “Because acting, what is it like, 98% of all actors are out of work at any given time – massive.”


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