“How I Live Now,” a film that just premiered at TIFF starring Saoirse Ronan, may be about a third world war breaking out, but it’s a love story at its heart. As a 19-year-old actress, Ronan is finding herself in more and more adult situations on screen, and “How I Live Now” was the actress’ first experience filming a sex scene.
When MTV News’ Josh Horowitz sat down with Ronan at TIFF, she recalled what it was like to go through a scene like that for the first time.
“I actually wasn’t nervous about it,” Ronan said. “It was always written in the script, and there needed to be a sex scene in this film. They needed to consummate their love, I think, in order for us to really feel the heartbreak when they’re separated because obviously, it becomes a lot more intense after.”
A lot of planning and discussion between Ronan and her director, “Last King of Scotland” helmer Kevin Macdonald, went into the scene, and by the end of it, any anxiety the actress mind have had was gone.
“Because it was my first explicit scene on film, I did want to talk to Kevin a lot about it and choreograph quite a bit of it, like the lead-up to it and stuff,” she said. “We did, and he was really good about it. The way they shot it was so lovely, and a lot of it was done in pieces. It was very close-up and intimate and beautiful lighting. It worked out well.”
It also helped to have someone in the same boat, but it wasn’t a co-star that confided in Ronan of his inexperience after the fact. The cinematographer, Franz Lustig, hugged Ronan and her co-star Tom Holland and admitted that it was his first time shooting a sex scene.
“How I Live Now” opens in limited release on November 8.