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Michael Douglas reveals the “secret” to Basic Instinct’s sex scene

Michael Douglas has just been honored at the Cannes Film Festival for his over five decades in Hollywood, and he discussed the sex scenes he's most famous for.

Basic Instinct

Michael Douglas is currently at the Cannes Film Festival, receiving an honorary Palme d’Or for his career’s work. The now 78-year-old actor participated in a discussion about his 55 years working in Hollywood as the son of legendary star Kirk Douglas. Before Douglas became Hank Pym in the MCU, he was best known for his erotic thriller movies of the 80s and 90s.

Douglas starred in several landmark movies in the neo-noir genre, including Fatal Attraction with Glenn Close (1987), Basic Instinct with Sharon Stone (1992), Disclosure with Demi Moore (1994), and A Perfect Murder with Gwyneth Paltrow (1998). Douglas discussed his vast experience with sex scenes at the Cannes talk (via People)

“The secret, I guess – since I’ve become the expert on sex scenes in movies – is the rehearsal,” he said. “You do a fight scene, you have to work out the choreography. When you do that you go, ‘Okay, I throw a punch, boom, you go back and you come back, you throw, boom.’ You start very slowly and then you work your way up to a faster pace.”

Douglas continued, “Well, it’s the same thing, and particularly if you’re doing a love scene, it’s important for the lady that you’re not taking advantage,” added Douglas. “You tell them beforehand when you’re starting: ‘Alright, I’m going to put my hand here. Is that alright? Okay, you put your hand here, and then we’re going to go kiss, kiss, and then we are going to go…we’re going to go down.’ It’s very well choreographed.”

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In recent years, intimacy coordinators have become the norm on television shows such as Bridgerton, Heartstopper and Sex Education, and they are also becoming more common on movie sets too. While this role did not exist even 5-10 years ago, from what Douglas is saying – it sounds as though the sex scenes were choreographed in detail by the actors and director anyway.

Check out our guide to the best 80s movies and the best 90s movies.