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Michael Douglas' Secret To A Good Sex Scene Seems Like A No-Brainer

Michael Douglas’ tips for a good on-screen sex scene seem to be common sense.

The actor, who starred in some of the steamiest films of the ’80s and ’90s, called himself an “expert” on the matter during a panel at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday.

Douglas recalled the amount of preparation that went into shooting his infamously racy “Basic Instinct” scenes with Sharon Stone.

“The secret, I guess — since I’ve become the expert on sex scenes in movies — is rehearsal,” he said of the Paul Verhoeven film, which first screened at the festival in 1992.

“You do a fight scene, you have to work out the choreography,” the star said. “When you do that you go, ‘OK, 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.”

Michael Douglas speaks Wednesday during the 76th annual Cannes Film Festival.
Michael Douglas speaks Wednesday during the 76th annual Cannes Film Festival.

Michael Douglas speaks Wednesday during the 76th annual Cannes Film Festival.

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He said planning an intimate scene is no different.

“Well, the same thing, and particularly if you’re doing a love scene, it’s important for the lady that you’re not taking advantage,” he said, noting how “Basic Instinct” and other erotic thrillers, like 1987’s “Fatal Attraction” and 1994’s “Disclosure,” were made before the advent of on-set intimacy coordinators.

Douglas, who has been married to actor Catherine Zeta-Jones since 2000, said establishing boundaries with his co-star before shoot time was essential.

“You tell them beforehand when you’re starting: ‘All right, I’m going to put my hand here,’” he said. “‘Is that all right? OK, 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.’”

He finished, adding, “It’s very well choreographed.”

While Douglas remembered the care that went into “Basic Instinct,” Stone has said her experience with director Verhoeven was quite different.

The actor has long held that Verhoeven tricked her into not wearing underwear for the film’s infamous interrogation scene. Verhoeven has disputed her account.

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