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John Turturro explains his trick for awkward sex scenes

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Sex scenes are not sexy. At least, not for those having to perform them on a set. During his Tuesday night appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, John Turturro compared them to being in the dentist’s office.

“If it’s a seduction scene that’s leading to it, that can be sexy. But when you’re actually having sex, sometimes you realize, what am I exactly doing?'” Turturro said. “Because I’m not really doing it. Sometimes you come out and a headache and things like that.”

So when it came time for Turturro to direct his own movie with a sex scene (2005’s Romance and Cigarettes), he came up with a unique solution for a scene between James Gandolfini and Kate Winslet that hadn’t been working: He separated them.

First, he put Winslet on a bouncy ball to film her part. “The problem was when we did James, how to connect them,” Turturro said. “So I took Kate’s wig, and as James was having ‘sex,’ I threw Kate’s wig in front of the camera. And I have to say, if you watch the scene, it’s really sexy. Because they’re completely free, but they’re not together.”

“I’ve had sex like that too,” Colbert quipped.

Watch the clip below.