'Awkward and excruciating' – Animals sex scenes were tough to watch, says Dermot Murphy

Raw TV star Dermot Murphy said filming the raunchy sex scenes in his new no-holds-barred movie Animals was “embarrassing”.

The actor, who played Bob Geldof in Bohemian Rhapsody, also said he did not enjoy watching them on the big screen.

Writer Emma Jane Unsworth revealed she deliberately made the sex scenes as excruciating as possible to show what women had to put up with in real life.

The film centres on two female friends in their 30s, Laura and Tyler, played by Holliday Grainger and Alia Shawkat, who live a hedonistic lifestyle in Dublin, drinking, partying and taking drugs.

When Laura falls for a classical pianist, it puts a strain on their friendship.

Murphy plays a poet who chases Laura and during one explicit sex scene, he suddenly stops and takes cocaine to use as a sex toy. She is not impressed and storms off.

At a special screening of the film, Murphy was asked from the floor during a question and answer session: “How intimate were you?”

The actor, who also starred in the RTE series Clean Break, said: “What are you asking me? Was I into the sex scene?

“No, because it was embarrassing. It was hard to watch.”

Read more: Tanya Sweeney: Irish film Animals leads the pack as Hollywood reaches peak ‘sis-mance’

Writer Unsworth said: “I wanted to make the sex scenes really awkward and excruciating. Especially that one, it’s like a porno thing that has happened to so many of my friends, so I put it in the film to ask, what is going on here?

“That is not good for the woman at all. She will get nothing out of that, so it felt really good to put that in there to liberate us from this ridiculous action.

“It’s like a record scratching, it’s not working. Stupid porno stuff. Stop.

“I had to watch this with my dad, and I was two seats away.

“If there is one thing worse than watching a sex scene next to your dad, it’s watching a sex scene that you have written next to your dad.”

Unsworth wrote the screenplay based on her own 2014 novel of the same name, where the action was based in Manchester.

When the movie failed to get financed in the UK but did get funding in Ireland, they switched the action to Dublin.

English actress Grainger had to learn a Dublin accent, while her co-star Shawkat was able to use her own American accent.

“The acting was incredible and I was delighted to get actors of this calibre,” said Unsworth.

“I can’t think of the characters now as anyone else.”

The writer said she wrote the original book in her late 20s and early 30s, when friends were settling down and she felt she was being judged for “keeping the party going”.

“It was OK for men to do that, but women weren’t allowed to – it was thought not quite right or tragic,” she said.

Read more: Film of the week: Animals

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