Imagine having to pretend to have sex with your other half in a room full of people. The general awkwardness of such a scenario must be off the scale, quite apart from the fear that someone will shout, “Oh my God, what is that? Is that what you guys do?! No! No-one else does that!”
And according to Angelina Jolie Pitt, having film sex with husband Brad for By The Sea was indeed “the strangest thing in the world” – though she's got no-one to blame but herself, being the writer and director and all.
The star told Entertainment Weekly: “I’ve done sex scenes before. But this is obviously different. I almost wish every woman could have this experience.
“It’s the strangest thing in the world to be lying naked in a bathtub with an iPad that’s showing you the shot outside, while your husband is at the door and you’re directing him to come in and make love to you. In front of a bunch of other men with cameras.”
“It was just so weird,” she continued. “I couldn’t get out of the bathtub to get to the monitor because the director is naked. We’re artists and want to be free, but Brad – it’s his wife. He was on towel duty. He’d hold the towel over me.
“Love scenes are strange anyway, but when you’re doing a love scene with a person that you really have sex with? The only way to get through it was for us to all talk about the absurdity of it and make sure no one was feeling awkward.”
Yep, we're sure that worked a treat, especially for a crew who'd already seen the couple drawing on their own experiences for the emotional film, which follows an unhappy couple dealing with their fractured relationship while on holiday in France in the seventies.
She previously admitted: “It was very heavy. We kept joking that all of the crew felt like they were living in a house where the parents were fighting and you don't know where to stand or where to look.”
The film is an exploration of grief, much inspired by the death of her own mother, who passed away in 2007.
And while they drew on frustrations for some tense scenes, Jolie Pitt has also pointed out that the marriage they depict on screen is nothing like their own: “I’m counting on the audience to know that if it was close to us at all, we could never make this film – it’s because we’re actually very stable and these aren’t our issues.”
On top of that, Vanity Fair reports the pair, who've been together since meeting on the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith a decade ago, experimented with some improvisations in the name of creativity.
“Brad and I had this one day when we were like, ‘Let’s just do ridiculous things and see what happens’,” she explains. “By the end of it, he had pissed all over my shoes, I had packed up the entire [hotel] room to leave, and he wrote ‘pillhead’ with an arrow on my head with a Sharpie while [my character] Vanessa was sleeping.”
Apparently those scenes didn't make it into the film, which is released in the US this week. We don't know if that's a good thing or not.
Check out our gallery below to find out how other Hollywood stars handle the supreme awkwardness of sex scenes.
Images: Rex Features