Mark Ruffalo explains why he was hesitant to film the sex scenes in Poor Things

18 March 2024, 17:45

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By Sam Prance

"Am I too old to be doing that kind of stuff? Does anyone want to see that?"

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Mark Ruffalo has opened up about the divisive sex scenes in Poor Things and said that he was initially hesitant to do them.

Poor Things tells the story of Bella, a woman who is brought back to life with the brain of a baby. At the start of the film, she has an infant's mind despite being an adult. Bella then engages in multiple explicit sex acts which have faced backlash based on her mental age and how shocking some of them are. One scene was actually edited out of the UK version.

Now, Mark Ruffalo has revealed that he was worried about the sex scenes because he thought he was "too old" for them.

READ MORE: Emma Stone defends "controversial" sex scenes in Poor Things following criticism

Mark Ruffalo explains why he was hesitant to film the sex scenes in Poor Things
Mark Ruffalo explains why he was hesitant to film the sex scenes in Poor Things. Picture: Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images, Searchlight Pictures / Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Bella is played by Emma Stone in Poor Things and one of her main sexual partners in the film is a lawyer called Duncan who is played by Mark Ruffalo. Speaking to Variety about their sex scenes, Mark said: "I was like, ‘Do I have to?’ All I can hear is, ‘Nobody wants to see your old ass anymore. Maybe you shouldn’t be doing movies like that anymore’."

Separately, he told Perfect magazine: "I didn’t know if I could pull this off – I’ve never done anything like this before. And I’m 55 now, so, like, the sex scenes – am I too old to be doing that kind of stuff? Does anyone want to see that?"

As for the negative reaction to Bella's sex scenes, Mark said: "I feel like we’re in this prudish time for films. Sexuality is so deeply connected to the psychology of a character. And it should be explored in that sense, too."

Emma Stone and Mark Ruffalo in Poor Things
Emma Stone and Mark Ruffalo in Poor Things. Picture: Alamy

Emma Stone also defended the sex scenes in a recent interview. She explained: "Bella is completely free and without shame about her body. So much of this was about being true to Bella's experience. [Sex] is obviously a huge part of her experience and her growth, as it is, I think, for most people in life."

She added: "I'm not a person that just wants to be naked all the time, but I am someone who wants to honour the character as fully as I possibly can. That's part of her journey."'

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