Cat Person Director on Making That ‘Uncomfortable’ Sex Scene: ‘We Planned Every Minute of It’ (Exclusive)

Cat Person still images and director Susanna Fogel
Emilia Jones (left) and Nicholas Braun (proper) in ‘Cat Particular person’.Picture:


Director Susanna Fogel’s Cat Particular person facilities round an uncomfortable intercourse scene — however her expertise filming the pivotal sequence with stars Emilia Jones and Nicholas Braun was the exact opposite.

“The problem was so clearly that everybody get on board with making one thing extremely insufferable to look at,” Fogel tells PEOPLE. “The problem was how will we do that with out anybody feeling uncomfortable on the set? So we deliberate each minute of it.”

Cat Particular person, primarily based on Kristen Roupenian’s 2017 viral New Yorker brief story, depicts all that goes unsuitable when school pupil Margot (Jones, 21) meets the much-older Robert (Braun, 35) whereas working at a movie show. Although the pair initially have interaction in flirty textual content messages, their up-and-down first date culminates in a rendezvous at Robert’s home that Margot shortly realizes she doesn’t need to take part in.

To ensure that Fogel to plan out the scene, she labored with a storyboard artist primarily based in New Zealand to supply “what appeared like a comic book guide strip model of that scene.”

“It was so humorous to take a look at the stick-figure model. It was simply inherently actually comedic,” she says. “That is the way in which that I launched Nick and Emilia to what the choreography of the scene can be on this very humorous collection of panels that lightened the entire dialog.”

Cat Person still images and director Susanna Fogel
Emilia Jones (left) and Nicholas Braun (proper) in ‘Cat Particular person’.


These storyboards offered Fogel, Jones and Braun with the flexibility to “[confront] the awkwardness of the subject material head on and have actually productive and laughter-filled conversations about what we had been going to do this day.”

“I believe that was in all probability partially nerves and likewise partly simply wanting to actually have full belief,” Fogel says. “We acquired actually shut within the technique of prepping the scene with our intimacy coordinator, who’s so sensible and likewise actually noticed the humor in what we had been doing as nicely.”

“It is such a traumatizing scene,” the director provides, “but it surely’s so absurd to have 4 individuals plotting it out in that method.”

The scene in query options Jones’s character’s wrestle to speak that her boundaries have been crossed. She doesn’t even study Robert’s age till after the encounter, as he questions why she is so keen to go away his house.

Cat Person still images and director Susanna Fogel
‘Cat Particular person’ director Susanna Fogel.

Roger Kisby/Getty Photos for Disney

“It was one among our most satisfying days. It actually felt like we would achieved one thing regardless of the truth that our expertise was so completely different from a viewer’s expertise of absorbing it,” Fogel says, noting that she ensured Jones wouldn’t be nude for the sequence.”I actually wanted [the audience] to be trapped in her world of making an attempt to get to the opposite aspect of this encounter,” she says. “I did not even need to give them a second of aid of having the ability to escape into simply an attractive lady in that male-gaze method that simply occurs when there’s nudity.”

Cat Person still images and director Susanna Fogel
Emilia Jones in ‘Cat Particular person’.


Cat Particular person proved an web sensation when The New Yorker first printed Roupenian’s brief story nearly 5 years in the past. It got here simply because the #MeToo motion kicked off “within the top of individuals beginning to speak about problems with consent and other people to actually discuss in regards to the feminine perspective on issues otherwise,” as Fogel says.

“I believe we have had a whole lot of movies instantly following that preliminary MeToo second that had been about feminine revenge and males taking accountability. They advised one excessive of the story that was vital,” Fogel explains.

“However now I believe individuals are actually craving debating the grayer areas of issues as a result of these are most individuals’s experiences. They’re much less clear-cut and murkier, and there is extra to debate in a method, and people debates are actually important if we’ll attempt to enhance this standoff between the genders.”Cat Particular person is in theaters now.

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