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Florence Pugh Recalls Technical Difficulties During ‘Oppenheimer’ Sex Scene: ‘Our Camera Broke When We Were Both Naked’

The increased presence of intimacy coordinators and other on-set precautions has made filming sex scenes a safer experience for actors in recent years, but even the most professional sets are not immune to accidents. Case in point: an equipment malfunction on the set of Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” almost derailed a key sex scene between Cillian Murphy and Florence Pugh.

In a new video released by Universal, Pugh, Murphy, and “Oppenheimer” co-star Emily Blunt participate in a panel discussion about the film moderated by Jamie Dornan. When the conversation inevitably turned to the film’s infamous sex scenes, Pugh revealed that things got a little uncomfortable when a camera malfunctioned during a vulnerable moment.

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“In the middle of our sex scene, the camera broke,” Pugh said. “No one knows this, but it did. Our camera broke when we were both naked! And it was not ideal timing, and there weren’t many cameras. And one camera was in the shop being fixed, and Chris [Nolan] turned and asked someone ‘Where’s the other camera?’ The camera was in the shop — bad news for that person who gave him the news.”

Pugh recalled the awkwardness of waiting for the camera to be repaired while still dressed for a sex scene. She ultimately decided to turn it into a learning experience and had a conversation about camera repair with the technician despite being naked.

“And we then had to figure out how to fix this camera,” she said. “So Cillian and I are in this room together, it’s a closed set so we’re both holding our bodies, and this camera surgeon comes into the room and stars [working] on the camera and I thought ‘Well, this is my moment to learn. So, tell me, what’s wrong with this camera?’ You just make your moments. And I’m like ‘What’s going on with the shutter here, buddy?’ Anyway he explains, and actually Chris comes in that it’s become the light is coming in wrong. It’s just amazing that everyone on this set was so knowledgable and so ready to make this kind of movie, that there was no dull moment.”

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