Kristen Stewart and Katy O’Brian open up about filming sex scenes in Love Lies Bleeding

The stars of Love Lies Bleeding have shared details about filming intimate scenes for the 1980s lesbian bodybuilder romance thriller.

Photo of Kristen Stewart and Katy O'Brian sitting intimately while filming Love Lies Bleeding

Love Lies Bleeding is receiving high praise for its portrayal of intimacy between queer women, and the film’s stars have recently shared some of the details involved in filming the sex scenes.

Set in the 1980s, the lesbian bodybuilder thriller directed by Rose Glass is described as a “romance fuelled by ego, desire and the American Dream”. The film follows reclusive gym manager Lou (Kristen Stewart) who falls for bodybuilder Jackie (Katy O’Brian) when she shows up in Lou’s isolated Nevada town.

Speaking about the film, actor O’Brian told Them that she particularly loves how queerness is not a source of conflict in the film.

She said: “It’s the type of film that I, as a queer person, would want to watch — to not have drama around my sexuality, and to just admire these two absolutely wacky individuals.”



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Since its world premiere at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival, the thriller has received brilliant reviews from critics and queer fans alike, who are particularly raving about its accurate portrayal of sapphic intimacy on-screen.

Compared to many films which pander to the male gaze, Out Magazine called Jackie’s character “a new type of sex symbol” and praised the film for portraying the ‘lesbian gaze’ since she is “built, ripped, stacked, and sexy in a way that specifically queer women will love.”

The cast was recently interviewed by Them about what it was like to film the sex scenes.  Prior to creating the on-screen intimacy, Love Lies Bleeding director Rose Glass shared that all of the actors and intimacy coordinators discussed what they were comfortable with and exactly what would happen in each scene.

O’Brian said: “We stick with the script for those scenes because with intimate scenes there’s massive approvals that go into everything. If anything changes, we have to go back and sign more paperwork. We just had to approve it all ahead of time.”

She added: “It’s just so not glamorous, and it’s really not that sexy when you’re doing it. I mean, first of all, you’ve got a boom-mic guy that’s got his microphone hovering over you while it’s all happening.”

The actors wore typical modesty garments and tape while filming, and additionally, O’Brian shared that a hockey cup and a deflated yoga ball were used as buffers between them. O’Brian said: “There was some funny little experimenting with protection,” she added. “It just felt really not sexy and very silly.”


That’s not to say that creating these scenes was totally un-sexy. Stewart said: “The ways that you let the person you’re with either take over or be consumed, those were choices, and they were very articulate, yet nonverbal decisions that we made together.”

She added: “And without that dynamic, nobody would have cum. Literally, you could almost take the body out of it. You could tell me the right thing, and that’s what’s going to get me there. Tell me I am something to you. Tell me I can be taller than you, even though I’m 5’5”, and you’re f**king 5’10”, and I’m there.”


Fans can see Kristen Stewart and Katy O’Brian in Love Lies Bleeding, releasing in Irish cinemas on May 3, 2024.

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