What’s more gutsy than filming an on-screen sex scene? Documenting every moment of it in Elle magazine! Kinky Boots fave (and Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner) Annaleigh Ashford divulged all the dirty details of her very first on-screen roll in the hay as Betty DiMello on Showtime’s Masters of Sex. In the new series, based on the studies of real-life human sexuality researchers Dr. William Masters and Virginia Johnson, Ashford plays “a whore who is so over men.” The sexy scene in question, where Betty fakes an orgasm with one of her johns, appears in the show’s pilot episode.
You’d think Ashford would be pretty comfortable showing off her bod after her naked performance in Hair, but apparently being in your birthday suit onstage is nothing like it is on screen. “Onstage you might be naked every night,” Ashford said, “But you’re in a theater, where the audience is farther away from you, so that distance—and the lighting—allows things to feel a little more discreet. But being naked or doing a sex scene in television and film, there’s a camera that’s, ya know, this close. So not only does that allow the audience to see every nook and cranny, but on set, the crew and the director are up close and personal while filming. It’s a little like being under a microscope.” Sounds, uh, uncomfortable.
Don’t worry, Ashford took the edge off with “a lot of tequila shots,” and made sure she was fully prepared before she shot the sultry scene with co-star Steve Rosen, whom she had just met that morning. How did she get ready to do the deed, which included “bored sex,” “not-so-bored sex,” “doggy-style” and a blatantly fake orgasm? “First things first: Bikram yoga for three weeks straight,” the actress joked. “I also had to watch When Harry Met Sally a couple of times. Just kidding! (But not really.)”
Click below to get a sneak peek (yes, she’s wearing her clothes) of Ashford as jaded prostitute Betty DiMello in Masters of Sex!