The showrunner for Fellow Travelers has opened up about the two rules for Jonathan Bailey and Matt Bomer’s sex scenes.
In October, LGBTQIA+ TV enthusiasts will finally be treated to the highly anticipated limited series.
Based on Thomas Mallon’s novel of the same name, the show is described as “an epic love story and political thriller, chronicling the volatile romance of two very different men who meet in the shadow of McCarthy-era Washington.”
Bailey is set to play Tim Laughlin, a “young man brimming with idealism and religious faith” who is optimistic about a post-WWII world.
His life changes when he meets Bomer’s character, Hawkins Fuller, who “maintains a financially rewarding, behind-the-scenes” political career.
The official synopsis adds: “They begin a romance just as Joseph McCarthy and Roy Cohn declare war on “subversives and sexual deviants,” initiating one of the darkest periods in 20th-century American history.
“Over the course of four decades, we follow our five main characters – Hawk, Tim, Marcus Lucy, and Frankie – as they cross paths through the Vietnam War protests of the 1960s, the drug-fueled disco hedonism of the 1970s and the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, while facing obstacles in the world and in themselves.”
With the Fellow Travelers premiere right around the corner, showrunner Ron Nyswaner spilt some new behind-scenes tea to Entertainment Weekly – including the two rules for Bomer and Bailey’s sex scenes.
The first rule stemmed from a famous Oscar Wilde quote: “Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.”
Nyswaner’s second rule was not to feature the “same sexual act more than once, or the same combination” throughout the series.
He went on to say that the idea proved to be difficult by the time they reached the end of the writing process, adding: “I remember when we were writing episode 8, my co-writers and I said, ‘What haven’t we done?'”
In addition to Nyswaner’s rules, the scenes were also heavily rehearsed and involved an intimacy coordinator.
Towards the end of the immersive interview feature, executive producer Daniel Minahan gave further insight into how the show’s sex scenes are an integral part of the story.
“What sets these sex scenes apart is that they are moving the story forward. The way they’re moving the story forward is by the transference of power that happens between [the characters],” he explained.
Back in May, Bailey and Bomer echoed similar sentiments about their character’s relationship and ever-changing power dynamic.
“The nuance of a complicated, volatile queer relationship is the power balance – and that is what is amazing about Tim and Hawk,” he told Vanity Fair.
Bomer added: “There’s a level of trust and intimacy that’s even more valuable when society is against you. You keep your secrets together.
Fellow Travelers is set to premiere on 27 October in the US and 28 October in the UK on Paramount+ with Showtime.
Check out the first steamy sneak preview for the show here or below.