Lenny Abrahamson hired an intimacy coach for sex scenes in 'Normal People'.

Lenny Abrahamson

Lenny Abrahamson

The 53-year-old director enlisted Ita O'Brien to choreograph raunchy parts of the BBC One drama to ensure stars Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal - who play love-struck Marianne and Connell - looked comfortable with each other on screen.

Lenny said: "The way you are able to portray [the sex] in a positive way, for everyone involved, is to make the actors feel empowered and safe and invested in what is happening.

"Ita O'Brien, our intimacy co-ordinator, was amazing. She is somebody who helps productions negotiate what can be tricky territory for actors, directors, producers and film makers."

Ita has previously worked with the stars of 'Sex Education' and BBC One drama 'Gentleman Jack', and helped the actors and crew "negotiate consent" by allowing everyone to talk openly about the vulnerable scenes.

Lenny added: "Having Ita involved allowed us to talk so freely about what people felt comfortable with, how they would negotiate consent in the context of the simulation that you're doing on set, the best way to shoot it, and how to choreograph it in a way that makes people feel empowered and not uncomfortable.

"And of course how to protect everybody involved."

The series - which is adapted from Sally Rooney's novel of the same name - is said to be a "very faithful transposition" of the book as Lenny also hired screenwriter Alice Birch to ensure the scenes matched Sally's original vision.

He added: "I believe people who know and love the book will feel the series is a very faithful transposition of the novel onto screen.

"I feel like between Sally and Alice Birch - who is a brilliant writer who worked alongside Sally on the adaptation - we've managed to preserve the essence of the novel and that same sense of intimacy and connection to the characters is there."