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Patricia Arquette Says “Terrifying” Lost Highway Nude Scenes Were Made Worse By “Gross” Crew Members

Patricia Arquette Says


  • Patricia Arquette faced challenges filming nude scenes due to crew behavior, but David Lynch supported her once he knew.
  • Comfort during intimate scenes is crucial, and the actress recalled needing to speak up multiple times for boundaries.
  • Intimacy coordinators are now recommended on sets to ensure safety and professionalism during nude and sex scenes.

Patricia Arquette has recalled the “terrifying” time she had filming nude scenes for David Lynch’s Lost Highway due to the behavior of certain crew members. However, as the actress revealed during an appearance at the Series Mania Festival in Lille, France, Lynch was quick to step in once he became aware of the problem.

Lost Highway

Lost Highway

Release Date
January 15, 1997


The only certainty is uncertainty.

Lost Highway was released in 1997, and, as with many offerings from the visionary that is Lynch, the film delivered a mind-boggling mix of mystery, haunting visuals and surrealist moments that left audiences questioning everything they saw. However, one thing that was very real during the filming of the movie was the discomfort felt by star Arquette, who at the age of 28 was extremely nervous about having to get naked in front of crew members who were saying “gross things” about her scene.

As per Variety, Arquette recalled the incident, and Lynch’s reaction to it, telling the audience:

“I was so extremely modest — I would take a bath in the dark. The scene when my character had to strip was terrifying to me. Some of the guys were saying crude things and I told David: ‘I am not comfortable. They are saying gross things.’ He said, ‘You read the script. Wait, who said what?’ When I came back, all these men were looking at their feet, all apologetic.”

That was not the only time Arquette found a need to speak up about the way intimate scenes were handled. During one sex scene, the actress revealed that she had to learn to become quite outspoken about how things were done. She continued:

“It was supposed to be a closed set. I said: ‘If I take this robe off and I look at you and I know you don’t have to be there, I am going to punch you in the face.’ Later, I told [costar] Balthazar [Getty], ‘Just keep your hands on my t*ts. I would rather you hold them than the whole world saw them.'”

Filming Sex Scenes in TV and Movie Productions Has Changed


New Intimacy Guidelines Suggest Using Real-Life Partners or Rewriting Sex Scenes

Intimacy on the big and small screen could start to look quite different in the years to come, thanks to the current public health crisis.

While there have been many stories revealed about the way scenes involving nudity or sex were handled in the past, recently, the subject of intimacy coordinators being present on set at such times has been getting a lot of press attention.

Like many aspects of Hollywood filmmaking, the use of intimacy coordinators is something that has instigated frequent debates among directors, actors and producers. While many actors have been very much in favor of having intimacy coordinators available, several stars, including Sean Bean and Toni Collette, have opposed the idea that the role is always a necessity. Additionally, HBO series The Idol was blasted by an intimacy coordinator when the show mocked the role.


Toni Collette Says Intimacy Coordinators Are Not Always a Necessity

As a vertern of the film industry, Toni Collette believes that intimacy coordinators are more a “safety net” than a necessity.

It is clear from stories recounted by the likes of Arquette that filming any kind of intimate scene can be uncomfortable and awkward if not handled correctly, and this mainly comes down to the attitude and actions of those on set who are not directly involved in the scene itself. However, for those who are taking part in the simulated scenes, the role of the intimacy coordinator can also prevent the kind of historical complaints, and in some cases criminal accusations, that have plagued the industry in the last several years.

Lost Highway
is available to stream through The Criterion Channel.

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