A new adaptation of D H Lawrence's landmark romantic novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover has just arrived on Netflix, with The Crown's Emma Corrin in the title role and Jack O'Connell playing Oliver Mellors, the gamekeeper with whom she has a scandalous affair.


As with previous versions of the story, the film features several intimate scenes between the leading pair – with the highlight being a sequence in which they dance naked in the middle of a heavy rain storm.

The idea of appearing in a scene like this was one that immediately appealed to Corrin when they read the script, and in an exclusive interview with RadioTimes.com they were asked if the reality of filming it lived up to their expectations.

"Definitely," they replied. "And equally sort of terrifying, which definitely is why I wanted to do it – also just because I don't think I'd seen that kind of thing on screen before."

O'Connell added: "I've been naked on camera before so it couldn't be any worse. I've been naked on stage. I think what was especially daunting is that you didn't know how it was going to pan out. Because literally, the description was just dancing in the rain."

Corrin continued: "And we chose not to choreograph it because we wanted that spontaneity. I'm glad we didn't, but it also did mean that like it was completely up to us in the moment of what we did, and like we just had to sort of dive in."

O'Connell said: "I was having kittens about that. I didn't know how it was gonna unfold. But I think thankfully, I feel like we got to a place that was freeing and liberating, but you know, still made sense as well."

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Speaking about crafting the scene, director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre explained that Corrin responded very well to the material and immediately let her know that they really wanted to do the scene.

"I was like, 'Welcome on board!'" the director said. "It's so amazing because I feel like this specific, iconic scene translates so much ecstatic freedom and it's so liberating.

"And we had the same feeling toward that scene as kind of a central piece of the film. [With] Jack, the same idea as well, obviously, you know, it was like this is definitely scary. But it's this kind of moment where you need to go through it because you need to break some blocks, you know, and really have this sensation of freedom and liberation.

"So we rehearsed it with the intimacy coordinator and then they found their own dance and spontaneity. And it was like kind of two animals recognising each other being from the same nature."

Interestingly, one member of the supporting cast was very familiar with this scene. Joely Richardson, who stars as Mrs Bolton in the new film, had previously played the lead role opposite Sean Bean in a 1993 BBC adaptation of the novel – and was able to share a few stories about her own experiences on set.

"I was trying to keep it really, really quiet and hoping that no one would know, so I didn't say a thing," she explained. "And then at my first costume fitting – which, ironically, was in the same place I had my costume fitting all those years ago – I was like, 'Oh, gosh, things have really changed.' And that was a funny moment.

"But then I said nothing. And [on] day two, Emma and I were having a cup of tea and they said to me, 'You played Lady Chatterley.' I was like, 'Oh, no. I mean, yes, maybe,' just trying to sort of fudge it. They were really lovely and curious about it and I really only shared funny stories."

Richardson continued: "The very, very famous scene of Connie and Mellors dancing in the rain, my story with Sean Bean was quite particular. Because it's a quintessential moment in the book or film or TV and in our version, when we do the wild dancing naked in the rain, there was a double-decker bus that was going past, so the people on the top level could see over the wall to this crazy film crew getting up to hijinks! And I'd share stories like that if asked, but otherwise, I kept my mouth shut."

Corrin, when asked if they'd looked to Richardson for advice on playing Lady Chatterley, explained: "I think it was important that I created my own [version of the character]. And I think she really understood that.

"But it was a very nice presence and energy to have – it felt like a passing down of something and I think it emphasised these parts of Mrs Bolton's character that really cared and emphasised with Connie and what she was going through."

Director de Clermont-Tonnerre added: "The fact that she knew so well the material was very exciting. Because she obviously is coming to this story, through another angle – that was really interesting.

"I remember that we did the first reading and Joely brought a lot of ambiguity and strangeness and sense of humour. And that's because I feel she knew so well all the relationships with the characters and she brought something very fresh about Mrs Bolton's struggle between her class, between her environment and the camaraderie that she really feels for Connie."

Lady Chatterley's Lover is currently streaming Netflix. Sign up for Netflix from £6.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

Looking for something else to watch? You can plan your viewing with our TV Guide and Streaming Guide.


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