‘Outlander’ Showrunner Resisted Intimacy Coordinator but Is Now ‘Totally on Board’


  • Matthew B. Roberts worried the new Outlander intimacy coordinator would hold up season 6 production.
  • The Outlander intimacy coordinator impressed Roberts within 10 minutes.
  • Roberts acknowledges how the intimacy coordinator brought Outlander Season 6 love scenes to life.
'Outlander' Season 6: Caitriona Balfe holds Sam Heughan's neck as they kiss
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan | Starz

Outlander has always been a sexy show. Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) consummate their passion repeatedly, as do other characters. Outlander Season 6 is the first time the show has used an intimacy coordinator, and it was at Heughan’s behest. Showrunner Matthew B. Roberts admits he resisted at first, but now he’s glad he listened. 

Roberts hosts The Outlander Podcast. In the podcast about the Outlander Season 6 episode “Allegiance,” Roberts discusses the intimacy coordinator. Outlander airs Sundays on Starz

‘Outlander’ Season 6 couldn’t afford any more hold ups

After a long Droughtlander, Outlander Season 6 went into production under COVID-19 safety protocols. Already a complex show with added safety measures, Roberts worried that an intimacy coordinator would hold up production.

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“When it was first presented to me, I actually was resistant,” Roberts said on The Outlander Podcast. “It’s another layer is how I felt. Oh, we’re just going to add another layer.”

The ‘Outlander’ intimacy coordinator eased Matthew B. Roberts 

As soon as Roberts met with the intimacy coordinator Heughan selected, Vanessa Coffey, she proved he had nothing to worry about. 

“Then I met with Vanessa and spoke with her,” Roberts said. “I think probably about 10 minutes in, I knew that this was going to be an asset to the show. It was going to not create another layer but create another dimension.”

The intimacy co-ordinator improved season 6

Outlander Season 6 is just as passionate as any season of Outlander. Through working with Coffey, Roberts can now see what she brought to the show.

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“She took it on like a stunt coordinator would do,” Roberts said. “How we plan out stunts, we rehearse stunts. We get those right and she presented it that way. This is a brilliant idea. She wasn’t adding her take to the scenes. She was saying, ‘How can I make the scene that you wrote or the scene that is on the page, how can I help you bring that to life and help the actors bring that to life?’”

Heughan said on the Happy Sad Confused podcast that Coffey not only improved his love scenes, but helps Outlander’s younger cast perform their very first ones. Needless to say, Roberts is now pro-intimacy co-ordinator.

“Over the course of the season she did a brilliant job with that,” Roberts said. “So I’m on board with that. What’s that saying, you can teach an old dog new tricks? Well, they definitely taught me a new trick this season so I’m totally on board with it.”

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