Starz drama series P-Valley chronicles the life of Uncle Clifford (Nicco Annan), the non-gender confirming owner of the highly popular strip club, The Pynk and the women who work for her. Created by Katori Hall, the series is set in the fictional town of Chucalissa, Mississippi.
Since dancing, sex work, and sexual scenes are a large part of the series, P-Valley’s intimacy coordinator has a super important role in the show.
‘P-Valley’ doesn’t shy away from nudity
Since much of P-Valley is filmed in a strip club, nudity plays a role in the series. However, it’s never used as a spectacle or shot through the male gaze. Director Karena Evans who filmed the pilot for the show wanted to set a good framework for how the show would film women’s bodies.
“[For me] it wasn’t about shying away from the nudity,” Evans told Teen Vogue. “Despite dealing with the complexity of the hypersexualization of Black women, it was about empowering them in the process of showing this honestly. And it was so damn challenging, but I learned so much about myself, about storytelling, about filmmaking, about these characters, about Mississippi, about this world, about … I don’t even have the words, all of the words, to describe that experience. There were so many growing pains. I’m so grateful for Katori and so grateful for that experience.”
The show’s intimacy coordinator has a super important role
Zuri Pryor-Graves, a licensed clinical sex therapist serves as P-Valley’s intimacy coordinator. Her role is vital to making sure that everyone on set feels safe and comfortable. “Our main goal is to protect people, keep people safe, and make sure that our performers feel like collaborators in their own intimacy work, so in order to do that the conversations start as far in advance as we can,” she told Buzzfeed.
She added, “An actor knows what their boundaries are, for the most part. My job is to hope that they aren’t finding them through the trauma of doing something or saying [something] that they’re not OK with when they get in the space.”
Brandee Evans says her first sex scene was scary
From the moment we were introduced to Mercedes in the first season of P-Valley she was bold and assertive. However, Evans says she was still intimated when it came to filming her character’s first sex scene this season. In fact, it was her first sex scene ever.
However, she says that she was able to get comfortable because of the women surrounding her. “It was my first time as an actor, so it was very scary and very difficult, but very beautiful,” she told Digital Spy. “I believe that when you have so many females at the helm of something that’s so sensitive and, you know, scary. It made it more comfortable, at least for me. “As a woman, I can say it did make it more comfortable having my amazing directors there… Ciara was our director for episode 4, and she just made me so comfortable. And then, of course, Shamika Cotton, my sorority sister, made it comfortable, who plays Farrah, in those scenes. So when you just mash all that together, that girl power and that safety net that I had made it more comfortable.”