Martin Freeman breaks silence on ‘gross’ Jenna Ortega age gap scene

Martin Freeman breaks silence on ‘gross’ Jenna Ortega age gap scene
Miller's Girl
IVA - Movie Trailers / VideoElephant

Martin Freeman may be 31 years older than his Miller’s Girl love interest, but he insists the age gap isn’t “gross” or “weird”.

The Office icon stars alongside Jenna Ortega in the new erotic thriller, which sees some explicit scenes between the two.

Ortega, 21, plays 18-year-old Cairo Sweet, a college student who strikes up a sexual relationship with her teacher Jonathan Miller (Freeman, who is 52).

X-rated clips from the movie began circulating on social media soon after its release in US cinemas back on 26 January, with viewers branding the liaison creepy and even disturbing.

However, in an interview with The Times, Freeman defended the film, insisting it far from glamorised the characters’ affair.

“[It’s] grown-up and nuanced,” he said. “It’s not saying, ‘Isn’t this great?’”

Arguing that it was a “shame” that movies about difficult subjects can become tainted by association, he cited the example of Schindler’s List.

Steven Spielberg’s 1993 masterpiece examines the persecution of Jewish people by the Nazis and stars Liam Neeson.

“Are we gonna have a go at [him] for being in a film about the Holocaust?” Freeman asked.

Freeman as Jonathan Miller in the psychological thriller(Lionsgate)

Elsewhere, Miller’s Girl director Jade Halley Bartlett also justified her portrayal of the characters.

“No one is a perfect villain or a perfect victim. They don’t exist,” Bartlett told Forbes.

“These characters are quite nebulous and grey, which I think is closer to real-life people.”

Kristina Arjona, the intimacy coordinator who worked on Miller’s Girl, has also attempted to reassure critics that Ortega wasn’t pressured into doing anything she wasn’t comfortable with while on set.

Speaking to The Daily Mail back in February, Arjona insisted: “There [were] many, many people throughout this process, engaging with (Jenna) to make sure that it was consistent with what she was comfortable with.

“She was very determined and very sure of what she wanted to do.”

She added: "I'm hyper-aware of both of my talent and making sure that we're consistently checking in and that at no point are any of their boundaries being surpassed."

Ortega was said to have been comfortable with performing the film's controversial scenes(Lionsgate)

Arjona also stressed that they had held discussions on the "level of nudity" with Ortega and Freeman and that the film had "different variations of how they wanted to shoot these scenes so that audiences could watch them at test screenings to see what was too much."

Shortly after Arjona’s interview, the Screen Actors Guild set new guidelines banning intimacy coordinators from discussing their work without direct approval from the actors involved.

The new standards state: “Intimacy coordinators should maintain the confidentiality of an actor’s work and experience in performing highly sensitive scenes unless they have the actor’s permission to publicly share this information.

“The public release of details about an actor’s scene work or confidences entrusted to the intimacy coordinator without the performer’s consent is unacceptable.”

Violating these guidelines could see intimacy coordinators axed from the Guild’s registry.

Miller’s Girl is now streaming on Netflix.

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