Skip to content

Episode 142 – Sophia LaPaglia – Approaching Nudity, Sex & Violence in Your Film

Alrik’s film “The Rage” is out in the world and given it’s study of sex and violence, we decided to dedicate an entire episode to working with nudity, sex and violence. Here to join us is actress Sophia LaPaglia who gives us the dos and dont’s of handling these delicate subject matters, working with actors, and preparing for a successful shoot.

Listen to this episode now or visit iTunes to download it to your device (or wherever else you find your podcasts).


The Rage

The Rage premieres today, watch it now.



Meet Sophia LaPaglia

Sophia began her career in Vermont, where she grew up, beginning in community theater at the age of 6.  She went on to receive several awards at high school level and work with many professional companies by the time she entered college. She attended the University of Vermont on a full scholarship where she worked with Continuing Education to create a Musical Theatre program which is still in place today.  The teachers she met while working on that program brought her to Circle in The Square Theater School where she attended the two-year program in New York City.  She worked for several years in New York before transitioning to the west coast to pursue work with the legendary feminist performance artist Annie Sprinkle. She is now directing a revival of Annie’s one-woman show the Post Porn Modernist starring Madison Young, called Reveal All Fear Nothing.
Check out Sophia’s website:

Topic #1 The Best Way To Approach Nudity, Sex and Violence 

Sophia has appeared nude in several films. How does she choose these roles? What are her boundaries? What are some rules for filmmakers to follow when casting and shooting these types of scenes?

Sophia’s Rules for Working with Nudity, Sex and Violence in Your Film:

  • inform actor’s of nudity, sex and violence during the casting process
  • address and justify the nudity for the actor
  • sit with actor’s before hand to go over what’s going to happen and to understand their boundaries
  • limit the size of crew during a nude or sex scene
  • make your actors feel safe and comfortable (i.e. robes for in between takes, hiring a handler for actors, crew size, also being a woman director might help when working with female actors)
  • care for your actors after a performance, remember what a vulnerable position they are in
  • follow up with actors after the shoot to get feedback on how it went and what could have been done better

What NOT to do

  • ask an actor to strip during an audition
  • tell an actor about nudity, sex or violence AFTER you’ve already cast them
  • ask an actor to do nudity spontaneously, in the moment
  • pressure an actor after they’ve already said no
  • compliment an actor’s body parts

Topic #2 Case Study: The Rage

  • Why did Sophia say yes to The Rage?
  • What was something that the team did well in shooting the sex scene?
  • What was something the team could have done better?
  • What do Sophia and Alrik hope people will take away from the film?
  • What do you say to people who may find the film offensive?
  • After this experience, would you do another nude scene in a film?

How to Find Sophia

Here are some of Sophia’s other films you should check out

Shout it Out – High School Musical 

Cake directed by Alrik Bursell


Sophia’s website:

The Rage:

Sophia’s Acting Reel:


Contact Timothy & Alrik

Published inActorsCareerCastingDirectingFilmmaking