Director David Cronenberg thought the best way to direct the sex scenes between Viggio Mortensen and Maria Bello’ in A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE was to demonstrate by performing them with his wife:
The director hoped his explicit displays of affection with his wife would help stars VIGGO MORTENSEN and MARIA BELLO, who play man and wife in the film, feel more comfortable during their sex scenes together. But, instead, the Cronenbergs just left everyone on the set stunned.
[Mortensen said:] "The crew and Maria and I just sat and watched while he and his wife
got into something comfortable – nothing – and they started to say, ‘We
want you to (do this).’ Maria and I were both going, ‘OK, we get it. This is a testament to their relationship, they kept going and
they kept going and then we broke for lunch and some time in the
evening Maria and I got to have a crack at it. Instead of putting us at ease, we actually were kind of freaked out… Maybe some things ought to stay private."