Charles Melton openly discussed the experience of wearing a prosthetic for a sex scene in May December.
“It was very professional,” Melton, 32, informed Variety earlier this month regarding the filming of the intimate onscreen moment with his co-star Natalie Portman. “The whole thing. Natalie, [director] Todd [Haynes] and I met to discuss the scene, walking through it and ensuring everybody was comfortable.”
Melton affirmed his decision to wear a body prosthetic rather than fully exposing himself. “There were a few conversations about the prosthetic, regarding what was realistic and what wasn’t,” he clarified.
However, the process proved to be quite laborious for Melton. “I had to wear that prosthetic for nine hours that day,” he recollected. “I didn’t have anything to drink that morning or the night before. That was an annoying process but still very respectful.”
May December, available for streaming on Netflix since December, has already earned Melton numerous award nominations for his portrayal of Joe.
The film centers around an actress named Elizabeth (Portman), who embarks on a journey to meet and research the life of Gracie (Julianne Moore), the person she is slated to portray in a project. Gracie’s well-known romance with Joe, who is 23 years her junior, serves as the focal point of the fictional film. (The storyline of May December draws significant inspiration from the infamous relationship between Mary Kay Letourneau and her student Vili Fualaau.)
Apart from donning a prosthetic for the project, Melton also added 40 pounds to his weight, a transformation that ultimately secured him the role.
“I’m so grateful Charles Melton came into our consciousness. I didn’t know him from Riverdale. His looks were almost a deterrent,” Haynes expressed to Vulture in September. “I felt that Joe would be a good-looking man, but Charles has that sort of hunkiness and pin-up quality that wasn’t necessarily how I pictured him.”
The director commended Melton for his dedication to the project, stating, “[He did it] to change his chiseled self into something more familiar. A suburban man in this place. There’s such remarkable physicality in the choices he made as an actor. A friend of mine saw a cut of it and he said, ‘Charles moves like a child and an old man, a combination of the two’ — which makes so much sense given his predicament.”
Prior to the critical acclaim that accompanied the premiere of May December, Melton detailed his preparation process, describing it as a “complex, compounded, voyeuristic experience” delving into the human condition.
“I asked my parents what it was like when I left the house, what kind of conversations they had in their own relationship. They said they were very sad,” he informed Variety in May. “My mother is Korean, and I’m first generation on my mother’s side. She cooked every meal for me growing up. My dad was really good at letting go — at trusting that this new chapter would work out for the best.”
Melton has already secured awards from the Gotham Awards, New York Film Critics Circle, and Santa Barbara International Film Festival for his performance in May December. Additionally, he received a Golden Globe nomination and is being viewed as a potential candidate for the Oscars.
May December is currently streaming on Netflix.
Source: Us Weekly