Neil Patrick Harris Shares The Behind-The-Scenes Details Of His Steamy Scene With Gilles Marini In 'Uncoupled'

Neil Patrick Harris poses for cameras during a photocall at an event sponsored by Time magazine. He is wearing a tuxedo.
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Oct 2, 2022 10:03 PM ET

If you're a long-time fan of Neil Patrick Harris, you probably remember him as Doogie Howser, MD, or from A Series of Unfortunate Events. Harris stars as Michael Lawson, a middle-aged real estate whose boyfriend of 17 years leaves him abruptly. The Netflix show follows Harris as he navigates dating apps, new relationships, and new intimate experiences while living in New York City. Marcia Gay Harden, Tuc Watkins, and Tisha Campbell round out the cast of supporting characters.

Harris filmed his first on-camera gay sex scene for Uncoupled, which he discussed with Variety magazine.

Sex And The City Comparisons

The series has earned comparisons to Sex and The City, which is ostensibly similar in some ways. Both shows featured New Yorkers coming to terms with sexuality and love, but the writer of the show told the Huffington Post that the similarities end there. As he put it, Sex and The City "was very much a show about female empowerment. This show is about heartbreak, and that’s a very universal experience. You’re coming to it through the eyes of a gay character, but the emotions are universal.”

Harris also weighed in, noting that he isn't as familiar with Sex and The City as he is with the work of performers like Barbara Streisand.

How That Steamy Scene Was Choreographed

When it comes to that steamy scene between Harris and Marini, the hardest part was obscuring their private parts. Harris described the process, saying "there are six or seven options of things you’re supposed to put around your stuff. Some of them have drawstrings, some of them have double-stick tape... — and I had no idea what I was supposed to do with any of them.” But Harris invented his own device, which he affectionately dubbed The NPH. “It’s a kind of rubbery ring that’s attached to a stretchy, flesh-colored package thing that you wrap around all the stuff.”

Gilles Marini On Kissing Harris

According to Harris, the love scene with Marini went quite well. After taping wrapped, he told Harris that he heard kissing men was better than women, and he agreed that it was true. Their chemistry carries over onto the screen, with Marini bringing a welcome spark to the scene. Harris also noted that he felt comfortable filming the sex scene and was more comfortable in his own skin than he had been in the past.

Focusing On Family

Despite a steady and successful career, it is unclear what's next for Harris. He recently wrapped a new season of Doctor Who, but he hasn't announced a new project yet. When he was offered a role in Uncoupled, he had not been actively looking for work. He shares twins with his partner, David Burka, and he has said that his focus is family. Whatever the future holds, his long-time fan base will be waiting.

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