Jake Gyllenhaal says Jennifer Aniston came up with the idea to put a pillow between them during sex scenes in ‘The Good Girl’

Jake Gyllenhaal says Jennifer Aniston came up with the idea to put a pillow between them during sex scenes in ‘The Good Girl’

  • Jake Gyllenhaal spoke about filming sex scenes with Jennifer Aniston 2002’s “The Good Girl.” 
  • “She was like, ‘I’m putting a pillow here,” Gyllenhaal told Howard Stern. “That was all she said.”
  • The pillow was between them for “horizontal” scenes, which Gyllenhaal says were “choreographed.”

Jake Gyllenhaal opened up about using the “pillow technique” during the R-rated moments in the 2002 film “The Good Girl,” costarring Jennifer Aniston.

During a virtual appearance on “The Howard Stern Show,” Gyllenhaal was asked by the host, Howard Stern, what it was like to film a romantic scene with Aniston. Stern sarcastically suggested it must have been “torture” for the actor. 

“It was torture, but it was also not torture,” Gyllenhaal said with equal sarcasm. “I mean, come on. It was like a mix of both.”

Stern then suggested that Gyllenhaal might have had to warn Aniston about feeling “a protrusion,” and Gyllenhaal replied by explaining how filming sex scenes is generally “awkward.”

“There are maybe 30, 50 people watching it,” he said. “That doesn’t turn me on. Most of the time, it’s oddly mechanical. Also, it’s a dance — you’re choreographing for a camera.”

For his scenes with Aniston, Gyllenhaal said that the “the pillow technique” was used for added physical separation between their bodies whenever they were “in a horizontal place.” As previously reported by Insider’s Kirstie Renae, intimate scenes on film are very technical. Props like pillows are often placed between actors to create the illusion of sex.

“The Good Girl” premiered in 2002, when Gyllenhaal was 22 years old (he had previously starred in “October Sky,” “Donnie Darko,” and “Bubble Boy”). Aniston was 33 at the time, with almost eight years of “Friends” under her belt, along with the hit movie “Office Space” and other minor roles. “The Good Girl” tells the story of a small-town retail worker (Aniston) who is unsatisfied in her marriage and has an affair with an teenage stock boy (Gyllenhaal) at her job. 

Gyllenhaal said he didn’t remember much about filming the movie, but did recall that Aniston was the one who suggested using the “pillow technique.”

“She was very kind to suggest it before we began,” Gyllenhaal said. “She was like, ‘I’m putting a pillow here.’ That was it, that was all she said.”

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