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Keri Russell Reacts to Matthew Rhys' NSFW Scene on 'Girls’: He Was in an 'Awkward Position'

by Jackie Willis 11:30 AM PDT, March 16, 2017
Photo: Getty Images

Keri Russell revealed how boyfriend Matthew Rhys told her about his NSFW scene with Lena Dunham on this season of Girls.

In the stand-alone episode, author Chuck Palmer (Rhys) exposes himself to Hannah Horvath (Dunham) while the two are lying awkwardly on his bed. This comes after they have a spirited discussion about the women who have spoken out claiming that Chuck had sexually assaulted them.

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While on Thursday's Late Night With Seth Meyers, Russell admitted that she had a lot of questions about Rhys' guest appearance on the HBO show. "He said he was gonna do that and I was like, 'Who are you sleeping with?' Like, 'Who do you have sex with on the show?'" the 40-year-old actress recalled. "And he was like, 'Well, it's not quite like that.'"

Russell also recounted that Rhys had reservations about the prosthetic penis he was to wear for the scene. "Then there was the whole thing where he got to choose his own [prosthetic penis]," she explained. "But he's in such an awkward position, like, 'If I choose a giant one, people are gonna be like, 'What a d**k.'' So he's like, 'I just like let someone else do it.'"

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When Rhys and Dunham were interviewed by The New York Times regarding this episode, the 42-year-old actor affirmed Russell's story. "They asked me, 'Do you want to pick your own prosthetic penis?' he noted. "I said, 'No. I'll leave that up to you.'"

Also during the Times interview, Dunham was eager to set some things straight regarding the scene. "I just want to make sure that everyone knows that's a silicone penis," the 30-year-old Golden Globe winner said. "We've seen glimpses of penises in the show before, but this one was pretty overt. When we wrote it in, I remember Matthew said, 'I just want to get an understanding of how we're going to shoot this,' and we were like, 'We're not going to make you take out your nude penis. Don't worry.'"

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Rhys admitted that he found the moment "embarrassing," because "it was so predatory in its nature."

Photo: HBO
Photo: HBO

"There was something deeply uncomfortable about doing it," he added.

Dunham confessed that she got uncomfortable when Rhys made a smug, creepy face after his character exposed himself, a facial expression that was improvised. "When we filmed that take, I jumped up and was like, 'I hate you!' He and I had become such good buddies over the weekend, and I was like, 'I can't believe you just made that face!' It freaked me out more than I could have imagined," she exclaimed. "That was completely Matthew's creation -- this guy who makes a 'gotcha' face. You can see that his pleasure isn't sexual. It's a psychological cat-and-mouse game that he likes to play."

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While Russell may have had a few reservations about Rhys' NSFW scene on Girls, he too admitted that he gets uncomfortable when the mother of his child has to strip down on their FX show, The Americans. "I get a little protective," Rhys told The Hollywood Reporter in August. "I'm like, 'Can someone get her a f**king robe, please?!' She's standing there naked, we've cut for five seconds, Jesus Christ."

Check out what Russell had to say about her sexy scenes:

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