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NEVE McINTOSH - Filming my sex scenes was one of the most unsexy moments of my career; NEVE McINTOSH ON ROMPING WITH MAX BEESLEY.

Byline: THOMAS QUINN

DUSKY Scots beauty Neve McIntosh knows she'll be the envy of thousands of women when they see her steamy sex scenes with superstud actor Max Beesley.

But despite admitting she fancied the Tom Jones star and close pal of Robbie Williams, the Paisley-born actress said it was all strictly business while filming new BBC drama Bodies.

"Filming them was very unsexy," she laughed.

"Sex scenes are always the same. They all have to be choreographed.

"You spend your time breaking making love down to basic movements - a foot here, an arm there, or whatever.

"And then you might be lying there naked and wondering if my bum looks too big."

Hunk Max's conquests have included Mel B of the Spice Girls, Melanie Sykes, Mica Paris and Davinia Murphy.

But married Neve insisted she and Max were just pals.

She said: "Max is a lovely guy and funny too.

"Although those scenes were very heavy, we managed to have a laugh once in a while too." Neve also insisted the explicit sex scenes were necessary to tell the story, a powerful tale of the relationship between Neve's overworked nurse and Max's well-meaning doctor.

"It was definitely the way to go," said the 29-year-old.

"The sex has to be edgy like that, like the rest of the series is edgy, otherwise it wouldn't fit."

At first the characters' attraction to one another looks like nothing more than a flirtation.

But when a patient dies on the ward they both blame themselves for the tragedy and launch into a desperate, secret affair.

At times it is hard to tell whether they are making love or deliberately trying to hurt one another.

But Neve insisted: "I don't think it is fair to say she wants to be brutalised by him.

"It's more a case that she is just desperate to feel something. Otherwise she just feels numb."

"With problems on the ward, she's got used to compartmentalising her emotions and not feeling things.

"Then Rob arrives and sex becomes a release for them both."

Neve says her husband Alex Sahle, a cameraman and writer, understood that she had to do the steamy scenes for work.

The couple wed in 2000 after meeting on the set of Channel 4 drama Psychos.

It was a particularly happy event for the actress, who at the age of 18 found herself in an abusive relationship with an older man, who wanted to control every aspect of her life.

She went public about the psychologically damaging affair over a year ago, hoping her experiences would alert others to the dangers.

"I've not heard from him since and wouldn't expect to," she said of the former lover she refuses to name.

"I think speaking about it was the right thing to do because there are so many women out there with similar problems who can't talk about it."

Alex, she said, has been a massive help in her struggle to come to terms with what happened.

Neve explained: "He knows all about it and has talked it through with me. I'm sure he does feel very angry on my behalf but has just been very supportive.

"I thought he was gorgeous as soon as I met him. And if we are blessed with children in the future I'd be very happy because being a mum is definitely something I'm interested in."

"I missed Alex when I was filming Bodies.

"It's great now to be back home again - but he's just got a job on the new ITV version of Miss Marple, so he's off looking at locations for that.

"Hopefully we'll get away on holiday later this year - we've not been on one for two years."

BODIES will be screened on BBC2 later this year but some viewers can get a preview by tuning into BBC3 on Sunday nights.

CAPTION(S):

TOUGH: Neve in a scene from the new BBC hospital drama Bodies; SUPERSTUD: Max has sexy reputation; STEAMY Neve said sex scenes were justified
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 29, 2004
Words:668
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