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Emma Corrin Is Proud of Lady Chatterley's Steamy Love Scenes: 'It's Okay to Want Pleasure'

Lady Chatterley's Lover. Emma Corrin as Lady Chatterley's Lover and Jack O'Connell in Lady Chatterley's Lover.
Lady Chatterley's Lover. Emma Corrin as Lady Chatterley's Lover and Jack O'Connell in Lady Chatterley's Lover.

Courtesy of Netflix Emma Corrin and Jack O'Connell in Lady Chatterley's Lover (2022)

Lady Chatterley's Lover is pushing the envelope.

Based on the 1928 book of the same name by English novelist D.H. Lawrence, the newly released romance movie, streaming on Netflix now, is breaking barriers when it comes to sex positivity and equal-opportunity nudity across genders.

The film stars Emma Corrin and Jack O'Connell as two people who form an unlikely, intimate bond after Lady Constance "Connie" Chatterley (Corrin, 26) seeks out a kind of companionship unable to be offered by her husband, wealthy aristocrat Sir Clifford Chatterley (Matthew Duckett), as World War I rages across Europe. Enter gamekeeper Oliver Mellors (O'Connell, 32).

Asked what they hope audiences experience from watching the film, Corrin tells PEOPLE, "A journey that I think a lot of women go on is finding that power in your sexuality, and also knowing that it's okay to want pleasure and to strive for pleasure, and for that to be a really powerful and beautiful thing and not something that you need to not acknowledge at all, or feel bad about, or shame over."

"I think that it's a really beautiful thing, and I think that the film really honors it in a powerful way," adds the Crown star of Lady Chatterley's steamy love scenes.

O'Connell echoes Corrin's comments, saying that he believes the film, which features full-frontal nudity from both their characters, "was definitely a campaign towards some form of equality."

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Lady Chatterley's Lover. (L to R) Emma Corrin as Lady Chatterley, Jack O'Connell as Oliver Mellors in Lady Chatterley's Lover.
Lady Chatterley's Lover. (L to R) Emma Corrin as Lady Chatterley, Jack O'Connell as Oliver Mellors in Lady Chatterley's Lover.

Courtesy of Netflix Emma Corrin and Jack O'Connell in Lady Chatterley's Lover (2022)

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"One of the best ways I think you can enact change is to demonstrate it and use the platforms or our positions to be able to do that," he tells PEOPLE of his involvement. "Definitely made it feel like a very poignant and relevant thing to be a part of."

O'Connell was also interested in making the film because of the taboo-considered nature of the content of the book, to the point where it was once banned — potentially for reasons one might not think of at first.

"The more research we did, the less apparent it became that it was banned because of the sexual content, when in fact what made it get banned was that it was a story about an inter-class relationship that remained unpunished, and 'cause at the lead you had a female character that was not punished for infidelity," he says.

"That, I believe, [was] the main factor in why the book was banned. So when you throw a modern perspective on that, I just think it's very interesting how kind of relevant that might still be today," O'Connell explains.

In the film, Connie's "life of wealth and privilege seems set" in the immediate aftermath of her marriage to Sir Chatterley, but the couple's "idealistic union gradually becomes an incarceration" when Clifford returns from the war paralyzed from the waist down due to his injuries, according to the official synopsis for Lady Chatterley's Lover.

"When she meets and falls for Oliver Mellors, the gamekeeper on the Chatterley family estate, their secret trysts lead her to a sensual, sexual awakening," the synopsis continues.

Corrin and O'Connell say they had Ita O'Brien, an intimacy coordinator, on set with them and director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre to ensure everyone was comfortable.

"She was absolutely incredible," Corrin says of O'Brien, explaining that they rehearsed for two weeks before shooting and that the scenes were choreographed "very thoroughly."

"We would walk through it beat-by-beat; we knew what to expect," the actor says. "We could talk about anything we were uncomfortable with and what we would be comfortable with, and then by the time of shooting, everyone just knows exactly where they stand and we're able to do a job as an actor, which was incredibly liberating and a really great experience."

Before shooting the more intimate sequences, O'Connell says that O'Brien "would make sure we have a bit of time privately amongst the three of us just to check in, 'cause what can be perfectly fine on one day, on another day, you might just not be feeling it."

"So Ita definitely — in all fairness to her, and credit to her — she made sure that we had that time prior to any intimate scene where we just checked in, made sure that what was established in the rehearsal room would be comfortable on the day," he explains. "She was a real guiding influence throughout all of that."

Jack O'Connell as Oliver, Emma Corrin as Lady Constance in Lady Chatterley's Lover.
Jack O'Connell as Oliver, Emma Corrin as Lady Constance in Lady Chatterley's Lover.

Parisa Taghizadeh/Netflix Jack O'Connell and Emma Corrin in Lady Chatterley's Lover (2022)

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The movie was filmed in the Welsh countryside, which gave Corrin and O'Connell a stunning backdrop not only for Lady Chatterley but for their downtime off the set, as well.

"We got really into wild swimming, so after work often we'd go and wild swim after work in the rivers," Corrin says. "It was really cool. We sort of ended up living and breathing that sort of natural aspect."

O'Connell tells PEOPLE that he and Corrin have "a common sense of humor," which came in handy during their "fair bit of time to kill" between takes.

Asked what kept them laughing, the SAS: Rogue Heroes star jokes, "I think just the ridiculousness of it, or just the ridiculous nature of our jobs."

"We just got to hang out," O'Connell says.

Lady Chatterley's Lover is streaming on Netflix now.