That amiable prudishness has made the sex scenes on Big Love a bit of a high-wire act. When she took the part, Goodwin signed a nudity clause more detailed than the Kyoto Protocol. “I’m not showing my boobies or my coochie on TV,” she says matter-of-factly. “Nudity is for my boyfriend or my doctor.” Her skin-baring policy is so strict that she didn’t think she’d even get the part of Margene (she’s also read scripts over the last year for films to be directed by hotshots Charlie Kaufman and Todd Solondz that require nudity and says she thought to herself that it wouldn’t be worth it).
“When I do a sex scene [on Big Love], this is how romantic it is,” Goodwin says. “I have a piece of paper that says, ‘I will remove this blouse from the bottom button up, and then I will put my right leg here and left leg here, and then I will swing from the fan and make this noise.’”
At the suggestion of actress Laura Linney, Goodwin writes on her private parts so that even the slightest glimpse is unusable. On stickers covering her nipples and “boo-heiney,” the word Goodwin uses to refer to her rear end, she scrawls things like DO NOT FILM ME and BILL, STOP LOOKING AT MY BOOBS.
Fortunately for those on both sides of the camera, those clauses and caveats haven’t made Goodwin’s bedroom scenes with Paxtonwho describes his character’s sexual relationship with Margene as “the old bull having a hard time keeping up with the young heifer”any less athletic. “Ginnifer said to me, ‘You’ve been where some of my boyfriends haven’t gotten to,’” Paxton says. “I said, ‘That’s why they’re not your boyfriends anymore.’”