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Jake Gyllenhaal found early success opposite Jennifer Aniston in 2002’s The Good Girl, but the experience of making the movie wasn’t exactly a walk in the park.

The actor, who recently clarified that he does in fact shower, opened up about what it was like to film his more intimate scenes with his co-star during a recent interview on The Howard Stern Show. Gyllenhaal said filming those scenes “was torture,” although he later added, “But it was also not torture. I mean, come on, it was like a mix of both.”

In his early twenties at the time he shot the film, the now 40-year-old actor described the process of filming any love scene as “oddly mechanical.” He continued, “Weirdly, love scenes are awkward, because there are maybe 30, 50 people watching it? That doesn’t turn me on. ... And also it’s a dance—you’re choreographing for a camera. You can get in it, but it’s like a fight scene, you have to choreograph those scenes.”

Despite the awkwardness of the experience in general, Gyllenhaal admitted that Aniston was a great and very cooperative co-star, with her suggesting they utilize “the pillow technique” by placing a pillow between them during the scenes. “I think that was actually a Jennifer suggestion,” he said. “I think she was actually very kind to suggest it before we began. … She was like, ‘I'm putting a pillow here.’ That was it; that was all she said.”

Watch Gyllenhaal describe the experience in the clip above.