"I strolled onto set, nothing on, and started that particular soliloquy."
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In Jesse Williams' Broadway debut in Take Me Out, he stripped down in front of a live audience. While he said he learned to tune out audience reactions and preferred not to know if his family was in the crowd ahead of the show, he didn't think the whole thing was that big of a deal.
"Everybody makes such a big deal. It’s a body. Once you see it you realize it’s whatever. I just have to make it not that big of a deal," Jesse shared on Watch What Happens Live.
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In 2018's Outlaw King, Chris Pine bared it all in a scene where his character emerges from a lake. While the nudity only lasts for a moment, Chris says he wanted to do it because he thought it was important to his character's story. Ahead of the film's release, Chris added that he was surprised by all the headlines about the scene and was "embarrassed it actually has to be a thing to talk about."
"There's certainly a double standard because nobody would talk about it if it were a woman. I would say, 'Why? Because women are expected to do it and men aren't? Why aren't men expected to do it? Why haven't men done it before? Does it show vulnerability? Does it exhibit this vestigial, puritanical shame over the human body and human intimacy? Yet violence, self-flagellation, and hurting one another we can do—because that's what we've been taught culturally is OK?' I don't know. It certainly seems to be an odd thing," Chris told E! News.
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Ben Affleck went full frontal nude in a blink-and-you-miss-it moment in Gone Girl. Looking back on the scene that made plenty of headlines, Ben says he didn't even really know viewers were going to be able to see anything.
"We had a shower scene in the movie. And David [Fincher] assured me, because trust is essential with directors and actors: ‘Listen, if we tilt down we will never go far enough to see anything.’ So thank you, David. And I’d like to thank you for keeping the set cool. Because if you are gonna have one chance for America to see your junk you want it to be cold. It’s a real gift," Ben joked at the Hollywood Film Awards.
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Ewan McGregor has never shied away from being nude when taking on new roles. In fact, he's stripped down in quite a few flicks through the years, including Trainspotting and Velvet Goldmine. He says the whole thing has never been an issue for him and he just does it because it's part of a role.
"Being naked is something that happens at either end of the day for me, and if you're lucky, somewhere in the middle as well. And I don't understand why it's an issue. I don't take my clothes off in movies because I want to flash my body around. I took my clothes off for movies because I'm an actor," Ewan told E!
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Tom Cruise may have bared it all in All The Right Moves, but he actually wasn't supposed to be nude in the film. His costar, Lea Thompson, revealed that when she told him she was uncomfortable with her own nude scenes, he helped talk the directors out of one of them. In the remaining scene, Tom suggested that he strip down too.
“In the second, he said, ‘Well, if she has to be naked, I’ll be naked, too,’ That’s pretty badass! I’ve always been grateful to him for standing up to the producers," Lea told Indiewire.
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There's no shortage of nudity in the 2012 flick Shame. When it came time to make a decision about taking on the role, Michael says he thought about the double standards about nudity for men and women in film — and then dedicated the role to his mom!
"It just baffles me: Women can parade around naked all the time, but the guy conveniently has his pants on. I remember my mom always complaining about that to me, saying, 'This is such bullshit, it’s always the women who are naked” … so I did this one for you, Mom!'" Michael said in an interview with Vulture.
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Jude Law seemed to have no problem stripping down for his role in Dom Hemingway and actually ended up shooting his nude scene on the first day of filming. He says he strolled onto set in the buff just to get into character.
"We hurtled through the whole of this film, and I kind of figured that the best way to start was to make sure the crew knew who and what Dom was. So I thought the best way to go was to start with this crazy opening scene, which is incredibly explicit and I'm naked. So I strolled onto set, nothing on, and started that particular soliloquy," Jude told E!
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Kevin Bacon doesn't have a problem being nude on camera — he just has an issue talking about it. While Kevin didn't mind stripping down for his film Wild Things, he says he got frustrated when he was always asked about it in interviews.
“My problem with nudity though — I did a movie called Wild Things, it was full-frontal nudity. And I didn't have a problem with it, because it's a scene getting out of the shower and it was just that kind of movie. What I did have a problem with was the fact that when I went to promote the movie — and even to this day — that's all I talk about. So it kind of ended up being, I don't know, just kind of boring to me as a topic of conversation," Kevin told Business Insider.
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Just a few minutes into 2008's Forgetting Sarah Marshall, viewers got a full frontal view of a naked Jason Segel, who was attempting to surprise his onscreen girlfriend with a sexy night at home. Instead, he ends up getting broken up with, setting the scene for the rest of the film. Jason actually wrote the scene himself and says he wouldn't have done so if there wasn't a creative purpose behind it.
"There was a creative idea behind it; it wasn’t just for shock value. I wanted it to be the most humiliating breakup of all time. When I was writing it, I thought to myself, 'The problem with romantic comedies is, you know what’s going to happen. The guy on the poster is going to end up with the girl on the poster.' But if I open this movie with something you cannot believe you’re seeing, you’re sort of forced to go into a different attitude. You don’t know what’s going to happen in this movie," Jason said in an interview with Vulture.
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Back in 1980, Richard Gere became one of the first male actors to appear completely nude in his film American Gigolo, which centered around a male sex worker. According to Richard, he didn't actually plan to be naked in the movie, it just happened naturally.
"If I recall, [the nudity] wasn’t in the script. It was just in the natural process of making the movie. I certainly felt vulnerable, but I think it’s different for men than women," he told Entertainment Weekly.
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James McAvoy doesn't have any trouble getting naked in films (or on stage). When asked about his stripped-down scene in The Last King of Scotland, James said he just straight up enjoys being naked.
“Yeah, I like to get naked. I like being naked, I like being naked on stage, more than I like being naked on film. Naked on film is not that fun, but naked on stage is really quite freeing. On stage there's nowhere to hide, you're completely vulnerable. When you're completely vulnerable, it can't get any worse, can it?" James said.