17 Actors Who Have Opened Up About What It Was Like Being Nude On Film, On Stage, And More


Hilary Duff said, “I also want people to know a makeup artist was there putting glow all over my body and someone put me in the most flattering position.”


Hilary Duff recently posed totally nude for Women’s Health magazine, and despite finding it “scary,” she also said the moment felt liberating for her. On Instagram, she said, “I felt strong and beautiful and laughed a lot getting into some of these poses without my high-waisted mom jeans and oversized whatever I normally wear.”

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In her cover interview, Hilary said that she had an eating disorder at 17 years old and shared, “I’m proud of my body. I’m proud that it’s produced three children for me. I’ve gotten to a place of being peaceful with the changes my body has gone through. I also want people to know a makeup artist was there putting glow all over my body and someone put me in the most flattering position.”


When Daniel Radcliffe starred in Equus on Broadway, he had a scene that required him to be fully naked onstage, and said he wasn’t as nervous as he thought he’d be: “It never really was an issue. I don’t know why, it probably should have been. I am terribly self-conscious. Although I remember I did look at my dad once and say, ‘Do you think I could wear pants?’”

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He shared that he actually suffered from Michelangelo’s David Effect: “[David] wasn’t very well endowed, because he was fighting Goliath. There was very much of that effect. You tighten up like a hamster. The first time it happened, I turned around and went, ‘You know, there’s a thousand people here, and I don’t think even one of them would expect you to look your best in this situation.’”

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Emilia Clarke has been nude onscreen for Game of Thrones and revealed that Jason Momoa played a huge part in making her comfortable on set. On the Armchair Expert podcast she said, “[Jason] was like, ‘Sweetie, this is how it’s meant to be; this is how it’s not meant to be.’ He was so kind and considerate and cared about me as a human being.”

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She said she experienced pushback later on in her career when she decided not to fully strip down. She said, “I’ve had fights on set before where I’m like, ‘No, the sheet stays up,’ and they’re like, ‘You don’t wanna disappoint your Game of Thrones fans.’ And I’m like, ‘Fuck you.'”


Viola Davis told Tom Hanks that she has no issue with filming nude scenes, as long as production allows them to be as realistic as possible: “I’m not a woman who’s a size two. If I’m in a sex scene, I want to play the sex scene. I want to say, ‘This is why I’m attracted to you; it’s gotten to this point; this is what my body looks like.'”

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She also saw these scenes as an opportunity for better representation of Black women on TV. She explained, “I saw it as an opportunity way bigger than doing good work — I saw it as an opportunity for a dark-skinned actress of 50 to be in a role that’s sexualized, not sexy. There’s a difference between sexualized and sexy.”


Sydney Sweeney has said she feels there’s “a stigma against actresses who get naked on-screen.” She said, “When a guy has a sex scene or shows his body, he still wins awards and gets praise. But the moment a girl does it, it’s completely different.” She added, “I’m very proud of my work in Euphoria. I thought it was a great performance. But no one talks about it because I got naked.”

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Sydney has also spoken extremely highly of Euphoria‘s creator for listening to and respecting her feelings toward nudity: “Sam [Levinson] is amazing. There are moments where Cassie was supposed to be shirtless and I would tell Sam, ‘I don’t really think that’s necessary here.’ He was like, ‘OK, we don’t need it.’ I’ve never felt like Sam has pushed it on me or was trying to get a nude scene into an HBO show. When I didn’t want to do it, he didn’t make me.”


Jennifer Lawrence had a very positive experience filming naked for Red Sparrow. She said, “We talked about it extensively, which was really important for showing up on the day and there being no surprises. I knew exactly what was going on and also there was one moment [director Francis Lawrence] came out to give me a note and just looked at me like I had clothes, and then I just felt like I had clothes on.”

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She also shared that the experience changed her perception about nudity in general, after her 2014 photo hack. “The insecurity and fear of being judged for getting nude, what I went through, should that dictate decisions I make for the rest of my life? This movie changed that and I didn’t even realize how important changing that mentality was until it was done.”


Helen Mirren told People that she was “always afraid” of nude scenes: “It’s not fun to be on a film set and be one of the only ones naked,” she said.

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However, Caligula was the one movie where she actually felt comfortable being naked: “Everyone was naked in that. It was like showing up for a nudist camp every day. You felt embarrassed if you had your clothes on in that movie.”

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For Conversations With Friends, Joe Alwyn said, “When they sent the audition, they said, just as a heads up, that it would be to sign up for the possibility of full-frontal,” which he was fine with.

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He ended up only having to show his bare butt, and even joked, “To be honest, I forget that other people will see it.”


Jason Segel did a full-frontal scene in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and he thought it was “hilarious.” He told Vulture, “I was actually not very uncomfortable doing it. I really felt free.”

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He explained that the nudity wasn’t purely to surprise the audience, because there was actually a creative reason behind it: “You have to put it in the context that this was 2006, 2007, and this hadn’t been done before, in my recollection, where the main guy was going to be naked in the first five minutes of the movie. There was a creative idea behind it, it wasn’t just for shock value.”


Halle Berry appeared naked in the movie Swordfish, and she told New York Times Magazine that scene gave her the courage to do another nude scene in Monster’s Ball a year later. She also said that she’d only do the scene “if Billy Bob agreed to be as naked as I was.”

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She admitted that the scene “scared me completely,” but went on to say, “I look at it now and think, ‘Who is that girl up there?’”


Nicole Kidman’s nude scenes in Big Little Lies made her feel “very exposed and vulnerable and deeply humiliated at times.” Her character Celeste was in an abusive marriage, and after a particularly difficult scene, Nicole was, “lying on the floor and I just wouldn’t get up in-between takes. I was just lying there, sort of broken and crying, and I remember at one point [director] Jean-Marc coming over and just sort of placing a towel over me because I was just lying there in half-torn underwear and just basically on the ground with nothing on and I was just, like [gasps]. But at times I would have flashes of images of women that have gone through this and I’m like, ‘This is authentic, this is the truth and this is what I have to do, and it would just come through like that.’

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She explained that she felt connected to her character Celeste, but to do the role justice she had to put her own insecurities on the back burner: “When I would go home, I would feel ashamed, and that’s the same emotions and the same feelings that Celeste was having, so we were very much parallel in the feelings, but I was willing to do that for the role because that’s what I felt was important for the role. When I talk about not censoring myself through my own inhibitions and not then affecting a story or a character because of my own inhibitions, I’m here to tell the story and to be true to the art, not to bring my own problems in terms of what I feel comfortable with, not comfortable with. I’ve got to go work that stuff out so that I can come as a pure vessel to the work.”


Michael Fassbender did a full-frontal nude scene in Shame, but he didn’t have time to feel self-conscious because of the film’s tight shooting schedule. “We moved very fast. We shot it in 25 days, so I kind of had to get over it and get on with it,” he said.

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In an interview with Vulture, he even shared that he was confused why there wasn’t MORE male nudity in film. He said, “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!”


Angelina Jolie was tempted to cut her nude scenes in By the Sea, which came out two years after she’d undergone a double mastectomy. She said, “You can’t change or cut this scene because you’ve had a mastectomy. That would be cheating.”

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But years later she posed naked again for Harper’s Bazaar; she opened up about the challenges she faced displaying her body: “My body has been through a lot over the past decade, particularly the past four years, and I have both the visible and invisible scars to show for it.”


Jesse Williams is currently starring in Take Me Out on Broadway, where he was required to fully strip down onstage, and after several “Are you sure?” questions from his friends, family, and Grey’s Anatomy castmates, he said he “wasn’t nervous” for them to see the scene.

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He told Andy Cohen, “Everybody makes such a big deal. It’s a body. Once you see it, you realize it’s whatever.” He continued, “It’s a first so I have nothing to compare it to, and I won’t be scared of anything after this, that’s for sure.”


Ben Stiller was uncomfortable with his character’s nude scene in Along Came Polly, and director John Hamburg reportedly agreed to cut the scene altogether if the audience didn’t find it funny.

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After the scene ended up staying in the film, Ben said, “Later, I discovered I could have had a bottom double — but no one had bothered to tell me.”


Mary-Louise Parker did several nude scenes for the TV show Weeds, but there was one in particular where her character was naked in a bathtub that she didn’t want to do. She said, “I didn’t think I needed to be naked, and I fought with the director about it, and now I’m bitter. I knew it was going to be on the internet: ‘Mary-Louise Parker shows off her big nipples.’ I wish I hadn’t done that. I was goaded into it.”

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She later explained that there is huge pressure to look younger, but she just wants to look like herself: “Somebody told me that they’d read I had all this work done, and showed me a picture and it was totally airbrushed … it made me so mad. I don’t like what that says to other women. I’m 44 and I look okay for 44. I’m not trying to look 34.”


Finally, Chris Pine bared it all for Outlaw King because he felt like it was only fair since Florence Pugh also got nude for the movie. He said, “Florence shows her entire body in this film and no one is talking about that. Is Florence expected to do that because she is a woman and I’m not expected to do that because I’m a man?”

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He said, “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?” He also doesn’t see the big deal over nude bodies, and said, “People want to talk about my penis as if we’re a bunch of teenagers playing spin the bottle.” He added, “This is the fifth film where I’ve had full-frontal male nudity. No one’s ever had such a fuss about it. It says something about our times and I wish people would get over it.”

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