Intimate and nude scenes have appeared in films of every genre, from romance and action to comedy and thrillers. The actresses who take part in such scenes feel a wide range of emotions both during and after filming. Whether they felt utterly comfortable and free or if they were misled or lied to, here are seven actresses who have appeared on screen without clothing and what they thought about it.
Winslet was catapulted into stardom following the release of Titanic in 1997. The film also played a defining role in the early career of co-star Leonardo DiCaprio. The movie, which inserted the dramatic romance between Winslet’s and DiCaprio’s characters into the storyline, traced the actual events of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.
DiCaprio sketches a portrait of Winslet in one particular scene, which reveals more than your standard drawing. Years later, Winslet said she found the scene awkward following something her daughter’s friend said: “My daughter actually had this at school. It was quite weird. She said someone came up to her having figured out after four years of being in school together that I was her mother and said, ‘oh my God, I’ve seen your mom’s boobs!’”
Jamie Lee Curtis
While best known for roles in horror films such as the Halloween franchise and The Fog, Jamie Lee Curtis’ role in the 1983 comedy Trading Places put her into a situation that she had not been in her previous films. Portraying a prostitute named Ophelia, one scene called for Curtis to bare it all, which she did.
In a 2022 interview with PEOPLE, Curtis had this to say about that particular scene: “I was 21 years old and the part required Ophelia to take off her dress. Did I like doing it? No. Did I feel embarrassed that I was doing it? Yes. Did I look OK? Yeah. Did I know what I was doing? Yeah. Did I like it? No. Was I doing it because it was the job? Yes.”
From Cadet Karen Thompson in Police Academy (1984) and Gracie Law in Big Trouble in Little China (1986) to the mannequin Ema “Emmy” Hesire in the film Mannequin (1987) and Samantha Jones in Sex and the City (2008), Cattrall has portrayed a wide range of characters.
During her career, she has not shied away from appearing in various states of undress. Now that she’s in her 60s, she no longer sees the need to do such scenes. She commented on this in an interview with Variety in 2022: “I don’t want to anymore. I’m 65, I’m in great shape. But I’m just not interested. I feel like I filled my quota on that one–and without an intimacy coach.”
Dame Helen Mirren, now 77 years old, has acted in many scenes without clothes. Early performances included Age of Consent (1969) and the erotic historical film Caligula (1979), in which she played Ceasonia. More recently, Mirren appeared without clothes in the 2003 film Calender Girls.
Aging didn’t seem to stop Mirren from taking on these roles, as she’s appeared in nude scenes in every decade from 1960 until 2010.
The 1992 film noir erotic thriller Basic Instinct is memorable, above all else, for the interrogation scene. In the film, Stone plays Catherine Tramell, the prime suspect in a murder investigation, opposite Michael Douglas’ San Francisco Police Detective Nick Curran.
In the famous scene, Tramell is provocative in her responses. At one point, she uncrosses then recrosses her legs, revealing that she was not wearing anything under her dress. Moviegoers, just like the detectives in the film, were left speechless.
In her memoir, Stone had this to say about the famous scene: “After we shot Basic Instinct, I got called in to see it. Not on my own with the director, as one would anticipate, given the situation that has given us all pause, so to speak, but with a room full of agents and lawyers… That was how I saw [the scene] for the first time, long after I’d been told, ‘We can’t see anything–I just need you to remove your panties, as the white is reflecting the light, so we know you have panties on.’”
Stone then recalled that she “went to the projection booth, slapped [filmmaker] Paul [Verhoeven] across the face, left, went to my car, and called my lawyer, Marty Singer.”
Nicole Kidman has acted in numerous scenes that involved her appearing without clothing. Her films have included Windrider (1986), Deep Calm (1989), and Eyes Wide Shut (1999).
Starring alongside her then-real-life husband, Tom Cruise, in the erotic mystery psychological drama Eyes Wide Shut, Kidman portrayed Alice Harford, who has to deal with her paranoid and jealous spouse. Throughout the film, Kidman appears in various degrees of undress. Fortunately, she did not feel uncomfortable while filming.
She told The Hollywood Reporter in 2020: “When I went to work with Stanley Kubrick, he was like, ‘I’m going to want full-frontal,’ and I was like, ‘Ahh, I don’t know.’ So we came up with a great agreement, which was contractual. He would show me the scenes… before they made it into the film. Then I could feel completely safe. I didn’t say no to any of it. I‘d wanted to make sure that it wasn’t going to be me standing there… and everyone laughing at me. I was protected.”
Monica Belluci has never shied away from nude scenes and has appeared without clothes in films such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Malèna, and more recently, Spectre.
The Italian actress had this to say about nude scenes: “I think that when [scenes with no clothing are] well filmed, it’s beautiful. In Brotherhood, my character is a prostitute, a courtesan. In the beginning, when you see her in a love scene and she’s naked, it’s filmed to look like a painting, so there it’s in very good taste.”
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About other actresses, many of who can be uncomfortable filming such scenes, Belucci explained why she was so comfortable filming them: “One reason that I’m comfortable with [these scenes] is because I come from Europe, and I have a good relation with my body. Europeans are different, even in the way we lay on the beach [without suits]. Why do we have to be scared? [The human body] is pure; if not, why were Michelangelo and Raffaello so interested in it?”