Keira Knightley Says She'll Only Consider Nude Sex Scenes If Working With A Female Film-Maker

Ata Owaji Victor
·3-min read


Keira Knightley has revealed that she will no longer film nude scenes if the project is being helmed by a male director, noting her reasons are 'partly' due to vanity but also her discomfort at portraying the male gaze.

The British actress opened up about her view of nudity in film during a recent episode on CHANEL Connects with filmmaker Lulu Wang and journalist Diane Solway. In the interview, the actress said that she has a near-total ban on nude or sex scenes — specifically with male directors.

'I feel very uncomfortable now trying to portray the male gaze,' she said.

'I don’t want it to be those horrible sex scenes where you’re all greased up and everybody is grunting. I’m not interested in doing that.'

However, the star said she does understand the need for nude scenes in some projects, adding: 'Saying that, there’s times where I go, "Yeah, I completely see where this sex would be really good in this film and you basically just need somebody to look hot", so therefore you can use somebody else.

'It’s partly vanity and also it’s the male gaze,' Knightley explained of her stance on nudity. 'I’m too vain and the body has had two children now and I’d just rather not stand in front of a group of men naked.'

Knightley is a mother to two daughters - Edie, five, and Delilah, one - who she parents with her husband James Righton.

The Atonement actress said that she would only be willing to appear nude on screen again if she was working with a female director and it was to tell a journey of motherhood or body acceptance.

'If it was about motherhood, about how extraordinary that body is, about how suddenly you're looking at this body that you've got to know and is your own and it's seen in a completely different way and it's changed in ways which are unfathomable to you before you become a mother, then yeah, I would totally be up for exploring that with a woman who would understand that,' she said.

'I don’t have an absolute ban but I kind of do with men.'

In the podcast, the star also recalled a harrowing incident involving paparazzi during the earlier days of her filming career.

Knightley revealed that she has been verbally harassed by tabloid photographers over the years and their intense focus on her has almost resulted in car accidents.

'It is brutal for young women within this industry,' she said.

'Being followed around 24/7 by packs of up to 30 men with their lenses, through my windows and being called a whore every time I left the house in order to invoke a reaction because the pictures were worth more if I was crying. Or being forced off the road, because they suddenly found that, there was a lot of money to be made out of car crashes. So you'd have guys with cameras trying to force your car off the road.'

Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.

In need of more inspiration, thoughtful journalism and at-home beauty tips? Subscribe to ELLE's print magazine today! SUBSCRIBE HERE

You Might Also Like