Some scenes in movies can be extremely challenging, especially when an x-rated performance is demanded from the star. Luckily, there are many actors who will try just about anything so they can avoid being typecast or to get noticed. Many scenes which require bravery and nudity can see a star rocket all the way to the A-List (see Margot Robbie in The Wolf of Wall Street).
When we think of on-screen strippers this will most likely conjure images of Elizabeth Berkley in Showgirls or Demi Moore in Striptease. However, there are many performances which have seen actors take it all off but then receive very little recognition for it. This is either because it was a cringe-worthy career boost earlier in their career or that not even their provocative dancing could save the movie from becoming a flop.
If you are going to portray a stripper on screen, then there really should be no half measures. These following actors have proved that not only did they take on the role of a stripper – they became one.
15. Halle Berry
Frankie & Alice is a true story about the life of a popular stripper who performed in Los Angeles in the early 1970s. Halle Berry plays the part of Frankie who suffers from a dissociative identity disorder. This is a coping mechanism used by sufferers who switch personalities when a situation becomes too traumatic or painful for their conscious.
When stripping in the club, Frankie has the whole attention of the room and is recognised as one of the best strippers that the club has seen. Berry puts all of herself into the performance and it was one of her most challenging roles to date.
14. Vanessa Hudgens
Long gone are the days when Vanessa Hudgens was known as the pretty girl from High School Musical. She has spent the last few years re-inventing herself as an on-screen vixen and this has seen her take on some very challenging new roles. In The Frozen Ground, she plays 17-year-old stripper Cindy Paulson and teases the crowds at a bar with a dance in her lingerie.
This American thriller also stars Nicholas Cage and John Cusack. The movie is based on the real-life hunt for serial killer Robert Hansen. Hansen was responsible for stalking and murdering as many as twenty-one young women. He would kidnap his victims in the Alaskan wilderness and then bury them.
13. Lucy Liu
City of Industry witnessed a performance from Lucy Liu before she was famous, which is probably why she agreed to go completely topless when she played a stripper named Cathi Rose. It was one of her earliest roles and has since been brushed under the carpet. Now she is better known for her roles in Charlie’s Angels and Kill Bill.
The scene where she parades around on stage, suggestively touching herself, was available on several streaming sites online. These have since been removed, so if you want to see Liu in all her pre-fame glory, then you will have to get a rental copy of this movie.
12. Jessica Biel
Well, at least now we’re all clear why Justin Timberlake married Jessica Biel. We didn’t need Powder Blue to show us that she really can own a stripper scene as she takes on the role of Rose-Johnny. She went full-frontal for the scene and appeared to love every minute.
The movie also stars Patrick Swayze as the sleazy strip-club owner, Eddie Redmayne as a young mortician who falls in love with her and Ray Liotta as the former employee of a corporate crime organisation. The movie has several interconnected story-lines but it was Biel who ultimately stole the show overall.
11. Mena Suvari
Mena Suvari starred as stripper Sandy Murphy in the TV movie Sex and Lies in Sin City. The film focuses on the events that happened around the death of Las Vegas casino owner Ted Binion. Suvari plays his girlfriend but she also had a lover, Rick Tabish, who is played by Johnathon Schaech.
For the scene where she dances, Suvari shows of her full flexibility as she works the stripper pole, keeping her eyes on her male target the whole time. We don’t know how much practice she needed for the part where she participates in a private dance but she had her routine down perfect.
10. Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis is better known for her roles in Halloween and Freaky Friday. In 1994, she took on the role as Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s wife in True Lies and proved she knew how to keep her husband happy. During the scene where she performs the strip-tease, she refused a body double and even wore her own underwear from home.
9. Kristen Stewart
In Welcome to the Rileys, Kristen Stewart plays a disturbingly young stripper at just 16-years-old. This independent movie follows the life of Doug (James Gandolfini) and Lois (Melissa Leo) after the death of their daughter. Doug finds himself in a strip club during a business trip and it’s there he meets the young Mallory who is played by Stewart.
Turning down her offer for a private dance, Doug and Mallory strike up an unlikely friendship and he begins to pay her $100 a day to stay with her in New Orleans. Ever since Stewart said goodbye to her Bella Swan roots she has been taking on edgier roles.
8. Daryl Hannah
Dancing at the Blue Iguana stars Daryl Hannah in a film about the lives of strippers. Her character, Angel, wishes for a baby but her dysfunctional lifestyle makes this impossible. She works on a team with other dancers who are played by Sandra Oh, Charlotte Ayanna and Kristin Bauer in San Fernando Valley.
The movie wasn’t seen by many as it was a straight-to-DVD flop. New York Post critic, Lou Lumenick, summed it up as, “Mostly this is a whole lot of chain-smoking and griping about men. You’d be better off renting Demi Moore’s Striptease“.
7. Kim Catrall
Kim Cattrall plays an adult entertainment star turned stripper in Meet Monica Velour. Her washed up character tries to earn some extra cash by stripping in a run-down gentleman’s club all while trying to mend her ego as a one-time big star.
It’s here she becomes acquainted with her biggest fan, Tobe, and the pair strike up an unlikely companionship as he tries to mend her broken heart. Cattrall never keeps her sexuality hidden away so it was no surprise to watch her on screen flicking a feather boa around.
6. Natalie Portman
Jude Law, Julia Roberts, Clive Owen and a scantily clad Natalie Portman star in Closer. Portman has proved before that she is more than willing to take on brave acting roles and as an American stripper in London, Alice Ayres, it’s quite obvious she is scared of nothing.
The overall budget for the movie was $27 million and it brought back in more than $115 million at the box office. It’s no wonder film fans were flocking in their thousands to the movie theatre with the promise that Portman would be displaying her full flexibility.
5. Jennifer Love Hewitt
Jennifer Love Hewitt is America’s sweetheart, which is why she dropped a few jaws when in one episode of The Ghost Whisperer, she stripped off for a pole dancing scene. Throughout the series Love Hewitt played a medium who could see ghosts and communicate with them.
When ratings began to dip around season five, the producers thought they could pick up the pace by adding a pole dancing scene featuring their leading lady. It worked a treat and it was obvious she had prepared herself for the scene months in advance as her moves were, well – professional is all we will say.
4. Mark Addy
Before Mark Addy took on the heavy role of Robert Baratheon, he was a little-known British comedy actor and had a few cringe-worthy roles. He played Dave in The Full Monty, who is an out of work welder turned stripper. Addy dances in front of a group of over-excited women and takes it all off for them.
For a British independent movie which cost just $1 million to produce, it went on to take $100 million at the box-office. It is still recognised as one of the best British comedies. Ten years later, he put his clothes back on so he could become the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.
3. Lindsay Lohan
I Know Who Killed Me is a psychological thriller starring Lindsay Lohan as she tried to hold onto what little shred of an acting career she had left. She stars as a student who manages to escape from a serial killer after he abducts and tortures her. During her treatment in a hospital, she tells the medical staff that she is not the woman they think she is.
Lohan’s pole dancing scene was less than five minutes long but still not enough to save the movie from the critics. It made a loss at the box-office and took the record for the most Golden Raspberry Awards won by one single film which included Worst Actress and Worst On Screen Couple.
2. Agyness Deyn
Agyness Deyn made the transition from supermodel to actress with a bang. After a few small roles in music videos, she took on the part of a drug dealer’s girlfriend in Pusher. Tassels and all, she said the pole dancing actually left her quite bruised afterwards, but that happens when you literally throw yourself into a role.
Sadly, her big-screen debut landed only 52% on Rotten Tomatoes. Although it was a small performance, this hasn’t deterred directors from casting her again as 2016 will see her in three big-budget movies.
1. Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston stars as stripper Rose in We’re The Millers. Her neighbours are played by Jason Sudeikis, Will Poulter and Emma Roberts who together have to pretend they are a family so they can bring in a big drug shipment from Mexico. The funny foursome head off in an RV on the fourth of July hoping everything goes to plan.
When they run into trouble, Aniston uses her inner stripper as a distraction technique and begins parading around an abandoned factory in just her underwear. She suggestively touches herself and clearly is loving every moment. She was nominated for Best Shirtless Performance at the MTV Movie Awards 2014 but lost out to Zac Efron for That Awkward Moment.