Though some movie-goers may think that nudity in film is a newer trend, that’s actually not the case. Nudity started in films as soon as the medium came to be, in the early twentieth century, by way of erotic movies. The first non-erotic nude scene by a lead actor in an American movie is said to be in the 1915 film Inspiration. Still, the acceptance of nude scenes has grown tremendously in the last few decades, and you see flesh more and more.
When most people think of nude scenes, they think of women. That’s because ladies are largely the subject of these scenes. But what about the men who dare to bear skin for their art? While it’s not as common, there are male actors out there that go not just for the baring of skin, but the full frontal variety. That’s right, some actors actually show off their packages on screen.
Read on for our list of male actors that have done full frontal nudity in their films. Some of these may surprise you!
8. Kevin Bacon in Wild Things and Others
It’s weird to think of full frontal nudity as a chain reaction, but that seems to be the case when it comes to Kevin Bacon. Once he had one full frontal scene, he had a whole slew of them in subsequent films. It all started with the 1998 erotic mystery thriller Wild Things. In a scene toward the end of the movie, Kevin walks out of a shower with his “bacon” in full view. It was no fleeting glance of flesh either–the audience gets a good look. He said of the scene, “We never in a million years said, ‘Okay, we’ve got to put a nude scene in,’ but once it was in, I said, ‘F**k, leave it in, it’s great.'” After that, he’s shown his junk in other movies, including Hollow Man. That’s quite a feat since he was invisible through the bulk of that movie–you only see his package as an outline when his naked, invisible form jumps into a pool.
7. Jason Segel in Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Most nude scenes are done for the sex appeal. In the case of Jason Segel, it was purely comedic gold. Audiences got to see everything in one of the opening scenes in the 2008 comedy movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Not only did Jason star in the movie, he also wrote it. So, you’d think he’d be perfectly at ease baring all to Kristen Bell’s character as well as the rest of the world–but he still had a bunch of nerves. He said of the scene, “I drank a lot to get me through that. I remember just pacing up and down, drunk, with these voices in my head saying, ‘Jason, what are you doing?'” It ended up being a good comedic choice. The scene was nominated for a 2009 MTV Movie Award for Best WTF Moment.
6. Viggo Mortensen in The Indian Runner and Eastern Promises
Viggo Mortensen is no stranger to nudity. Toward the beginning of his career, before he rose to fame with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, he had a full frontal nude scene in the 1991 movie The Indian Runner. But the most notable nude scene has to be from Eastern Promises, released in 2007. The scene in question paired two storytelling elements: a nude scene and a fight scene. In the scene, Viggo plays a Russian gangster who gets confronted while naked in a steam room. What commences is a several minutes-long fight scene, and Viggo is wearing nothing but a bunch of tattoos. You might assume the scene is gratuitous, but Roger Ebert didn’t think so. He said of the scene, “Years from now, it will be referred to as a benchmark.”
5. Tom Hardy in Bronson
Sometimes art imitates life, and that’s the case in the UK movie Bronson, based on real life events. Tom Hardy stars at the titular character, a British prisoner named Charles Bronson. Because this is a fictionalized version of a real man who has been in solitary confinement off and on for years, it stands to reason that the many full frontal nude scenes performed by Tom were necessary to the plot. In the movie, it’s a theme for the character to strip completely naked while attacking fellow inmates, guards and other prison personnel. If you watch this movie, you’ll definitely be seeing all of Tom Hardy.
4. Harvey Keitel in Bad Lieutenant and The Piano
Harvey Keitel has been in the acting business for over 45 years. He’s been in over 100 movies and television shows in that time. It would stand to reason that the odds are pretty high that he’s done a nude scene here and there. Not only has he been in two movies with full frontal nude scenes, but both of those movies were made within a year of each other. First, the 1992 crime drama Bad Lieutenant. In this, Harvey played the main character, a literal bad lieutenant, who didn’t shy away from standing around in the buff. Then, in 1993, Harvey starred in the wildly successful, The Piano. Not only did this movie feature a full frontal scene of Harvey, it also went on to win dozens of awards, including three Oscars. Perhaps the nudity was a good decision?
3. Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting and Others
Ewan McGregor has been fully naked in so many movies, it’s almost like it’s his trademark. The first movies where you see all of him, from head to toe, were Trainspotting and The Pillow Book, both of which came out in 1996. From there, he’s had full frontal nude scenes in Velvet Goldmine, Young Adam and Ghost Writer. He said of his nude scenes, “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.” And nothing seems to be stopping him going forward, either. “Being naked is something that happens in 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.”
2. Michael Fassbender in Shame
Although Michael Fassbender has been acting for decades, it was only in the last five years or so that he started to gain worldwide recognition. He’s had prominent roles in hit movies such as Inglorious Basterds, X-Men: First Class and 12 Years a Slave. Fans of the actor got to see all of him in the 2011 drama film Shame. In it, Michael plays an executive with an addiction to sex. Of course he’d be fully naked in a role like that! Shame was so loved by audiences that it won many awards. Michael even won Best Actor for the role from the BIFA Awards. Of his nude scene, he said in an interview, “To be honest with you again, I think it’s the idea of male frontal nudity. 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 bullsh*t, it’s always the women who are naked’ … so I did this one for you, Mom!”
1. Bruce Willis in Color of Night
When most people think of Bruce Willis, they think of his action movies. Die Hard, Red and other films have put him into a bit of an action-filled box (and we don’t mind!). But, the guy still has a bit of range, as evidenced by the 1991 film Color of Night. The movie is classified as an erotic mystery thriller with emphasis on the erotic. Though the movie is filled with sex scenes, the only one where you see a full frontal view of Bruce is during a scene in a swimming pool. Color of Night had some seriously mixed reviews. Critics generally hated it, and Bruce was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor. However, some still loved those steamy sex scenes. Maxim Magazine said the movie had some of the best sex scenes in movie history.