Nudity clauses can be deal-breakers for female stars in Hollywood. Refusing to agree to a nude scene could mean the loss of a role, and the halting of significant career progression. Agreeing to nudity, however, could mean compromising artistic integrity and even being exploited.
There are far more nude scenes in film involving women than men, of course, a fact which adds fuel to the fire of sexism criticisms against the film industry. Nudity clauses are something which female actors must grapple with much more often and to a greater degree than their male colleagues.
Those celebrities who outright refuse to participate in nude scenes have taken this stance for a range of different reasons. But one of the most important and frequently recurring reasons is this: They want to be taken seriously as actors first and foremost, and not sex symbols. There’s always a risk that a nudity or sex scene, however well-intentioned are artistically framed, can come across as tasteless and gratuitous.
Other actors feel it could tarnish their own public profile, and some are even self-conscious about their bodies. Whatever their reasons are, these female celebrities refuse to bear it all for the camera.
10. Blake Lively
Blake Lively doesn’t necessarily have a moral stance against on-screen nudity. In fact the actress, best known for her starring role in Gossip Girl, does not wish to appear naked on film because it actually terrifies her. Even wearing something revealing makes her nervous. “I do panic before I have to wear a really skimpy outfit. I don’t have enough willpower,” she told Glamour magazine.
Is she embarrassed or self conscious about what she looks like? Or is she worried about how baring it all will affect her reputation? Whatever the case, Lively will not be appearing on your screen nude anytime soon.
9. Olivia Munn
Although Olivia Munn famously agreed to pose for Playboy and doesn’t shy away from a sexy photo shoot, she also chooses never to appear entirely nude. The Playboy shoot does not expose any of the more private parts of her body, which many commended her for. She’s a highly intelligent and respected woman who has a bit of a nerdy side, and isn’t afraid of showing off her sex appeal without taking it to the extreme.
Yet, although Munn has said she’ll never do nude scenes, she did appear in the 2012 movie Magic Mike with plenty of skin showing. Did she go back on her earlier statement, or was this an exception?
8. Rachael Leigh Cook
Rachael Leigh Cook really doesn’t want to be nude on camera. In fact, she doesn’t even want it to appear as if she is by using a body double. For this star, it’s an issue of self-consciousness, as she states that she is “very shy”.
It is definitely not for everyone, and it’s refreshing to see a Hollywood star take a definitive stance against doing something that makes her uncomfortable. Her resolve might even inspire other actresses to do the same when it comes to decisions about how their body is portrayed and shown on screen.
7. Jessica Simpson
Jessica Simpson will never, ever do nudity on screen. She has firm beliefs on the issue and will not budge. She stated in an interview, “I will never do nudity. I don’t care how dark and intellectual the role could be, you know. I don’t care if I… could get an Oscar for it, I’m not going to do it…”.
Is this more about her good girl image, or is it that she’s self-conscious? Jessica has been seen in many revealing outfits in the past, so it’s not likely to be the latter.
6. Jessica Alba
Jessica Alba has been in many sexualized roles, most notably appearing as sexy stripper in Sin City, but despite tantalising publicity for such roles fans shouldn’t expect her to bare it all when it comes down to the crucial moment.
The popular actress has made sure to include a non-nudity clause in all her films. Why? Well, for Jessica it’s really more about her family values. She doesn’t want her grandparents to see her naked, as she reported to Glamour magazine. She also doesn’t think it would add anything of value to her chosen roles.
5. Jennifer Love Hewitt
Jennifer Love Hewitt will never do a nude scene, and even refused to pose for Playboy. But for her, it’s more about body issues than moral questions. She says she has days when she feels self conscious or gross about her body, making it hard to want to commit to a nude scene.
This decision clearly hasn’t affected Jen’s popularity and sex appeal; between 1999 and 2009, Hewitt was twice named Maxim’s readers’ choice, and was named the sexiest woman on television.
4. Esme Bianco
Bianco took a stand against being naked all the time, and it has been rumoured that she has been fired for her objection. Esme plays a lady of questionable morals in TV’s Game of Thrones, so her position probably doesn’t draw much sympathy – after all, being nude comes with the role and GoT is notorious for its sexualised portrayals of women.
But consider Bianco’s point of view: She stated in an interview from 2012 that she didn’t want to be seen as “that naked girl” and that she didn’t want to feel like she was only doing “burlesque shows”. Sure, the books do have nude scenes, but they are far scarcer than in the TV show.
Since Esme took a stand against gratuitous nudity, her character has been killed off.
3. Rachel Bilson
Rachel Bilson has her own take on what movies should and should not include. She feels as though there is no real reason for full nudity in movies. Because of this, she will never do a nude scene herself – a position which almost cost her the role in The Last Kiss which almost had a different actress in her place.
Bilson believes that nudity is used in movies far too often and cheapens them. Regarding The Last Kiss, she told Playboy that “they like to put in nudity wherever they can”.
2. Jenna Fischer
Fischer declines appearing in a nude role because of her family. Her values are important to her and she does not want to do “anything [she] wouldn’t be proud to show [her] parents.”
She was once pushed to do a nude scene, and flatly refused. For this refusal, the playwright in charge accused her of not being a real actress. Of course, her wildly successful career – which includes credits on the long-running TV series The Office – proves otherwise.
1. Emilia Clarke
Another Game of Thrones favorite, Emilia Clarke has decided not to do any more nude scenes when it comes to the popular series.
Many feel as though most of the nude scenes are unnecessary, and don’t quite fit the persona of the Mother of Dragons. Clarke feels as though all those nude appearances will take away from her character’s role, which is intended to be that of a fierce Queen who protects her people.
Game of Thrones is commonly cited as a prime example of a series which abuses female nudity for ratings. By taking a stand against all the nudity her character was faced with, Clarke is taking a stand against the abundant use of such scenes in the popular series in general.