If being naked on the big screen for millions of people to see sounds more like a nightmare than a dream come true, you’re not alone. But there are several actors who would disagree, and willingly disrobe for a movie or television role. There are even actors who disrobe for a role not once, but again, and again…and again.
When non X-rated films require an actor to film a nude scene, filmmakers run the risk that those few moments of nudity will overshadow the rest of the film. There have been several movies and television shows throughout history that are remembered most notably for the sexual awakenings they sparked in viewers, rather than their cinematic achievements that don’t involve nudity. Some films have nudity in them that is not intentionally overtly sexual while other films utilize an actor’s willingness to strip down to the point of gratuitousness.
It probably takes a lot of nerves, and even more squats and situps, to prepare oneself for a nude scene, and some actors are bold enough to do it more than once. Here are 16 celebrities who, for better or for worse, have bared all their bits and pieces for the big screen time and time again.
16. Michelle Williams
You likely remember Michelle Williams from her days of playing Jen Lindley on Dawson’s Creek from 1998-2003. She is also well known for her role in Academy Award winning Brokeback Mountain where she acted alongside boyfriend Heath Ledger, with whom she had one daughter, Matilda, before Ledger tragically overdosed. Williams, 34, has appeared topless in Brokeback Mountain, Me Without You Incendiary, and also bared her bottom in The Hawk is Dying. Williams did full-frontal nudity for her roles in both Blue Valentine, and Take This Waltz, but she maintains a low-key lifestyle and isn’t often at the center of scandalous tabloid stories.
15. Amber Heard
Twenty nine year-old Amber Heard has quite the body of work to discuss, but most recently, she is usually found on magazine covers with stories about her life with fiancé Johnny Depp. Heard made her big screen debut in Friday Night Lights, in which she appeared on screen topless. Two years later, in 2006, she appeared topless again in Alpha Dog, then again in The Rum Diary, and The Joneses. In 2009, Heard took the plunge with a role calling for full-frontal nudity for The Informers, and made it quite clear why Johnny Depp likes her so much!
14. Salma Hayek
You’d never know it by looking at her, but Salma Hayek is almost 50, and still looks as sexy as she did when she first rose to fame in the 90s. Hayek is a very accomplished and applauded actress, never one to shy away from intimidating roles, like that of hers in Frida. Throughout her career, she has also taken on several roles with intimidating nude scenes, and she rises to the occasion each time. She has appeared topless in films like Desperado, The Velocity of Gary, and most recently, Everly. She has also appeared fully nude in Frida, Ask the Dust, and bared her bottom in Wild Wild West.
13. Heather Graham
Fans of the television series Twin Peaks will fondly recall Heather Graham’s breakout role on the show, which launched what would become a very successful acting career. Although Graham has appeared in huge hits like The Hangover, she generally keeps a low profile and isn’t often a tabloid target. One place she doesn’t keep a low profile, however, is in the sexually explicit roles she has been known to take on. She’s been seen topless in Boogie Woogie, The Hangover, Miss Conception, Adrift in Manhattan, and Broken. She has also appeared bottomless in Two Girls and a Guy and At Any Price. It doesn’t stop there, though: Graham starred in Boogie Nights and Killing Me Softly and did full-frontal nudity in both!
12. Demi Moore
Another celeb who doesn’t mind getting naked for the big screen and also doesn’t seem to age, is actress Demi Moore. Her body of work spans more than 30 years and includes several roles that required nudity, much to her fans’ approval. She first appeared topless on film in 1984 when she acted in Blame It On Rio, then again in No Small Affair, and We’re No Angels. She was seen topless and her backside was on display in The Scarlet Letter, Striptease, GI Jane and she even acted fully nude in About Last Night. The 52-year-old mother of three hasn’t slowed down at all and has two new films coming out this year.
11. Jennifer Connelly
Jennifer Connelly got her start as a child star in the film Labyrinth in 1986, but lucky for us, her success has continued to this day and she is often referred to as one of the most stunning and talented actresses of her generation. Throughout her career, she has taken on many film roles that called for nudity, to the delight of her audience. She appeared topless in Mulholland Falls, Inventing the Abbotts, Waking the Dead, and House of Sand and Fog. She has also done full frontal nudity in several films, beginning with her role in 1990’s The Hot Spot, then Of Love and Shadows, Requiem for a Dream, and most recently, in Shelter.
10. Anne Hathaway
Although she maintains a “good girl” reputation, Anne Hathaway has appeared nude in several films. Hathaway was first known in 2001 for her role in the G-rated The Princess Diaries, but she has come a long way since then. She’s appeared in several blockbuster hits, and in a few of these she’s bared it all for the role. Hathaway has nude scenes in many films: first in 2005’s Havoc, then in Brokeback Mountain (2005), and again in Love and Other Drugs (2010). Hathaway married Adam Shulman in 2012 and has kept busy with acting roles both on screen, and on the stage.
9. Shia LaBeouf
Long gone are his days of playing the goofy kid on Disney’s hit show Even Stevens, Shia LaBeouf is now known for his eccentric behavior in real life. LaBeouf, who is now 28, shocked everyone when he took on a daring role in the 2013 film Nymphomaniac. In the movie, he took part in graphic sex scenes, and, of course, some nudity went along with that. Since then, he’s also been seen nude in Charlie Countryman and Sigur Ros’ music video for the song Fjögur Píanó.
8. Charlize Theron
The beautiful and mysterious Charlize Theron has been pretty private about most parts of her personal life. One thing she isn’t shy to show off is her body for film roles, and you won’t hear any complaints from viewers about that either. In 1996 when she was only 20 years old, Theron appeared nude on screen for the first time in 2 Days in the Valley. She didn’t seem to mind the attention brought on by the role. Since then she has been nude in The Devil’s Advocate”, Cider House Rules, The Yards, Reindeer Games, Sweet November, Monster, Head in the Clouds, Aon Flux, and most recently, The Burning Plain. Theron adopted her son Jackson in 2012, and she recently became engaged to actor Sean Penn, who has had his fair share of scandalous roles as well.
7. Kiera Knightley
British actress Kiera Knightley has been doing nude scenes since she was only 16 years old in the film The Hole, which was much younger than when most celebs first appear nude on screen. She didn’t slow down after that and has gone on to appear nude in Doctor Zhivago, The Jacket, Domino, Atonement, Silk, The Edge of Love, The Duchess, and Dangerous Method. Her acting roles aren’t the only thing taking up her time; she is also expecting her first child with her husband, James Righton. Since the beginning of her acting career, Knightley has been nominated for several Oscars and Golden Globes, although she is yet to win one.
6. Olivia Wilde
In 2006, when American actress Olivia Wilde was just 21, she stripped down for her role in the film Alpha Dog. She’s been very busy since then and is now engaged to actor Jason Sudeikis, and is even the mother of a baby boy, Otis. Her family life isn’t the only thing keeping her busy; she’s had several movie and television roles to fill her time as well. Since Alpha Dogs, Wilde has also done nudity in the films Cowboys and Aliens, The Change-Up, Butter, Deadfall, Drinking Buddies, and Third Person. While she didn’t appear nude in these roles, Wilde is also well-known for the parts she played on The O.C., House, and Tron: Legacy.
5. Kate Winslet
Her nude scenes in one of the most successful films of all time, 1997’s Titanic, are understandably the first to cross most people’s minds when they think of Kate Winslet baring it all. While those scenes were iconic in their own right, she has also appeared in many other films nude. At the age of 18 she was seen nude in Heavenly Creatures, then in Jude, Hideous Kinky, Holy Smoke, Quills, Iris, All the King’s Men, Little Children, The Reader, and most recently in Mildred Pierce. Winslet’s personal life keeps her pretty busy as well. The Oscar winner has been married three times and is also the proud mother of three children.
4. Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore has been a well-known actress since the early 1990s when she stepped away from the soap opera, As the World Turns, and began taking on film roles. Throughout her illustrious career, Moore has appeared nude in several films. In 1993, Moore filmed nude scenes for Body of Evidence. She has also had nude scenes in the films Short Cuts, Boogie Nights, The Big Lebowski, The End of the Affair, Blindness, Chloe, The Kids are Alright, and most recently, Maps to the Stars. That’s quite the body of work – pun intended. The Emmy and Oscar award winning star is the mother of two children, and longtime wife to her husband, Bart Freundlich.
3. Stephen Dorff
Younger folks may know Stephen Dorff best for his role in Britney Spears’ music video for her single Everytime. Dorff, 41, has actually been around for years before that, appearing in several films and television shows. Some of these roles have required him to be nude, and he has stepped right up to the plate, clearly not ashamed to bare all. He did some much-talked-about full-frontal nude scenes in the 2005 film Shadowboxer, and has also shown some intimate parts of himself in Innocent Lies, The Motel Life, and Felon.
2. Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie is now the wife of Brad Pitt, and mother to six children, along with being a prolific humanitarian. Before she settled down she was known for being Hollywood’s Bad Girl, and part of that reputation comes from all the roles she took on that required her to strip down to her birthday suit. She has shown some, or all, of herself in Gia, Wanted, Hackers, Foxfire, Pushing Tin, Cyborg 2, Taking Lives, and Original Sin. Jolie focuses more on her family and her humanitarian efforts than her acting roles, so it may be a while before Jolie takes on another scandalous role.
1. Michael Fassbender
When Michael Fassbender played a nymphomaniac in 2011’s Shame, he really committed to the role and that included filming a lot of totally nude scenes. These scenes were often thought to be gratuitous by viewers, but they certainly garnered a lot of attention for the film, and you can’t blame Fassbender for wanting to display his generous gift to the world. Fassbender actually started his career with a nude scene as well: in 1998 he appeared nude in an ad for SAS airlines and again in his role in 2008’s Hunger.
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