Keira Knightley is a versatile actress who has been seen in everything from blockbusters to independent films to period films. Throughout her career she has been in movies where she has been seen naked and in sex scenes. Now, since having children, she has added a no-nudity clause to her contract. During an episode of the Chanel connects podcast, the Oscar-nominated actress spoke to filmmaker Lulu Wang and producer / reporter Diane Solway that she no longer wanted to do nude or sex scenes – especially with male directors.
“It’s partly vanity and it’s also the male gaze,” she said on the podcast. “I feel very uncomfortable now trying to portray the male gaze.”
She understands that some directors need “someone to look sexy” and there are those “horrible sex scenes where you are all greased and everyone growls”. For Knightley, she’s at a point in her career when she’s no longer interested in doing this. She understands the value of these types of scenes, but she said they could find someone else.
“I’m too vain and the body has had two children now and I just prefer not to stand in front of a group of naked men,” she said.
Knightley is not totally opposed to nude scenes. She said she would feel different if it was a story about this journey of motherhood and acceptance of the body – but she said it should be with a filmmaker.
“I don’t have an absolute ban,” Knightley said, “but I do a little with men.”