Keira Knightley is a versatile actress who has been seen in everything from blockbusters to indies to period films. Throughout her career, she has been in films where she has been seen nude and in sex scenes. Now, since having children, she added a no-nudity clause to her contract. During an episode of the Chanel Connects podcast, the Oscar-nominated actress talked to filmmaker Lulu Wang and producer/journalist Diane Solway about how she is no longer willing to do nude or sex scenes — specifically with male directors.
“It’s partly vanity and also it’s 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 “somebody to look hot” and there are those “horrible sex scenes where you’re all greased up and everybody’s grunting”. For Knightley, she is at a point in her career where she is no longer interested in doing that. She understands the value of these types of scenes but she said that they can find someone else.
“I’m too vain and the body has had two children now and I’d just rather not stand in front of a group of men naked,” she said.
Knightley isn’t totally opposed to nude scenes. She said she would feel different if it was a story about that journey of motherhood and body acceptance — but she said it would have to be with a female filmmaker.
“I don’t have an absolute ban,” said Knightley, “but I kind of do with men.”