Keira Knightley is a versatile actress who has appeared in everything from blockbusters to indies to historical films. During her career, she has appeared in films where she was seen naked and in sex scenes. Now that she has children, she has added a nudity clause to her contract. During an episode of the Chanel Connects podcast, the Oscar-nominated actress spoke with filmmaker Lulu Wang and producer / journalist Diane Solway about her unwillingness to do nude or sex scenes – especially with male directors.
“It’s partly vanity and it’s the masculine gaze too,” she said on the podcast. “I now feel very uncomfortable trying to portray the male gaze.”
She understands that some directors “need someone who looks hot” and there are these “awful sex scenes where you are all lubricated and all grunt”. For Knightley, she has come to a point in her career where she is no longer interested. She understands the value of these types of scenes but said that they can find someone else.
“I’m too vain and the body has two kids now and I’d just rather not stand naked in front of a group of men,” she said.
Knightley isn’t entirely against nude scenes. She said she would feel different if it was a story about this journey of motherhood and body acceptance – but she said it had to be with a filmmaker.
“I don’t have an absolute ban,” Knightley said, “but I kind of do it with men.”