What Are You Willing to Bare for Your Acting Career?

August 3, 2012

Anne Hathaway as Catwoman

On the set of the new Bret Easton Ellis bacchanalia, The Canyons, embattled star Lindsay Lohan agreed to do a nude scene provided the 10-man crew strip down to their skivvies. She felt it would level the playing field and create a sense of unity. Last year, Anne Hathaway seemingly spent more time naked than clothed in the tearjerker Love and Other Drugs; no real surprise there, Catwoman was always a pretty sexually liberated super villain. Also, after his breakout performance in Inglorious Bastards, Michael Fassbender is giving us the Full Monty in the new sex-addiction drama, Shame. “Most men have a penis,” he quipped. “So what’s the big deal?” No pun intended, I’m sure.

Well, for many actors it is a big deal. Be it good, old-fashioned modesty, personal reasons, religious restrictions, or even parental guilt, nudity for an actor is a very significant decision. It means potentially sharing your private and most intimate details with everyone in the known world. And with today’s technology, your nude scenes can go global within seconds of being released. If the scene or scenes indeed become famous or infamous, as with Sharon Stone’s notorious turn in Basic Instinct, it will live on forever and ever.

Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct

So you would be wise to give some thought as to your parameters before being asked to disrobe. You should have a clear idea of what you are willing to do, and more importantly, what you are not willing to do—being as specific as possible. Having a definitive set of guidelines prior to a shoot takes the guesswork out of the equation, and avoids an ill-advised decision made in a rush or under duress.

Questions you can ask yourself include: How would you feel if you lost out on a role because you opted not to participate in a nude scene? Are you willing to do something that may be in conflict with your personal morals and ethics? What are you willing to do to land a role in a choice project? Do you have any specific conditions you would require?

What are your thoughts on the topic of on-screen nudity in acting roles? Let us know!