15 Stars Who Got Totally Naked for the Big Screen

Kelly Bryant | Feb 28, 2018 Movies
Image: IMDB

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IMDB

When tackling their next career move, even A-list celebrities have a lot to consider in regards to what makes the most sense for their professional trajectory. This could mean taking on a role outside of their comfort zone, choosing to "zig" when film audiences expect them to "zag," and, yes, sometimes deciding whether or not to do a movie that requires them to film in nothing but their birthday suit. 


Baring it all for the big screen may not seem like a major deal today, when so many folks are living what used to be considered private moments across social media for the world to see, but not everyone is so comfortable getting naked for public consumption. Factor in the idea that a nude scene will be projected onto an enormous movie screen where every inch of one's body can be critiqued, and, well, it's enough to make any actor say, "Thanks, but no thanks."

Still, there are those brave souls who are either so comfortable in their own skin (literally) that they're willing to let it all hang out, or those so committed to their art that they've come to terms with the idea that the scene simply requires nudity. And not everyone who bared their bods for a role did so at the start of their career to gain attention; many took the plunge well into their resume of on-screen credits just because it felt right. 

Check out these 15 celebs who boldly went where not every actor has gone before.

  • Jennifer Lawrence

    1

    When Jennifer Lawrence found herself the victim of phone hacking which revealed private nude photos of herself, the actress was embarrassed and appalled. But by playing Dominika Egorova, a Russian intelligence officer in Red Sparrow, she's taking back the power she felt she lost by baring it all for a nude scene in the film. "I realized that there was a difference between consent and not and I showed up for the first day and I did it and I felt empowered," she said in an interview with 60 Minutes. "I feel like something that was taken from me I got back and am using in my art."

  • Halle Berry

    2

    Halle Berry took home the Best Actress Oscar for her turn as Leticia Musgrove in the 2001 drama Monster's Ball. The actress bravely tackled a graphic sex scene with costar Billy Bob Thornton in which she bared it all for the camera. "We both agreed to be uninhibited with our bodies, so it wasn't just the woman who was being exposed, and we just said, 'Let's service these characters,'" she said in an interview with the Guardian. "We only had to do it one time, which is good, because you don't really want to have to go there that many times..."

  • Ben Affleck

    3

    Blink and you'll miss it but Ben Affleck did completely strip down for a scene in 2014's Gone Girl. "Director David (Fincher) said to me from the beginning, 'This is a warts and all movie. It can have no vanity. You have to see the naked underbelly of this character,'" he told MTV News prior to the film's release. "It's gotta be like in Europe, they just don't give a s--t about any of that stuff and they just play real people."

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  • Margot Robbie

    4

    Playing Naomi Lapaglia opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street was a breakout role for Margot Robbie, but playing out the film's sex scenes was less than, well, hot. "Tons of people are watching you,” she told Vanity Fair. "There isn’t an option. It's just like, 'This is what you need to do -- get on with it.' The sooner you do it, the sooner you can stop doing it," she said, adding that it was "so awkward."

  • Dakota Johnson

    5

    When Dakota Johnson signed on to play Anastasia Steele in the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise, the actress was well aware there was zero chance she was going to be able to wrap things up with the films without stripping down for the cameras. Dakota admits the sex scenes were always a bit difficult, but one in particular from the third film made her particularly uncomfortable. "Ana's chained to a drop-down gate that is in the red room and blindfolded, and she's handcuffed by her wrists and feet. That was difficult, because no matter how much you know that the environment is not real and how much you are protected and safe and can work at your own speed, your senses are deprived," she revealed in an interview with Elle.

  • Jason Segel

    6

    Anyone who has seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall surely hasn't been able to forget the scene in which Jason Segel's character refuses to put his clothes back on, roaming around in absolutely nothing. The actor went on to appear nude again in the comedy Sex Tape. While Jason didn't seem fazed by the nudity, his mom certainly was. Jason revealed that after she saw the film, his mom sent an email to family and friends warning them about the nudity. Hey, at least she added that it was "essential to the plot."

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  • Kate Winslet

    7

    Kate Winslet has appeared nude in several of her movies, but most notably in the 2001 film Iris in which she plays young Iris Murdoch. Despite her willingness to act in the buff when the role calls for it, Kate isn't exactly fond of the awkward scenes. "I hate it! Listen make no mistake, I just get on it," she said in an interview with V magazine. "I just go in and say 'Oh f*ck let's do it' and boom. If you complain about it or procrastinate it’s not going to go away. Its a profoundly bizarre thing to do. As actors you talk about it all the time. You can literally be tangled in sheets, and you turn to the other actor and say ‘What the f*ck are we doing?’ Dear Mum, at work today I had so-and-so’s left nut sack pressed against my cheek. It’s sort of unethical if you think about it in those terms.”

  • Christian Bale

    8

    Audiences certainly get an eyeful of Christian Bale as psychopath Patrick Bateman in 2000's American Psycho. But considering the graphic, violent nature of the movie, the actor's nudity is almost the tamest thing about it. "I never viewed Patrick Bateman as a real character," he told Interview. "It wasn't going to work unless I made myself look absurd."

  • Elizabeth Berkley

    9

    Elizabeth Berkley thought she was taking a turn for more serious acting roles when she signed on for the very un-Jessie-Spano-like role of Nomi Malone in Showgirls. Although the flick was decidedly not for the Saved by the Bell audience, Elizabeth quickly learned that taking it all off for this particular film didn't energize her career in the way in which she had hoped. She spent her stint on Dancing with the Stars talking about the anxiety she battled after feeling mocked for the film, regaining her confidence and personal power.

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  • Anne Hathaway

    10

    Anne Hathaway first appeared nude onscreen in 2005's Havoc, just before she bared it all again later that year for Brokeback Mountain. "It is intensely mortifying taking your clothes off in front of other people, but it is also intensely mortifying doing a lot of things in front of people and I've learned how to deal with that," Anne said in an interview with Daily Mail.

  • Sacha Baron Cohen

    11

    Never one to shy away from the extreme, Sacha Baron Cohen went for laughs as he went full-frontal in the 2009 film Bruno. Of course that wasn't the first time the comic actor chose to go nude on the big screen. In 2006's Borat, Sacha memorably engages in a nude fight sequence with a costar. 

  • Sharon Stone

    12

    Sharon Stone has bared it all on-screen several times during her career, but perhaps the most memorable is her iconic turn as Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct. The 1992 film shocked audiences as Sharon went toe-to-toe with costar Michael Douglas in the psychological thriller.

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  • Helen Mirren

    13

    In 2015 Helen Mirren declared she was retiring from on-screen nudity, after baring her bod in a number of films. "That’s the good thing about getting older," she said in an interview on 60 Minutes. "You don't have to do that sort of thing any more ... (Now) my pleasure pillows are purely for my husband." One of the actress's earliest nude scenes appeared in the 1979 film Caligula, a movie panned by critics that has since developed a cult following.


  • Richard Gere

    14

    American Gigolo put Richard Gere on the Hollywood map, starring as a male escort who caters to an older female clientele. Audiences received more than just a glimpse of his range as an actor. The then-31-year-old thespian went full-frontal in a scene. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gere said, "If I recall, (the nudity) wasn't in the script. It was just in the natural process of making the movie."


  • Heather Graham

    15

    There's plenty of nudity to go around in Boogie Nights, the 1997 film focusing on the SoCal porn industry, but Heather Graham seems to be at the center of it. As a lost valley girl who turned to life as a porn star to find a sense of "family," Heather takes it all off. Interestingly, Mark Wahlberg's Dirk Diggler (the central character of the film) only appears to go full-frontal (he's wearing a prosthetic penis to demonstrate the size of Dirk's much-talked about girth).

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