It’s no secret that many actors use body doubles and stunt doubles while filming their movies. It’s also no secret that there are many actors who are well known for doing their own scenes and stunts, no matter how steamy or dangerous they are. There are many decisions that actors make that end up as major discussion topics on social media and online forums. This can happen when viewers share their thoughts and opinions about an actor’s decision of whether or not to use a body double.
Most of the situations in which a body double is used revolves around stunts or nudity. That’s not too surprising, considering the danger that’s inherent with stunts and the fact that once an actor does a nude scene, their body is out there for the world to see forever.
Interestingly, some actors will alter between using a body double and doing the work themselves. The factors depending on the situation, budget of the film, or preferences of the director. That said, there are others who are firm in their convictions to either use or not use body doubles in their films.
Here are the 9 Actors Who Needed to Use Body Doubles (and 6 Who Did the Work Themselves).
15 Lena Headey in Game of Thrones - Body Double
One of the most well-known uses of a body double in recent memory is Lena Heady in Game of Thrones. In a show that’s not afraid to be revealing in nearly every episode, Heady has noticeably always been clothed or arranged in such a way that her most personal body parts have been hidden from public view.
It then came as a surprise when Headey was seemingly shown to be marching down the street with no clothes on in the show’s season five finale. The only thing is it wasn’t Headey, but a body double.
This ended up garnering plenty of discussion online, with viewers coming out in both criticism and praise for the actor’s choice. Interestingly, the experience was reportedly gratifying and freeing for both Headey and her double.
14 Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves - Body Double
Despite showing off his rear end in Dances with Wolves, Kevin Costner did not do his own nude scene in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. This seems like a strange decision, seeing as the actor had done it before.
During the movie, Costner’s Robin Hood appears in a certain waterfall scene, except it wasn’t Costner showing off his body to the world. It turns out, the decision was a financial one.
Apparently, it was cheaper to use a body double rather than Costner. Whether that was because Costner required a higher price to do the scene or some other arrangement, the decision was made to replace the actor in the scene. This promptly avoided the extra cost that would have been incurred with using Costner.
13 Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man - Did The Work
As Andrew Garfield prepared for his role in The Amazing Spider-Man, he did his best to channel his inner Bruce Lee. Garfield ended up working extensively on his physique. Interestingly, his efforts pushed him to perform his own stunts in the movie rather than use a stunt double.
While Garfield’s position as Spider-Man only spanned two movies, his desire to take on the persona of his character was well known in Hollywood and among fans of the Marvel franchise.
Even though Garfield is no longer the web-slinging hero, it’ll be hard to forget his efforts to be the best Spider-Man he could be while the had the opportunity. The dismal performance of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 forced Sony to drop their plans for any sequels.
12 Lindsay Lohan in Machete - Body Double
These days, Lindsay Lohan is known for her outlandish behavior and revealing Playboy photoshoot. However, before Lohan worked with Playboy, she had an opportunity to show off her body in Machete.
However when the time came, Lohan chose not to bare it all. Instead, the actor used a body double for the required scene in the movie. Many viewers pointed out that the body double chosen for Machete looked nothing like Lohan and ruined the immersion of the film.
That factor, along with Lohan’s quick change of opinion (as seen with her aforementioned photoshoot) have only added to her unique public character. Lohan continues to entertain and confuse people around the world.
11 Freida Pinto in Immortals - Body Double
After appearing in Slumdog Millionaire, Freida Pinto was known as a sweet and confident actor. It thus came as a surprise to many people when the young actor appeared in the movie Immortals in all her glory.
However, Pinto revealed after the movie was released that the "glory" belonged to another, since she had used a body double for the scenes. It was then a bit strange when that same year, Pinto chose to be herself and appeared without clothes in the movie Trishna.
This made critics eat their own words for any negativity they had drummed up about her decision in Immortals. It’ll be interesting to see if Pinto continues with this decision in future films or if she opts to go back to a more conservative mindset.
10 10. Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde - Did The Work
For Atomic Blonde, Charlize Theron made the decision to not only show off her own body for the movie’s revealing scenes, but also to perform many of her own stunts.
While the movie didn’t get the acclaim or financial success that the studio was surely hoping for, many viewers were impressed with Theron’s performance on multiple fronts.
With that in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Theron take on similar roles where she opts to do the steamy or action-oriented scenes herself, without the use of a body or stunt double. While there isn’t necessarily anything on the horizon that meets that expectation, another Atomic Blonde movie probably isn't out of the question or at least another movie with the same director, David Leitch.
9 Owen Wilson in You, Me, and Dupree - Body Double
In You, Me, and Dupree, the movie’s director decided to use a body double for a brief rear end shot of Wilson’s character. Interestingly, the decision was made for Wilson. The actor jokingly mentioned afterward that he wasn’t sure how to interpret the decision by the director to use a body double, especially if he was willing to do the work himself.
Considering that men rarely go full frontal in film and television, a simple shot of a rear end would likely not be a big deal. It would be entirely expected that a male actor would do the work himself. However, as mentioned previously, there are often other considerations at work when it comes to revealing scenes in movies for both men and women.
Those other considerations can include availability of the actor, the situation of the scene, or the budget requirement of the actor showing a little more skin than they’re comfortable with.
8 Isla Fisher in Wedding Crashers - Body Double
The premise behind Wedding Crashers focuses on two men attending random weddings in hopes of getting lucky with one of the bridesmaids or attendees. Unsurprisingly, the movie includes some revealing scenes.
One such moment includes Isla Fisher, the spunky, redhead comedic actor who chose to use a body double for her steamy scene rather than appear unclothed herself. In a follow-up interview to the movie, Fisher revealed her decision was based on her belief that as a comedic actor, she would no longer be seen as funny in the eyes of viewers if they were to know the more intimate sides of her body.
Whether or not viewers agree with that sentiment, it’s hard to argue with a person’s strong opinions about how she expresses herself and her body on film.
7 Tom Cruise - Mission Impossible Franchise - Did The Work
Tom Cruise is well known for doing many of his own impressive stunts in the Mission Impossible movies. From hanging onto a plane as it takes off, to climbing on the outside of the tallest building in the world, Cruise has done some impressive and daring stunts for his role as Ethan Hunt.
Even as Cruise approaches 60 years old, he doesn’t seem to show any signs of slowing down in his stunt work, be it for the Mission Impossible franchise or otherwise. Cruise has reportedly starting using a double for some scenes in Mission Impossible 6, seeing as the actor was injured while on set.
However, it’s noteworthy that some of the most dangerous and daring stunts are still done by the man himself.
6 Natalie Portman in Your Highness - Body Double
While Natalie Portman has done plenty of steamy scenes in movies like Black Swan, she hasn't always wanted to shed her clothes onscreen. Interestingly, it was in a film where Portman’s character wears a thong that a body double was used.
Portman admitted that she used a body double in Your Highness during a swimming scene, but claims the reason was the water in the scene was really cold. While some may think that Portman opted for a body double to refrain from showing off too much of her body, others have pointed out that she hasn’t been afraid to shed her clothes before.
For the time being, viewers can assume the water in Your Highness really was just very cold.
5 Angelina Jolie in Wanted - Body Double
Angelina Jolie is no stranger to showing off her body in movies, considering she’s done numerous scenes of the like across multiple movies. It may then come as a surprise to learn that she used a body double in Wanted.
While the exact reason for Jolie’s use of a body double isn’t public, many have speculated that she may have wanted to be more modest. This could have been due to Jolie and Brad Pitt working on a family at the time.
Others have pitched the idea that her body didn’t match the expectation the production crew had in mind for her character. Whatever the reason, it’s well known that at least for this film, Jolie‘s intimate body parts remained hidden from the world.
4 Jason Statham in Crank - Did The Work
Similar to other action stars, Jason Statham prefers to do many of his own stunts in films. This means that he rarely uses a body double. A prime example of this is in the movie Crank, where Statham took on many of the dangerous actions himself.
Statham has admitted that doing his own stunts isn’t always the best idea, but says he loves the adrenaline and can’t get enough of the work. With that in mind, one can expect that Statham will continue to perform many of his own stunts.
There are few actors who could have properly pulled off the manic pace of Crank and its sequel Crank: High Voltage, but the commitment that Statham showed in performing his own stunts helps to sell the over-the-top events.
3 Luke Wilson in My Super Ex-Girlfriend - Body Double
Similarly to his brother, Luke Wilson used a body double for his work in My Super Ex-Girlfriend. However, unlike his brother, Wilson made the decision himself and even had a hand in choosing the body double.
According to Wilson, he wanted a body double because he didn’t feel like he was athletic enough for the situation. It would be interesting to see if Wilson would have made the same decision if My Super Ex-Girlfriend was produced today instead of in 2006, considering how much attention is put on actors getting fit for their parts.
This is especially true with the huge amount of superhero movies hitting the big screen these days. which all feature extremely fit actors.
2 Zoe Bell in Death Proof - Did The Work
Before her acting debut in Death Proof, Zoe Bell was a stunt person for Lucy Lawless, Sharon Stone, and many other famous actors. It then comes as no surprise that Bell opted to do her own stunts in the action-packed, Quentin Tarantino film.
In Death Proof, Bell actually placed herself on the hood of a moving car, meaning that any small error on her part could have been quite serious. Since then, she has appeared in numerous films and continues to handle her own stunts.
While she may use body or stunt doubles in the future, it’s respectful that Bell continues to take pride in her efforts to handle the challenges that her characters face -- even with the potential danger such challenges come with.
1 Jackie Chan in All of His Movies - Did The Work
Easily the most recognized name when it comes to not using a body double, Jackie Chan simply has no equal. The man’s efforts to do his own stunts are legendary.
Even now, more than four decades after kicking off his acting career, the man still does many of his own dangerous stunts. Interestingly, Chan hasn’t broken nearly as many bones as many attribute to him. That said, the list of broken bones and injuries is still impressive.
Chan has broken his nose, fingers, and toes numerous times, as well as suffered serious injuries to his ribs, head, and shoulder. He’s also suffered many other types of injuries, including cuts, bruises, and burns. Despite the pain and danger, Chan continues to train and do his own stunts.
Can you tell when body doubles are used? Let us know in the comments!