There was a time when actresses were offered incredible sums of money to reveal themselves in movies. This was once considered a smart move on the behalf of the studios, as the promise of seeing an A-lister without clothing for the first time could bump up ticket sales on word of mouth alone.
As time went on, the prospect of seeing an actresses bare it all became less important. This is partly due to the growing influence of the Internet in our lives, which means that you can see any titillating picture or video an actress ever made with only a few clicks. The sheer amount of subscription TV networks and streaming services that have no problem with adult scenes means that regular TV shows now show just as much skin as the movies.
A lot of actors and actresses have gone on record to state that they would never show skin in a movie for one reason or another. As time went on, though, a few changed their minds for the right project… or for a sufficient sum of money.
We are here today to see which actresses took a stand and then later changed their minds– from the Avenger who became a revealing alien, to the action star who received unwanted gender reassignment surgery.
Here are the 15 Actors Who Said They Wouldn’t Reveal Themselves On Screen (But Did Anyway).
15. Scarlett Johansson
There are some female celebrities who hold off on showing skin in order to ask for a high price when they feel the time is right. This was certainly the case for Halle Berry, who received half a million dollars in exchange for a brief topless scene in Swordfish.
There are also some actresses who reveal themselves in smaller movies, as they are passionate about the project and will do whatever it takes to tell the story as best as possible.
This was the case for Scarlett Johansson, who had maintained a strict no-revealing scene clause in her contracts for years, even though it could have jeopardized her ability to find work.
The role that changed Scarlett Johansson’s mind was that of a mysterious alien predator in Under the Skin. Her scenes didn’t attract much press, which is likely due to the disturbing context in which they appear.
14. Olivia Munn
Playboy magazine has managed to convince many celebrities to undress for their readers. The Playboy name is considered to be iconic by many and it has been the dream of many women to appear in the pages of the magazine.
However, the woman who appears on the cover of a Playboy magazine generally doesn’t have a revealing image inside of it. One of the few exceptions to this was Olivia Munn, who appeared on the cover of the July/August edition of Playboy in 2009. She vehemently denied the prospect of ever showing skin due to the sheer amount of images and videos that are already present in the entertainment industry.
The movie that changed her mind was 2012’s Magic Mike. Olivia Munn briefly appears topless in a scene where she is getting dressed in the morning. This was a brief break from the numerous revealing male scenes that made up the bulk of the film.
13. Ruth Wilson
There is nothing wrong with saying you won’t show skin in a film and then changing your mind at a later date, so long as you don’t insult other actresses in the process.
Ruth Wilson once criticised Alice Eve for her role in Sex and the City 2. Wilson said that “I wouldn’t want to be like her,” and “…she suddenly pops up in Sex and the City and gets her t**s out.” Wilson said that she would never reveal herself on screen as she felt it was gratuitous.
Alice Eve didn’t actually show skin e in Sex and the City 2, though– she played a character who didn’t wear a bra and wore a wet t-shirt at one point. One actress who did reveal herself was Ruth Wilson in The Affair, which was a 2014 TV series that involved several scenes with her and Dominic West.
12. Reese Witherspoon
There is a belief among certain people that an actor or actress is willingly objectifying themselves when they show skin in a movie. This was certainly a belief once held by Reese Witherspoon, who claimed that she was “flabbergasted” by the idea that any legitimate actress would ever bare it all on the movie screen.
She said this in an interview for Glamour magazine in 2008, where she stated that she would never take her clothes off for a photo shoot or film.
The role that convinced Reese Witherspoon to change her mind was Wild, which was released in 2014. Wild was based on a book written by Cheryl Strayed, which detailed her journey of self-discovery during a thousand-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. The portrayal of Strayed earned Witherspoon an Acadamy Award nomination.
11. Neve Campbell
Wild Things was a crime drama that was released in 1998. The movie quickly gained notoriety for an intimate scene between Denise Richards, Matt Dillon, and Neve Campbell. The three-way scene was a lot more explicit than the kinds of adult scenes you would see in mainstream movies at the time, especially as it involved major celebrities.
However, Neve Campbell kept her clothes on during the iconic scene in Wild Things. This was because she had an issue with revealing scenes that she felt were strictly a ploy to sell tickets, rather than having anything to do with the story.
The movie that changed Neve Campbell’s mind was When Will I Be Loved. She said that the role involved a character who was defined by her sexuality, so she felt it would be appropriate to show some skin during a shower scene.
10. Chloe Sevigny
You may have noticed that this list is made up of female actresses. This is because men generally don’t typically bare it all in movies due to the harsher censorship restrictions on showing male private parts on film.
At least one actress on this list showed her dong on film, though it was a prosthetic one.
Chloe Sevigny shows skin in many movies during the early stages of her career, which included an unsimulated adult scene in The Brown Bunny. Sevigny later claimed in 2010 that she wouldn’t do any more of these scenes due to the fact that she had grown more self-conscious about her appearance over time.
Music videos have long existed in a grey area when it comes to showing skin. While most videos can’t show too much skin, they can include scantily-clad men and woman. These can be shown at any time of the day on TV, which has drawn concern over the content of music video channels.
Rihanna is one star who was worn many provocative outfits in her videos, which included baring it all (though covered) in the videos for songs like “Umbrella”. The reason she held off on showing everything for so long was due to her mother. Rihanna once told MTV that her mother would kill her if she ever revealed herself on camera.
It seems that Rihanna’s fears of filicide were unfounded, however, as she has showed skin in explicit versions of her music videos, most notably in “B*tch Better Have My Money”, which concludes with a revealed Rihanna sitting in a case full of money.
8. Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan started out as a child actress in the remake of The Parent Trap when she was only eleven years old. She later became a teen idol due to her role in Mean Girls and her short-lived music career. It was during this period that Lohan said that she would never show skin on film, as it would leave no mystery in her private life.
It seems that the saccharine life of a teen idol didn’t sit well with Lindsay Lohan, though, as she started to seek out more adult movies roles in an effort to change her image.
Lindsay Lohan is obsessed with Marilyn Monroe– to the point where she appeared in a Monroe-inspired topless photoshoot for New York magazine in 2008. Lohan later bore it all on camera whilst evoking Marilyn Monroe in the January/February issue of Playboy in 2012. Lindsay Lohan also showed skin in a movie called The Canyons.
7. Kirsten Dunst
Kirsten Dunst was appearing in adult movies from a young age. She even upstaged Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise in Interview with the Vampire when she was only twelve years old. Dunst managed to escape the child star curse and went on to have a great deal of success in her adulthood, which included roles in the Spider-Man movies and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Kirsten Dunst maintained a no-revealing scenes clause in her contract for a long time. She admitted in an interview with the Cranky Critic that she refused to do a scene that required skin in the movie Crazy/Beautiful even though it was in the script due to the clause in her contract.
The movie that finally changed Kirsten Dunst’s mind was Melancholia in 2011, which involved a scene of Dunst lying in her birthday suit in the moonlight. She would go on to win the Best Actress Award at Cannes for her role.
6. Kate Winslet
A lot of actresses have shown skin in smaller, independent films, which don’t attract as much attention as major Hollywood releases.
Kate Winslet may not have cared about baring it all in Titanic, as every movie pundit in the world was predicting that it would be a bomb. However, it went on to become one of the most successful movies of all time. Titanic was the first movie to ever earn more than a billion dollars at the box office, which means that a lot of people saw Winslet bare it all on the big screen.
In 2009, Kate Winslet said that she would never show skin in a movie again, as she didn’t want to earn a reputation as the actress who always undressed on screen. This edict lasted for two years until Mildred Pierce, which resulted in Winslet winning a Primetime Emmy, a Golden Globe, a Satellite Award, and a Screen Actors Guild award.
5. Naomie Harris
It’s not unusual for actors and actresses to use body doubles in revealing scenes. This was the case with Naomie Harris in Miami Vice, as she used a body double during a scene where her character gets into the shower with Detective Ricardo Tubbs, who was played by Jamie Foxx.
Naomie Harris made it clear in a 2006 interview for Vibe magazine that baring it all on camera was off the table. She said that she didn’t like showing skin and felt that taking her clothes off shouldn’t be an important part of her job.
4. Rosario Dawson
There have been a few instances when an actress will agree to show skin in a movie, even though the script doesn’t call for it and they are not contracted to do so. It may just be a case that they have grown more passionate about the project as time went on and they felt that the revealing scene would help to tell a more realistic story.
This was the case with Rosario Dawson’s love scene with Colin Farrell in Alexander. She said in an interview with the New York Post in 2004 that she made the decision to undress while filming. Dawson also stated that this would be a one-off and that she would never bare it all again.
3. Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder was the object of affection for an entire generation. She was the short-haired girl who haunted the dreams of many throughout the ’90s.
It didn’t take long for Winona Ryder to make it clear that she would never reveal herself in a movie. Ryder was asked about the subject of her showing skin in a film during an interview for Rolling Stone magazine in 1994. Her response was “I just couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t. No matter what. I just couldn’t.”
Winona Ryder’s reluctance to show her body didn’t survive the ’90s, however. She briefly flashed the camera in Autumn in New York, which was released in the year 2000. Ryder later appeared topless in Sex and Death 101.
2. Amy Adams
Amy Adams gave her opinion on baring it all in movies during an interview she did with Dave Poland in 2008. It was during this interview that she mentioned not wanting to go to the beach anymore, due to the scrutiny that she had seen other celebrities endure when their bikini pictures appeared in the papers.
Adams stated that she would never show skin in a film for the same reason, which meant that she had no desire to undress on film.
Amy Adams has since had several brief revealing scenes in movies like American Hustle and Nocturnal Animals. She also undressed during a bathing scene in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, though her body was obscured by the water.
1. Michelle Rodriguez
Michelle Rodriguez had an infamous interview on The Howard Stern Show in 2001, where she promoted the first movie in The Fast and the Furious series. It didn’t take long for Rodriguez to start cursing like a sailor when callers to the show started making jokes about her relationship with Vin Diesel, which meant that large chunks of the interview were dumped out at the last second.
It was during this interview that Michelle Rodriguez said that she wouldn’t even appear in her underwear on screen, as she didn’t want to be known just for her looks.
However, Michelle Rodriguez starred in a movie in 2016 called The Assignment, where she played a male contract killer. Rodriguez’s character kills the brother of a plastic surgeon (played by Sigourney Weaver) who kidnaps him and performs gender reassignment surgery, which turns him into a woman who looks like Michelle Rodriguez.
This involved Rodriguez showing skin in order to show the audience that her character had been transformed into a woman.
What do you think? If you were an actor, would you consider baring it all for a project that you were fully dedicated to? Sound off in the comments!
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