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Keira Knightley (Misbehaviour) is an accomplished actress and has set her terms. Since 2015, she's had a no nudity clause in her filming contracts, reports IndieWire.
She recently talked about her feelings on the matter during a recording of the “Chanel Connects” podcast, saying, "I don’t have an absolute ban, but I kind of do with men."
She explains what she means by that last bit: “It’s partly vanity and also it’s the male gaze.”
Knightley describes certain intimate moments behind the camera as "horrible sex scenes where you’re all greased up and everybody is grunting. I’m not interested in doing that.”
She understands that a story may call on sex to help tell it, but it's not necessarily for her to be the one to act it out: "Saying that, there’s times where I go, ‘Yeah, I completely see where this sex would be really good in this film and you basically just need somebody to look hot,’ so therefore you can use somebody else. Because I’m too vain, and the body has had two children now, and I’d just rather not stand in front of a group of men naked."
She also suggests that in some cases, if it's a female-oriented storyline, it should be a female director, saying, "If I was making a story that was about that journey of motherhood and body, I feel like, I’m sorry, but that would have to be with a female filmmaker."
"If it was about motherhood, about how extraordinary that body is, about how suddenly you’re looking at this body that you’ve got to know and is your own and it’s seen in a completely different way and it’s changed in ways which are unfathomable to you before you become a mother, then yeah, I would totally be up for exploring that with a woman who would understand that. But I feel very uncomfortable now trying to portray the male gaze."
Knightley's next project is a Christmas comedy called Silent Night, revolving around a family coming together in the country. We're guessing this won't have any sex scenes, but you never know. Maybe a romp in the barn? We'll just plan on it not being Knightley herself doing the romping.
Does Knightley's reasoning make sense to you?