In 2015, Keira Knightley started adding a “no nudity clause” to her film contracts after becoming a mother for the first time, The Hollywood Reporter wrote. In a new interview for the Chanel Connects podcast released earlier this month, Knightley spoke in detail about why she will no longer shoot sex scenes for male-directed films either, explaining she is no longer interested in participating in the male gaze media.
“I don’t have an absolute ban [on sex scenes], but I kind of do with men,” she told director Lulu Wang and writer-producer Diane Solway on the podcast. “I don’t want it to be those horrible sex scenes where you’re all greased up and everybody is grunting. I’m not interested in doing that.”
“I feel very uncomfortable now trying to portray the male gaze,” she continued. “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.”
“We all empathize with men hugely because, culturally, their experience is so explored,” she said. “We know so many aspects of even male sexuality. But we don’t feel like men can say, ‘Yes, I understand what you’re talking about because I’ve got this wealth of art and film and theatre and TV from your point of view.'”
She added that she would be interested in doing a film that explores female body acceptance, especially after having children, but only under a female director.
“If I was making a story that was about that journey of motherhood and body acceptance, I feel like, I’m sorry, but that would have to be with a female film-maker,” she said.
“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,” she said. “But I feel very uncomfortable now trying to portray the male gaze.”
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