Keira Knightley Is Over Nude Scenes Directed by Men

“Those horrible sex scenes where you’re all greased up and everybody is grunting—I’m not interested in doing that.”

Keira Knightley
Juergen Teller

Last year, Keira Knightley made headlines for sharing that she added a no nudity clause to her contract after giving birth to the first of her two children in 2015. But there’s more to it than that, the 35-year-old explained in a new episode of Chanel’s Connects podcast. “I don’t have an absolute ban,” she told Diane Solway. ”But I kind of do with men. It’s partly vanity and also it’s the male gaze.”

Don’t get Knightley wrong; on-screen nudity in general is fine. She’d just prefer not to get involved herself. “Those horrible sex scenes where you’re all greased up and everybody is grunting—I’m not interested in doing that.”

“Saying that,” Knightley continued, “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.” The reason is twofold: “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.”

There’s another instance in which Knightley would prefer not to work with men. “If I was making a story that was about that journey of motherhood and body [acceptance]…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.”

This isn’t the first time that Knightley has explained that while she’s “really happy with [her] body,” nude scenes are a no. “It used to be that you’d do a sex scene in isolation with the film, and it would make sense. And maybe a crappy paper would put it somewhere but, ultimately, that would be it,” she told the Financial Times last year. “But now, you can take the whole thing and put it in a completely different thing, and it’s on some porn site.” Plus, she joked, being a mother of two means that now “the nipples droop.”

Related: Keira Knightley Speaks Out About Her Mental Breakdown and the “Violence” of Early-2000s Paparazzi