Keira Knightley rules out acting sex scenes directed by men

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Keira Knightley rules out acting sex scenes directed by men
Keira Knightley rules out acting sex scenes directed by men © Backgrid UK/ Bestimage

The British actress announced on 14 January that she would no longer film sex scenes if they were directed by men.

Keira Knightley says stop! No to sex scenes directed, filmed, and sometimes dreamed up by men. The actress revealed this on Chanel Connects, a podcast created by the French haute couture brand, in which personalities from fashion, as well as from the big screen, address issues close to their hearts.

In this episode of the podcast titled “The New Heroines”, the guest actress explained that the “male gaze” participates in not only the gender stereotypes conveyed about women in film, but also the objectification of women. She admits that she is “now very uncomfortable when she has to play these kinds of scenes, designed and directed by a male gaze”.

Keira Knightley also questions the portrayal of normative sex scenes in movies (like always the missionary position when there are so many other cool positions, including ones that help you fall asleep). She describes “horrible sex scenes where you're all greased up and everybody is grunting”. Sure, she sometimes acknowledges that this male gaze is necessary to the plot, but unfortunately that's not always the case. “There are times when I say yeah, I completely see where this sex would be really good in this film and you basically just need somebody to look hot.”

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Keira Knightley ends by explaining that her relationship with her body has evolved since her two pregnancies. “My body has given birth to two children and I'd just rather not stand in front of a group of men naked”, she said. Finally, she says she wouldn't mind doing a nude or sex scene again... as long as it was directed and filmed by a woman. “If I was making a story that was about that journey of motherhood and body acceptance [some keys here to learning to love yourself better, ed.], I feel like, I'm sorry, but that would have to be with a female film-maker. I don't have an absolute ban, but I kind of do with men.”

In order to avoid embarrassment or abuse in these kinds of scenes, some productions even hire intimacy coordinators whose job it is to ensure consent (our interview here)and respect for the actors and actresses. And for more prudish men, there's another solution: a ”penis double”!

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