performing nude

  • Leila Reid

    Actor

    Hi,

    Just wondering where you guys stand on performing nude?

    A) For example if you where nude on your bottom half and the camera only saw you legs and not your private parts would you do it?

    B) topless- boobs on display

    c) a shot of your back?

    d) frount shot complete

    yay or nay?

    leila xox

    • 11th Mar 2008
    • 4981
    • 18
  • Rebecca Probyn

    Actor

    legs and back wouldn;t care.. to be honest the only bit that would bother me would be boobs and me lady bits!

    • 8th Mar 2008
    • 1
  • Kenny Richards-Preston

    Actor

    Leila,

    Eeek, having done some nudity, it's such an awkward thing to answer. I mean, In my particular scene (from Beauty's Ruin) we knew it was going to be partial, but things got in shot that didn't look right, and in the end Bethany (who had already gone topless) decided, off with the thong, but then my boxers were in shot, so off they came, so it didn't end up an issue, after an hour we were just wanting to finish the scene. However, had we both known that we'd need to naked before hand it probably would have been a different matter.

    I'd always said I would go nude for a role "professionally", though in fairness it still becomes an issue, I guess it's becuase we want to know how the image is portrayed, and that it's an essential part to what we're doing.

    I'd still have to thin twice regards nudity onstage though, I guess the size thing hangs heavily in a man's mind (if they say it doesn't they're lying, no matter how comfortable you are with yourself), but for a woman? For that I have no answer. I think my good lady is stunning, though she has her own hangups, and even after 16yrs of marraige, I STILL don't understand her fully lol.

    What can I say? If you won't do it? don't accept the roles. If it's a good role and the nudity essential? Then don't think about how you look, just concentrate on the performance, stay in character, that way it's not you!

    How ever you cope with it, it's your choice!

    • 8th Mar 2008
    • 2
  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Personally. I find nudity in theatre to be rarely justified most of the time- in film its better as you dont have an audience up close and persoanl but in many shows, nudity is a shock factor so its alays crucial to determine WHY its there- many shows HAIR even to EQUUS- the plays have been negated by the shock factor of full frontal nudit, or in EQUUS, by how big Harry Potter's penis is!!!! And in EQUUS' case, this was the main talking point!!! NOT the play or what it was saying to a 21st century audience.

    The intent of the show is sullied by many other considerations....

    I think the question is how do you feel about performing nude, but also- in artistic and personal integritry- do you feel it is justified in doing a piece of work?

    I know actors and actresses who have turned down auditions in west ed jobs becasue of this moot point-

    even the bedroom scenes in ROCKY HORROR, which are not nude, but silhouetted- are more shock factor than "essential" which is so often an actors so called "justification" for nudity-- i too ahve turned down jobs for this reason--

    the real issue is integrity more than anything else.

    • 9th Mar 2008
    • 3
  • Holly-Marie Michael

    Actor

    Hmmm, I'm not sure about this either! I wouldn't really mind being topless, but am not sure about other areas! Also, I always play young characters because I look so young, (the average age I play is 14!) and am not sure if it would put directors off from casting me in these roles if they knew I'd done nudity before? Especially if it was for a kid's tv programme or something, which is the type of thing I usually get sent for. What do you lot think?

    Hols x

    • 9th Mar 2008
    • 4
  • Mike Henley

    Actor

    Unbelievably, one never gets asked...

    • 10th Mar 2008
    • 5
  • Kenny Richards-Preston

    Actor

    Awww Mike! I don't believe you!

    Seriously though, I am in agreement with Blake, for screen? Sometimes it's justifyable, but hardly ever onstage.

    Holly? I can see the dilema, and wouldn't risk future work either. I was reading an article about Sharon Stone, each time she's had to "show her bits" she's made sure she's been tanked up on vodka, as with Arnie, Sly and a few others.

    There's an "artistic integrity" that must come into play, and whether we, as a visual interpreter, are willing to commit fully to the role.

    So as before, it's a complete choice, there is no right or wrong, Kostner used a body double for Prince Of Theives lake scene, many of the famous love scenes aren't the actors bodies, it's all up for negotiation if the producers want you for the role, before we get to that postition, it's a matter of individual morality!

    • 10th Mar 2008
    • 6
  • Leila Reid

    Actor

    Guys just wanted to say THANK YOU!

    I love how 220 people have read this and only you 5 bothered to reply and I have to say that I agree with a lot of the stuff, Blake I completly agree with the harry potter/ Equus thing it was all about the size of his penius and not about the play which is wrong but then I suppose this is what happens when you put some one so high profile in a lead role.

    I'm just glad that you lot agree with me I thought I was kind of being a bit prudish really .

    leila xox

    • 10th Mar 2008
    • 7
  • Alan Brent

    Actor

    The whole issue is, I think, one of the differences between playing the character and the character playing you.

    If the character would be naked then the actor would. If the actor wouldn't want to be naked then the character cannot be.

    • 10th Mar 2008
    • 8
  • Kenny Richards-Preston

    Actor

    Very deep Alan!

    Same as what I wrote, only shorter and with a wisdom that comes with time :-)

    • 10th Mar 2008
    • 9
  • Andrew Lawden

    Actor

    i guess it all comes down to the requirements of the play or film. instinct can usually help you. Sorry , Blake , you probably won't agree but that tends to be what it comes down to

    andrew

    • 10th Mar 2008
    • 10
  • Toni Brooks

    Actor

    Yep, would all depend on the role but at my age - I won't be getting asked - unless it was something to do with the NHS :-))

    • 10th Mar 2008
    • 11
  • Kimberley James

    Actor

    I definetly feel it is a judgement call, you know in yourself if the nudity really is a valid part of the script or if its "gratuitous flesh flash" (?!) for want of a better description.

    Also have to say that the budget has a big impact too, there have been quite a few student/expenses only auditions on this site that I've applied for that expect have said " very minor partial nudity required- ie back/ shoulders" that have since emailed advising that its actually MUCH more explicit, and they expect this just for train fare?

    Obviously it comes down to whether you think its a decent calibre of script but no/lo budget doesnt endear particulary either!

    • 10th Mar 2008
    • 12
  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Leila,

    There are loads of women who feel the same as you do. And the industry is not woman friendly. I have a close friend who refused to bare her breasts for a West End show and she refused the audition- her agent had to do damage control so she wasnt seen as difficult- she was understandably offended by this attitude.

    its not being DIFFICULT to refuse to do nudity. Its a personal choice, and the industry assumes that as an actor, you will just do wahtever you are told.

    If you have to do nudity- you are required to be told for the audition and Equity has strict rules--

    your self respect and identity is much more crucial than any job.

    Never assume you are being a prude. I turned down a film in South Africa that I was OFFERED as it had sex scenes I was not happy with as a Christian. Im not sorry about it at all.

    • 10th Mar 2008
    • 13
  • Beau Rambaut

    Actor

    Do you know- Can't believe I'm going to say this but I think it's fine so long as you don't apologise for it afterwards. See 'The dreamers' Didn't do the lovely Eva Green any harm at all! I draw the line at nine songs tho or chloe Savigny's Blow job tactics! Gross (Did I just bring the tone down a notch?) ;-)

    x

    • 10th Mar 2008
    • 14
  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Andrew, its not about me being right- its an opinion, and Im not offended mate- :)

    • 10th Mar 2008
    • 15
  • Lu Capewell

    Actor

    Im with hol,iv never been asked to do it in an acting part cos i look so young(again about 14) i dont mind nakedness if ther is a call 4 it but most of the time its just for shock factor,can i just say i was asked to be a topless page 3 girl once(i may look young but i have 32 GG boobs)the money was good but i said no cos i dont want to be that girl who takes her top off i wanna be the one every 1 looks up to because im talented,i have a friend who does page 3 work an she works hard but its not for me and she knows that soon she will be old news i want a long acting life,i wanna be the new liz smith(given a few years )

    • 10th Mar 2008
    • 16
  • Robert Dearle

    Actor

    Well believe it or not, I have been nude 4 times on TV and film and countless other times nearly nude!! I seem to be known as someone who will do it!! I have done stupid TV sketch shows that never seem to end up being shown. Now I guess it could be different for me as with my look and no one is trying to exploit me. My rule of thumb is as long as I am not the butt of the joke or it won't embarrass my kids. i'll do it. (and if the price is right I def do it lol)

    Rob

    • 10th Mar 2008
    • 17
  • David Corden

    Actor

    Hmmm, it's a toughie (I was going to say 'a hard one' but that might be misinterpreted, LOL).

    As most people are saying, it's all down to your own personal morality vs the needs of the play or the director's whim.

    The latter is something I encountered while doing a play a few years ago in which the female writer and female director were insistent upon myself and a fellow male actor being totally naked during a mock fight scene. It wasn't justified at all, but we did it anyway. It actually was immensely liberating and gave you even more power and command than Hamlet's first soliloquy. This was in a large studio theatre, so the audience were literally 3 feet away and, yes, there were a few blokes in beige macs on the front row with their hands in their pockets - but, hey, they paid for their tickets and it just made me laugh more genuinely at the end of the 'fight'.

    The only fears one has in this situation - and I'm not trying to be crude, just truthful - is getting a random swelling down below (which would have closed the show, as I believe it is illegal in a public place) and that people are going to comment on the size...especially when the theatre is very cold.

    But back to the question of whether or not to do it, I'll inverse what Alan wrote above - you're not naked, the character is. The audience will take your nudity according to their own morality and over that you never have control - some may be shocked, some offended, some turned on and some clinically comparative - but all of those reactions can be achieved when clothed too.

    The only problem, if that is the right word, is a professional one because we all know that casting directors to like to pigeon-hole actors to make life easier and you may have noticed that there are a few actors who always seem to be getting their kit off - coincidence? Maybe, maybe not - but the important thing is that you know who they are and that's because they work regularly.

    Even so, there are more plays, films and tv productions that don't have nudity than do, so it's rare to encounter one.

    • 11th Mar 2008
    • 18