Embrace the Female Gaze: 11 Times Male Actors Did Full-Frontal on Screen

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As anyone with eyeballs and even a middling interest in pop culture knows, women are naked on-screen *way* more than men. And that's fine—the female body is beautiful and nothing to be ashamed of. But female nude scenes are often written and directed by men, and created with a distinctly male gaze in mind. Meanwhile, it's still a pretty rare occurrence to see a man's genitalia in films. So, in the interest of equaling the playing field and embracing the female gaze, here are 11 times male celebrities got naked on camera.

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Viggo Mortensen: Eastern Promises


Viggo Mortensen's nude moment in Eastern Promises is actually part of an extremely prolonged four-minute fight scene that takes place in a Turkish bath. "I'm just glad it was shot in two days and not six as it was initially written," he said of filming. "Honestly, though, it took me all of about eight seconds to decide whether to do the scene naked.... It was slippery, painful, embarrassing. You see what you see. I always knew the scene should be as realistic as the rest of the movie, so I couldn't feasibly keep the towel on."

Ben Affleck: Gone Girl

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This blink-and-you-miss-it scene takes place while Ben Affleck is taking a shower, and could easily have been cut from the movie—so good on Affleck for keeping things realistic and embracing male nudity. "The penis is in there," he joked during press for the film. "It costs extra. It's IMAX penis! You have to pay 15 bucks to see it in 3D. It looks better in 3D. You should know it was very cold.... It was freezing. It was subzero." Meanwhile, Affleck's then-wife Jennifer Garner said of the moment, "He's showing his penis.... What I have to say is, 'You're welcome.' I just try to consider myself a charitable person and I wanted to give back. You give me so much, I wanted to give something back to all of you."

Jason Segel: Forgetting Sarah Marshall

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Jason Segel's nude scene in Forgetting Sarah Marshall (during which his character gets broken up with) was fully full-frontal—and he was completely on board with it. "I thought that was hilarious," Segel said. "I was actually not very uncomfortable doing it. I really felt free. You have to put it in the context that this was 2006, 2007, and this hadn't been done before, in my recollection, where the main guy was going to be naked in the first five minutes of the movie." Segel also joked that his mom "cried" upon learning about the scene, and sent out the following email to his entire family: "I would like to inform you all that Jason has chosen to do full frontal nudity, however, it is not gratuitous and is essential to the plot."

Mark Wahlberg: Boogie Nights

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Okay, so while Boogie Nights *did* embrace full frontal male nudity by showing Dirk Diggler's penis, Mark Wahlberg wore a prosthetic for the character's big moment. Also, said prosthetic was apparently made of plaster and had a pubic wig especially dyed to match Wahlberg's hair. "I show up at basically this prosthetic effects house in the valley, I have to stand there and take off my clothes, and they start basically sculpting this thing around you. It's very uncomfortable, very awkward," he said. "The first time that they did it, they did the exact same specs as what they thought [porn star] John Holmes was like....this thing was like down past my knee, and literally, it was pretty flaccid." Fun fact: the prosthetic is the only prop he's kept from a movie.

Kevin Bacon: Wild Things

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Kevin Bacon's iconic nude scene in Wild Things involves him stepping out of the shower and wrapping a towel around his waist. That's it. Pretty simple. But the scene was a very big deal when it hit theaters in 1998. "I honestly really didn’t think about it. I said, 'If that’s the shot, that’s the shot that works, it’s okay.' I just didn’t think it was going to be such a big deal," Bacon said of the moment. "It wasn’t until we got to the press junket for the film that every single question, every single person asked me about it. By the way, when [we] got to the European press, nobody asked me about it." Also amusing, he had a no-nude clause in his contract: "I was a producer on the film, and in my contract, as an actor, I had a no-frontal-nudity clause. So, in theory, I could’ve sued myself."

Richard Gere: American Gigolo

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Richard Gere plays a prostitute in American Gigolo, and as such was naked quite a bit. He's said that the scenes in question weren't even a big deal, and were just a "natural" part of making the movie: "If I recall, [the nudity] wasn't in the script. It was just in the natural process of making the movie. I certainly felt vulnerable, but I think it's different for men than women."

Jude Law: The Talented Mr. Ripley

Jude Law had a kinda-sorta full frontal moment (really, it was a bird's eye view) while stepping out of a bathtub during The Talented Mr. Ripley. As far as we can tell, he hasn't chatted explicitly about the scene—and fair enough: men take baths naked, BFD.

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Tom Hardy: Bronson (and a million other things)

To be honest, Tom Hardy is rarely *not* nude in his movies, and while he does appear naked in Bronson, he's most famous for going nude in the TV show Taboo. Weirdly, the nude scenes were cut from the series, much to his dismay. "You’re lucky there was a loin cloth because I didn’t want one," he said. "It’s not a period drama until someone gets naked and covers themselves in blood. At least you’re showing willing. I was in Tilbury, in the moat, in the docks, with nothing on. We were trying to eke out drama from any opportunity and none of that makes the cut."

Bruce Willis: Color of Night

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This erotic thriller almost got an NC-17 rating thanks to Bruce Willis' intense nude scenes, which, to quote EW, "caused quite a stir with the MPAA." Apparently the ratings board made producers make cuts, saying, "These were intense sex scenes. If Bruce Willis had stepped out of a shower and was toweling himself, or was reaching for a telephone and there was a fleeting glimpse of nudity, [the rating] would probably be an R. But if you’re shown totally nude and screwing somebody on a bed, that’s something else." The scenes in question appear to have made it to the director's cut, so fear not.

Michael Fassbender: Shame

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Michael Fassbender was all kinds of naked in Shame (it is about a sex addict, after all), and apparently was entirely unbothered by the experience: "I was self-conscious, for sure, but it was something I had to get over very quickly," he said. "Those scenes are really where you get an insight into the guy's psyche. When you see him naked, it's in more ways than one. I had to be on the ball and not thinking about those things. And you try to make sure that your partner in the scene is comfortable."

Ewan McGregor: The Pillow Book

Ewan McGregor has been naked in several movies, and was incredibly real about the experience in The Pillow Book, where his character has a lot of sex: "There’s tons of sex in that film. We didn’t even bother putting clothes on between scenes," he said. "I had quite a full-on sex scene with a 75-year-old Japanese guy. We're kissing, and I remember going, 'He’s got a mustache and that’s kind of weird. Oh! That's definitely a scrotum. That’s odd.'"

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