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. Meanwhile, it's still a pretty rare occurrence to see a man's genitalia in films. So, in the interest of leveling the playing field and embracing the female gaze, here are 23 times male celebrities got naked on camera.
Harvey Keitel: Bad Lieutenant
Harvey Keitel's full-frontal nudity in the 1992 neo-noir crime drama Bad Lieutenant is so iconic, it's the movie's poster.
In a 2005 interview with Premiere magazine, Keitel addressed his history of onscreen nudity.
"An actor doesn’t do nude scenes. An actor plays an event and tells a story," he said. "It’s not about nudity, it’s about revelations. So if anyone wants to discuss nudity with me they can forget about it because it’s not relevant. Any of my colleagues that I know would go all the way, just the way I did. I’m no exception. I just happened to have that part at the time."
Mark Rylance: Intimacy
In 2001, before he became one of Steven Spielberg's muses, Mark Rylance went full-front in Intimacy, opposite Kerry Fox. In one of the film's most memorable—and controversial—scenes, Fox performs unsimulated oral sex on Rylance. For art.
Years later, Rylance admitted that the controversy and criticism surrounding Intimacy was hard to handle—so much so that he regrets making the film at all.
"Intimacy was the most difficult job I've ever had. I was convinced it was a vital story about the difficulties people face finding intimacy in a big city like London," he told The Guardian. "Hanif Kureishi's writing couldn't have been more intimate and revealing, but I found the making of the film and the subsequent publicity and personal attacks very, very painful. I wish I hadn't made it."
Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna: Y Tu Mama Tambien
Y Tu Mama Tambien is widely regarded as one of the sexiest movies in all of mainstream movie history, so it's not really such a surprise that two of the film's male stars, Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, took the full frontal plunge in the movie. The movie follows their characters, two teenage boys, on a very erotic road trip with an older woman.
Vincent Gallo: The Brown Bunny
The 2003 experimental road film The Brown Bunny is best known for a controversial (and unsimulated) oral sex scene between writer, director, and star Vincent Gallo and actress Chloë Sevigny. Most of the controversy, however, surrounded Sevigny's decision to perform the unsimulated scene, not Gallo's decision to bare all on the receiving end.
At the time of release, Sevigny defended the controversial sex scene saying, "It's a shame people write so many things when they haven't seen it. When you see the film, it makes more sense. It's an art film. It should be playing in museums. It's like an Andy Warhol movie."
Oliver Reed and Alan Bates: Women in Love
This 1969 Oscar-winning adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's classic novel featured a scene of nude male wrestling between stars Olive Reed and Alan Bates. Never has the phrase "nude male wrestling" been so, well, high-brow.
Cillian Murphy: 28 Days Later
The 2002 zombie flick was an instant classic in the horror genre, but there was at least one moment that audiences definitely did not want to shield their eyes from: Cillian Murphy's introduction, which involved his character waking up, stark naked, in a hospital bed in the midst of the zombie apocalypse. While we didn't find anything Cillian had to say about his 28 Days Later nude scene, he made it clear years later after doing nudity again in Peaky Blinders that he is NOT here for your questions about it, tyvm.
Peter Sarsgaard: Kinsey
Sarsgaard bared all in the 2004 biopic about sexologist Alfred Kinsey—and he didn't think it was a big deal.
"It didn't feel like anything," he told TV Guide of the scene. "I mean, if I always thought about the people on the other end of the camera — as if it were like a tube going to audiences all over the world — then I wouldn't be able to act anyway. This was just a room filled with four people and it seemed appropriate for the scene. The reason I'm nude is to test the waters before I [kiss Dr. Kinsey, played by Liam Neeson] later in the scene. It had a purpose. It's not nudity for you guys, it's nudity for him."
James McAvoy: The Last King of Scotland
In this drama about Ugandan President Idi Amin, McAvoy played Amin's doctor and treated fans to a quick bit of full-frontal nudity in one scene of his character getting out of bed. While he didn't address his nudity in the film specifically, he did talk about the anxiety he felt while filming the movie's sex scenes.
"It's very nerve-wracking and scary and my biggest fear is that you're going to make [the actress in the sex scene] think you're getting off on it and you're getting your kicks, which is my biggest angst as an actor," he said during the Last King of Scotland press tour.
Ralph Fiennes: A Bigger Splash
Luca Guadagnino, who went on to direct Call Me By Your Name, got Ralph Fiennes to bare all during a scene in 2016's A Bigger Splash and once you see it, you will never look at Lord Voldemort the same again.
"Well, yes, I like to look fairly in shape," Fiennes told Australia's Daily Telegraph of prepping to go full-frontal in the film. "I knew I was going to be nude and so I was working out, but I was also exercising beforehand. I like to keep fit. I do a bit of yoga and general workout stuff."
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
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
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
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 Wahlberg kept from a movie.
Kevin Bacon: Wild Things
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
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.
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... 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
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, fear not.
Michael Fassbender: Shame
Michael Fassbender was all kinds of naked in Shame (it is about a sex addict, after all), and apparently was entirely 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."by the experience: "I was self-conscious, for sure, but it was something I had to get over very quickly," he
Ewan McGregor: The Pillow Book
Ewan McGregor has been naked in several movies, and was incredibly real about doing so for 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.'"
Colin Farrell: A Home at the End of the World
For years, Colin Farrell had an infamous reputation as a Hollywood bad boy, but he didn't bare all until 2004, when he played the very naive Bobby in A Home at the End of the World. The full-frontal scene is short (pun intended).
"No, it’s nothing, man!" Farrell said of the nude scene. "I walk to a door and you see my c—, and I walk out of the shot. It’s dark, and it’s three inches, uh, seconds long."
Mark Ruffalo: In the Cut
Mark Ruffalo, best known these days as mild-mannered scientist Bruce Banner/giant green monster The Hulk, went full-frontal in 2003's In the Cut opposite Meg Ryan.
Ruffalo said that writer/direction Jane Campion "wanted the character to be such a competent and confident lover that she kept shouting things like, 'You’re not at school anymore. You know what you’re doing.' It was very stressful."
He also admitted that going nude in front of Ryan was stressful, too. "I was scared. I was really scared. And she was with Russell Crowe. All I could think of is 'what am I going to be like compared to Russell Crowe?'"
Heath Ledger: Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger generated a lot of buzz when it was released in 2005. The movie, which told the love story of two sheep herders in Wyoming, was a tender exploration of love. In the Australian and European versions of the film, however, there is a full-frontal moment from Ledger. Director Ang Lee had reportedly intended to cut all full-frontal nudity from the final film, but paparazzi pictures showing Ledger nude leaked and Lee ultimately left the nudity in the film (a stunt double appears for Gyllenhaal).