Keira Knightley Reveals Discomfort of Male Gaze: ‘I’d Just Rather Not Stand in Front of a Group of Men Naked’

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Oscar-nominated actor Keira Knightley (“The Imitation Game”) has revealed her discomfort in falling under the “male gaze” while filming intimate scenes.

In conversation with “The Farewell” filmmaker Lulu Wang and writer-producer Diane Solway on the Chanel Connects podcast, Knightley said her decision to add a no nudity clause to her contract since becoming a mother was partly due to vanity.

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“It’s the male gaze. If I was making a story that was about that journey of motherhood and body acceptance, I feel like, I’m sorry, but that would have to be with a female filmmaker,” Knightley said. “I don’t have an absolute ban, but I kind of do with men.”

“I don’t want it to be those horrible sex scenes where you’re all greased up and everybody is grunting. I’m not interested in doing that,” Knightley continued. “I feel very uncomfortable now trying to portray the male gaze. Saying that, 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, because 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.”

Both Knightley and Wang discussed how the ongoing coronavirus pandemic had disrupted their plans. Wang said she probably would already have been in Hong Kong at this time, prepping her shoot and scouting locations. Wang was referring to her Amazon original series “The Expatriates” that will follow the personal and professional lives of a group of expatriates in Hong Kong.

Knightley, who pulled out of the Apple TV Plus series “The Essex Serpent” last year due to family reasons during the pandemic, said she is due to film in and around London. Next up for the actor is comedy “Silent Night.”

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