Published April 28, 2010
Despite starring in over 100 films over three decades, Samuel L. Jackson still has some issues shooting sex scenes. Most recently, he found himself apologizing to his “Mother and Child” co-star Naomi Watts about his “excitement” – or lack thereof.
“We did our scene the first day, we kind of knew each other because I know Liev [Schreiber, Watt’s husband], but we’d never really interacted. Our first interaction was that particular scene where she seduces me,” Jackson told Pop Tarts. “For me as an actor, I don’t know how to do that sort of thing in a room full of people, and I tend to ask a lot of questions. Where can I touch you? Where can I not touch you? I’m sorry if I get excited, I’m sorry if I don’t… But Naomi really took charge.”
Watts appears in the movie with an all-out, full-frontal flash as her character seduces a series of hapless males.
“Naomi understands and agreed that her character needs to use her sexual tools,” director Rodrigo Garcia said. “She’s remarkably at ease practically naked, she has a delightfully bawdy sense of humor that puts us all at ease too.”
So while Watts’ character’s sexual aggressiveness may be integral to the R-rated film, it begs the question of how much further women have to go in Hollywood in order to secure roles. After all, we didn’t see Jackson exposing anything while getting intimate, nor did we see a nude Leonardo DiCaprio in “Titanic” whereas co-star Kate Winslet stripped down. And while Jennifer Aniston bared her bottom in “The Break Up”, Vince Vaughn didn’t reciprocate. Similarly, Holly Hunter was naked in the shower in “Thirteen,” whereas Jeremy Sisto was not. Even an animated Angelina Jolie was modeled full-frontal in “Beowulf” but there was no need for male co-stars John Malkovich, Anthony Hopkins or Ray Winstone to go that route.
“There is pressure for women to do nudity; there is no doubt about that. But I don’t think the pressure is anything new,” Rotten Tomatoes' Editor-in-Chief, Matt Atchity told Pop Tarts. “It's been happening for arguably 30 or 40 years, but do I think there's probably unfairness there. Harvey Keitel famously has got naked in a couple of his films and its like, really, who cares? But when Halle Berry did 'Swordfish,' that was a big deal.”
ReelViews film critic James Berardinelli believes scenes involving male nudity are becoming more familiar to mainstream Hollywood, however.
“Most of the female nudity I see these days is in smaller indie productions and foreign films,” Berardinelli explained. “With respect to Hollywood films, the overwhelming goal of getting a PG-13 rating pretty much takes nudity out of the equation. But with R-rated features, there has been more male nudity in recent years. The difference is that female nudity is often used to titillate whereas male nudity is used almost exclusively for comedic purposes.”
For example, Jason Segal full exposed himself in Judd Apatow’s hit “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” and it certainly wasn’t to paint him as a heartthrob.
“It comes down to this – female nudity is acceptable in films, male nudity is not,” critic Chuck “The Movie Guy” Thomas added. “While nothing is written down on paper, the naked female body is considered beautiful while the male body of a man is not.”
To be continued...