Jessica Chastain said she has no issues with on-screen nudity, but is “bothered” by how it’s used in Hollywood.
Chastain opened up to Vulture on Wednesday about her thoughts on how nudity is used in European cinema compared to American films. The 41-year-old actress said she’s has feels uncomfortable when it’s not the person’s decision to be naked on-screen.
“I have no issues with nudity, especially in a lot of European cinema that I adore, but I find that in American cinema, the idea of nudity has always bothered me,” Chastain told Vulture.
“I realized why: For me, I’m uncomfortable with nudity when it feels like it’s not the person’s decision to be naked, when it’s something that has been put upon them. In a way, I see that as like a victimization,” she added. “It trains an audience that exploiting someone in their body should be normal for nudity, when I think the opposite.”
Chastain said it’s exciting when people are “completely in control of their decisions.”
“I love the human form — male nudity, female nudity, I’m all about it. I had to get to that place where, for me, it was my decision,” she said.
Chastain’s comments come just before the theatrical release of “Wilde Salomé,” a behind-the-scenes documentary about Al Pacino’s 2006 production of “Salomé.”
The actress said she was never asked to do the nude dancing scene in the film, but ultimately decided it was important for the character.
“The more I researched and read about the other versions of the play, I learned about how scandalous it was, I read about Sarah Bernhardt, and I read a book called 'Sisters of Salomé' which talked about what it meant to dance naked,” the actress said.
“I realized that there’s power in that to harness, so learning all of that stuff actually made me feel it was important for the character that there was nudity.”