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Celebrity nude scenes: Did they help or hurt their careers?

Reese Witherspoon stripped down and went on to win an Oscar. Elizabeth Berkley? Not so lucky.

Jennifer Aniston: Helped

Jen Aniston has stripped down more than once for her craft. In "The Break-Up" she took it all off and won sexy praises all the way to the bank. Shedding clothes actually helped her shed squeaky clean Rachel Green persona from "Friends" too. 

(Reuters)

 

Sissy Spacek: Hurt

Two of Sissy Spacek’s early roles involved taking her clothes off back when on-screen nudity was still taboo, but neither situation was very sexy. In 1972’s “Prime Cut,” Sissy appeared naked and stuffed in a pen with other women like cattle at a slave auction. Then, playing a gawky teen with telekinesis in 1976 horror film “Carrie,” she stole the show with a nude shower scene—only to have her character’s first menstrual period graphically caught on film. Talk about a buzz kill.

(Reuters)

Molly Ringwald: Helped

A decade after “The Breakfast Club,” Molly took on a role she called her darkest and most complex yet in 1995 erotic thriller “Malicious.” Showing she could stray from her sweet and innocent go-to characters (and that she could look that good even as a murderer) helped her score a wider range of roles thereafter.

(Republic Pictures)

Sharon Stone: Helped

When you think of nude movie scenes, chances are Sharon Stone's not so demure leg-crossing in "Basic Instinct" is one of the first to come to mind. The erotic thriller was one of the highest earning films of the 1990s, and some argue it's still the highlight of Stone's career, leading to her only other role worth mentioning opposite Robert De Niro in "Casino" three years later.

(Lions Gate)

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Elizabeth Berkley: Hurt

Baring it all in NC-17 rated "Showgirls" didn't exactly work wonders for Elizabeth Berkley, who should have stuck with her "Saved by the Bell" charm. The actress slid off her stripper pole and fell straight off the face of the earth as far as Hollywood is concerned.

(Reuters)

Natalie Dormer: Helped

Natalie calls on-screen nudity "a bit traumatic," but her steamy scenes as Anne Boleyn on "The Tudors" helped her score her role as seductive Margaery Tyrell on the hit show "Game of Thrones."

She has a slew of other projects in the works, including the next two "Hunger Games" films and a starring role in "The Girl Who Invented Kissing," so chances are her sultry ways will continue to rake in the dough for a while.

Read Natalie's interview in the September 2013 issue of Allure.

Gilles Marini: Helped

Since his steamy nude shower scene as Samantha's tempting neighbor in the first "Sex and the City" movie, Gilles has appeared in a string of hot television shows, including "Nip/Tuck," "Royal Pains," "Brothers & Sisters," and "Modern Family." 

Now he can shower in money, if he wants.

(AP)

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Jennifer Connelly: Hurt

Jennifer played a good girl turned druggie in 2000's "Requiem for a Dream," but it wasn't the fact that she got naked so much as the disturbing situation-- her heroin-addict character engaged in sexual activities in front of a rowdy crowd of men in exchange for drugs-- that ensured she would never strip down for a scene like that again.

(Artisan)

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Marisa Tomei: Helped

Marisa's first nude scene was in 2007's "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead," which led to her second a year later in the critically acclaimed film "The Wrestler." 

(Reuters)

Reese Witherspoon: Helped

In 1998, the Academy Award winner went topless in the thriller "Twilight." She scored a role in "Cruel Intentions" a year later and went on to become an Oscar-winning actress and one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood, all without ever getting naked on camera again.

That right there is a lady who knows how to keep them wanting more.

(AP)

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Seth Rogen: Helped

Seth Rogen isn't exactly someone you'd picture going nude on film, but in 2008's "Zack and Miri Make a Porno," he did just that. 

He's not your classic Hollywood hottie, but it turns out his ready-for-anything attitude helped Seth make a name for himself as a famous funnyman. 

"If I genuinely think it’s funny, there is a good chance I’ll do it," he says.

That's the spirit!

(AP)

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Alyssa Milano: Hurt

Before "The Twilight Saga," Alyssa Milano inspired her own cult following for 1995 film "Embrace of the Vampire" for all the wrong reasons. 

Fresh out of her wholesome "Who's the Boss?" days, fans were a little too excited to see Tony Danza's daughter show her lady parts. 

(New Line Home Video)

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Maggie Gyllenhaal: Helped

The usually modest actress stripped down for her role in dark comedy "Secretary" in 2002, making her a household name and leading to three other movie roles that year alone.

(Lions Gate)

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Uma Thurman: Hurt

Sure, 1988's "Dangerous Liaisons" was nominated for multiple awards, and Uma's small (and sometimes undressed) role was somewhat memorable. But after a promising career including an Oscar nomination for "Pulp Fiction" and a starring role in the "Kill Bill" series, her star power has faded and she has stepped back into supporting roles, which leaves us to wonder just how far looking good naked can get you.

(AP)

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Jason Segel: Helped

There's nothing like getting your heart broken while you're naked. Jason's character found that out the hard way in "Forgetting Sarah Mashall," but the career boost proved to be worth it as he went on to make audiences laugh in "I Love You, Man," and found continued success with his television series, "How I Met Your Mother."

(Universal Studios)

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Nicole Kidman: Hurt

In Stanley Kubrick's 1999 sexual thriller "Eyes Wide Shut," Nicole Kidman played opposite her then husband Tom Cruise for some very risque scenes.

The film heightened rumors about Tom's sexuality and proved not to be great for Nicole's career or her marriage, which ended in divorce two years later. 

(Reuters)

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Anne Hathaway: Hurt

In 2005, Anne went topless and participated in an orgy for the crime drama "Havoc," which went straight to DVD. Ouch.

She didn't bare her body for the camera again until 2010's "Love & Other Drugs," which went more smoothly, minus her creepy director.

"We had finished shooting all the nudity, and my wonderful director said, 'You know what guys, you've been through a lot together, and before you put your clothes on'... - he goes, 'I was wondering if I could strip down and get into bed with you and we will all take a picture together," Anne told an Australian radio program. "And then Ed said, 'Don't worry these are just for my personal abuse and no one's ever going to see them' and like young fools we believed him."

That's actually the photo that was used to advertise "Love."

"So the lesson of that is when a director says 'let's get naked - trust me no one will know' don't believe him because now that image is the poster of the film with him removed," Anne laughed.

Ha?

(AP)

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Rosario Dawson in Alexander

Rosario Dawson: Helped

Rosario stripped down with Colin Farrell as Roxane in "Alexander" in 2004. (How else do you compete with Angelina Jolie?)

She snagged her famous role in the film adaptation of musical "Rent" not long after. 

(Warner Home Video)

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Celebrity nude scenes: Did they help or hurt their careers?

Reese Witherspoon stripped down and went on to win an Oscar. Elizabeth Berkley? Not so lucky.

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