Keira Knightley: I won’t shoot any more s-x scenes directed by men

Keira Knightley: I will no longer shoot sex scenes directed by men


The actress says she feels very uncomfortable trying to portray the male gaze and says she is “too vain” to shoot intimate scenes

Keira Knightley has expressed her discomfort with shooting intimate scenes, saying she won’t do it anymore if the film is directed by a man.

During a conversation with director Lulu Wang and writer-producer Diane Solway on the Chanel Connects podcast, Knightley attributed the decision to “male gaze” and her own personal vanity.

“If I was doing a story about this journey of motherhood and body acceptance, I feel like, I’m sorry, but it would have to be with a female director,” Knightley said. “I don’t have an absolute ban, but I kind of do with the men.”

She continued, “I don’t want it to be those horrible sex scenes where you’re all greased up and everyone’s grumbling. I’m not interested in doing that.

“I feel very uncomfortable now trying to portray the male gaze. Saying that, there are times when I’m like, ‘Yeah, I totally see where that sx would be really good in this movie and you just need someone to look sexy.’

“So you can use someone else, because I’m too vain and the body has had two kids now and I’d just rather not stand in front of a bunch of n-ked men.”

“We all have a tremendous amount of empathy with men because culturally their experience is so explored. We know so many aspects of even male sexuality. But we don’t feel like men can say, “Yes, I understand what you’re talking about because I have this wealth of art, film, theater and television from your point of view.”

Knightley has spoken of clashes with male directors in the past, launching a campaign against male colleagues in a 2018 essay:

“They tell me what it’s like to be a woman. Be nice, support her, be pretty but not too pretty, be thin but not too thin, be sexy but not too sexy, successful but not too much. … But I don’t want to flirt and mother them, flirt and mother them, flirt and mother them. I don’t want to flirt with you because I don’t want to fuck you, and I don’t want to mother you because I’m not your mother. … I just want to work, man. Are you OK ? Speak and be heard, speak and listen. Male ego. Stop embarrassing yourself.

She also talked about the impossible position that some women are left in unless they act either flirty or kindergarten. “Before motherhood you’re hot but if we’re talking about the whole vagina separation thing then it’s terrifying; there’s no sx there so what we do is going into the virgin-mother renovation is nice and safe. The problem with these two images is that I think very few women actually identify with them. Women are supposed to play flirty or mother to make hear their voice. I can’t. It makes me sick.

Knightley’s most recent role was in Philippa Lowthorpe’s Misbehaviour, in which she played an activist who stormed the stage at the 1970 Miss World ceremony to protest her sexism. Her next film is Silent Night, a Christmas comedy starring Matthew Goode, Annabelle Wallis and directed by first time Camille Griffin.

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