Keira Knightley will no longer shoot sex scenes under the direction of men

Actor expressed she feels 'extremely uncomfortable'

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Hollywood star Keira Knightley has expressed discomfort in shooting intimate scenes in the presence of male directors. In a recent conversation with film-maker Lulu Wang and writer-producer Diane Solway on the Chanel Connects podcast, Knightley blamed the “male gaze” and her own personal vanity for her decision.

“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 film-maker,” Knightley said. “I don’t have an absolute ban, but I kind of do with men.”

She continued, “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.”

She then reinstated that she feels “very uncomfortable” trying to portray the male gaze. “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.’”

Knightly went on to say that she requests filmmakers to take somebody else for such scenes, because she’s “too vain” and her body has had two children now. “I’d just rather not stand in front of a group of men naked.”

“We all empathise with men hugely 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’ve got this wealth of art and film and theatre and TV from your point of view.’”

Knightley has previously opened up about clashes with male directors and launched a broadside against male colleagues in a 2018 essay, reported The Guardian.

Her 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, in protest at its sexism. Her upcoming film is Silent Night, a Christmas comedy co-starring Matthew Goode, Annabelle Wallis and directed by first-timer Camille Griffin.

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