'Uneasy' Keira Knightley rules out sex scenes directed by men

Craig Simpson
·2-min read
Keira Knightley in The Edge of Love
Keira Knightley in The Edge of Love

Keira Knightley has said she will no longer film sex scenes with male directors as it makes her feel "very uncomfortable".

The Pirates of the Caribbean and Atonement star has performed intimate scenes in the past but began to reconsider them after becoming a mother.

Knightley has now revealed that she will only shoot similar scenes in future if they are directed by a woman.

The actress, who has often demanded no nudity clauses in her film contracts, said she would no longer feel at ease performing action devised and directed by men. "I feel very uncomfortable now trying to portray the male gaze," the married mother-of-two revealed.

"If I was making a story that was about that journey of motherhood and body exception I feel like ... that would have to be with a female film-maker.

"I don't have an absolute ban, but I kind of do with men. 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."

In the past Knightley has cited her library sex scene with James McAvoy in Atonement as the best she has experienced, despite the scene being under the control of a male director. She said Joe Wright's meticulous preparation made the sequence comfortable.

Becoming a mother made her reconsider the merits of love scenes, and she now prefers body doubles to take her place for on-screen nudity.

"It's partly vanity and also it's the male gaze," she told the Chanel Connects podcast. "Saying that, 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'. So therefore you can use somebody else, because I'm too vain and the body has had two children now and I'd just rather not stand in front of a group of men naked."

The actress did say she was willing to explore projects which portray the impact of motherhood on the body.