Acting is truly an art form. Many believe that in order to completely take on a character, the actors and actresses have to really dive into the mind of their character. This includes doing everything they would do, the way they’d really do it – including what happens in the privacy of their bedrooms.
But while it is just acting, sometimes these racy scenes can be incredibly difficult to do. These actors all had some serious difficulty acting out these incredibly uncomfortable scenes.
The film The Spectacular Now is based on the novel of the same name by Tim Tharp. The story details a hard-partying high school senior whose philosophy on life changes when he meets the not-so-typical “nice girl.” When filming the bedroom scene, Shailene felt an incredible awkwardness and embarrassment; the same way one feels when they’re losing their virginity. Her discomfort translated well into the character.
Kristen Stewart is so well-known for her starring role in the Twilight movie series but Kristen called her famous bedroom scene in Breaking Dawn “agony.” She felt “grotesquely uncomfortable” stating that it was impossible to live up to the expectation because the fans had a specific idea of how this encounter happened. But this sex scene isn’t much different than any other she acted out – she thinks all sex scenes are “contrived”. Sounds like an actress!
Mila Kunis has been in several different types of movies – from comedies like Friends with Benefits to drama’s like Black Swan – so you can leave it to Mila to be real about intimate bedroom scenes. She thinks it is less than glamorous between the giant crew, the attention that you have to pay to lighting, and the detail to maintaining your positioning, Mila says that “there’s no comfort.”
Blake Lively is a seasoned actress so she knows a thing or two about filming a bedroom scene. She even has some experience with awkward love scenes! On the first day of shooting The Town. So, she recounted how strange the entire process was – she said she barely had a moment to shake her costars hand before the cameras were rolling and they had to act like lovers.
Ashton Kutcher is quite the comedian on most days but he is just as self-doubting as the average person would be in such an unusual situation. He admits that he often finds it hard to get out of his own head when it’s time to perform and stop second-guessing everything move he makes. This sounds like most people who have the pressure to perform!
Keira Knightly’s bedroom scene in A Dangerous Method was so risqué she needed help loosening up. In preparation for her scene, Keira took shots of vodka. Nothing like a little liquid courage! She even celebrated this scene being over with some commemorative champagne! It sounds like a lot of people could relate to these kinds of jitters.
Poor Dave Franco – he is very new to this acting thing – he’s already traumatized by the embarrassment of filming a bedroom scene! He said his first time ever filming a sex scene was “nerve-wracking” and super “awkward.” Sounds like Dave is going to have to get used to film crews, lighting and cameras pointed at him!
If you saw Love and Other Drugs, you know Anne Hathaway had to do a whole bunch of bedroom scenes for her role. And she recalls the feeling of repeatedly getting naked in front of an entire film crew and Jake Gyllenhaal as nothing short of mortifying. Aw, it’s OK Anne!
You probably know Dakota Johnson from one of the most sexual films, Fifty Shades of Grey, but the truth is, Dakota was not into the filming those raunchy scenes. She recalls that they were the most vulnerable scenes for her and she would request to have the least amount of people necessary be present while filming.
Jamie Dornan also recalls his Fifty Shades of Grey sex scene experience. He would constantly apologize to Dakota Johnson while filming (particularly during the brutal parts of their movie) when things would get a bit intense. At least he was respectful about is and made sure she knew she wasn’t the only uncomfortable one!
You may know Michelle Rodriguez from her badass role in the Fast and Furious franchise but during the first Fast and Furious movie, she considered walking away from her role. She had serious concerns with the way her character, Letty Ortiz, was written and had to be portrayed. The script had Letty betray her true love Dom and fall for undercover cop Brian — she thought this type of betrayal no sense for a woman who’d clearly prefer alpha male, Dom. She told producers she’d quit the movie if this part remained storyline. It looks like the writers took her advice!
The film titled The Brown Bunny was notable because it featured a real sex scene by a major Hollywood star. Chloë Sevigny was dating real-life boyfriend Vincent Gallo at the time, and he also happened to be her love interest in the movie. Her character performs oral, which caused an absolute uproar among movie-goers. Regardless of this scene being with her boyfriend, she later told Playboy that she will “probably have to go to therapy at some point” because of how this scene made her feel.
The film Basic Instinct is considered to be a classic but it might be more infamous for the scene where Sharon Stone uncrosses her legs. Do you remember that scene? Due to their immense chemistry, there were rumors that this 1992 film was sexually charged behind the scenes as well on set.
Sharon Stone also played a leading role in Basic Instinct alongside Michael Douglass. According to rumors (specifically from the people on the production) Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone were not acting during the steamy scenes! Just goes to show you may never know if they are just good actors or if there is something more personal going on.
Melvin Van Peebles
Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song is a 1971 Americanindependentaction thriller film written, produced, scored, edited, directed by and starring Melvin Van Peebles. Decades after the film premiered, star Melvin Van Peebles confessed that the sex scene was incredibly real in the pioneering blaxploitation film – so real that he contracted gonorrhea during filming. How did he not quit after contracting and STD? That sounds like true dedication!
Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg
Antichrist by Lars von Trier is a horror film that includes a scene of heterosexual intercourse and graphically violent imagery. To make this happen, von Trier called on body doubles for stars Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg for the actual filming, but the copulation between those two body doubles happened to make it look as real as possible.
All About Anna is a Danish film about intimate relationships so it’s chock-full of erotic scenes. There was a public outcry over unsimulated intercourse and masturbation throughout the film so director Jessica Nilsson defended it by saying “without the scenes, the film’s drama would fall apart.” Do you think she’s right?
Guillaume Depardieu and Yekaterina Golubeva
Pola X is a film very loosely based on a Herman Melville novel. Directed by Leos Carax, the movie’s stars had their intimate scenes performed by body doubles. It apparently got too real and intimate for Guillaume Depardieu and Yekaterina Golubeva to move forward themselves. It looks like they both agreed on where they draw the line!
Director Gaspar Noé
Nothing is left to the imagination in director Gaspar Noé’s film, Love. With a title like Love, movie-watchers have to anticipate a film that takes place in bed, with unblinking, extended takes. And you know the director gets up close and personal; how else will he express the deeper mysteries of relationships? Director Gaspar Noé faced a lot of criticism and people had high hopes that he would break boundaries and redefine acting.
In the film Fruits of Passion, the character O is placed in a Chinese brothel to complete her “training.” Although this training isn’t what she expects; she is subjected to various sensual but also very humiliating experiences. But most people who have seen the film recall the scene of unsimulated fellatio.
Lauren Lee Smith
After Lie With Me was released, audiences commented that the action between Lauren Lee Smith and Eric Balfour looked very real – almost too real. And then everyone who was on set admitted that it was. Actress Lauren Lee Smith said, “It’s controversial, but it’s also something everyone will understand. It’s about a woman who is not so comfortable with the emotional side of relationships but is so good with the physical, …side. Taking the role wasn’t about the ‘naked chick’ quality – it’s about showing strong, …women.”
Caligula is called one of the most obscene mainstream movies ever. It was based on the real-life exploits of the notoriously insane and lustful Roman Emperor and featured plenty erotic love, including penetration, fellatio, and more. IMDb stated that the film’s risque content is considered “pornographic in nature, with several hardcore inserts intended to sensually arouse, but really turn out to be quite disturbing.”
Robert Pattinson is very well-known (and loved) for his role alongside Kristen Stewart in the Twilight series, but he is also in the movieLittle Ashes, where he has a solo scene and he is seen pleasuring himself. Pattinson claimed he couldn’t be “faking it,” that just didn’t work, so he really did pleasure himself. Not all actors would commit like that!
The movie Starlet was directed by Sean S. Baker and it contains a single scene of unsimulated connection during a pornographic filming. Dree Hemingway, who played the starring role, used a body double for the infamous love scene but the scene was edited so realistically that you wouldn’t know it was a body double, along with a willing colleague from the adult industry.
Little do The Walking Dead fans know that they could have been devastated in Season three! Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie, contemplated quitting over a stressful scene. After reading the script, she saw Maggie was supposed to perform an emergency c-section. She felt incredibly uncomfortable and took her concerns to co-star Steven Yeun. She was worried it would be too intense. But after additional consideration, she decided to stay and instead drew on her discomfort to deliver an affectingly honest performance.
The Godfather is known as one of the greatest movies of all time. But according to Al Pacino, he felt resistance from studio execs. He later claimed he would have walked off the set if director Francis Ford Coppola hadn’t been so supportive during the Godfather filming. And Pacino is right! Studio execs initially wanted Al Pacino removed from the role.
Al Pacino: Cruising
Another troubled Al Pacino film. Cruising was about a serial killer who targets gay men and the project was widely dismissed for being homophobic. The film’s sets were peppered with phallic symbols and the movie featured murder scenes and actual footage of men having sex. But Al Pacino owned it regardless of widespread criticism.
Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas couldn’t have been done without Jim Carrey as the Grinch. After making it through a very lengthy audition process, Carrey had a particularly hard time in the makeup chair. To become the Grinch, he spent hours a day getting tons of makeup applied to his entire body, and had to wear unbearable contact lenses. What could have helped Carrey get through this without quitting? The studio brought in a military torture adviser to help Carrey cope. There were some days he just couldn’t get himself to wear the contacts but he was able to complete the movie.
Have you noticed that Jessica Alba has not been in any movies lately? Her experience playing Sue “Invisible Woman” Storm in Fantastic Four nearly made her walk away from acting altogether. Alba claimed that director Tim Story issued absurd demands, like telling her to cry with a flat facial expression so she’d stay “pretty.” After 2007’s Rise of the Silver Surfer, she decided to put her effort into her latest venture, The Honest Company.
Brad Pitt has been in so many movies like Thelma and Louise and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, but The Vampire, the adaptation of the bestselling Anne Rice novel, wasn’t the project Pitt thought it was going to be. Years after the movie was completed and released, he admitted he wanted out of the film. During filming, Pitt approached producer David Geffen about buying out his contract but he quickly changed his mind after Geffen said it cost $40 million.
Russell Crowe agreed to star in the film Nottingham even though he felt the story line was flawed. Nottingham was role-reversal on the Robin Hood story, with the Sheriff of Nottingham being the hero instead of Robin Hood. If Crowe was to remain a part of the film, he demanded a complete overhaul of the script, re-titling it Robin Hood. Unfortunately, Robin Hood ended up being one of 2010’s most criticized major movies while costing the production millions more dollars.
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
James Cameron’s 1989 sci-fi flick The Abyss was dark and difficult for everyone on set. But one scene stands out for Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. During the film’s plot, her character’s estranged husband has to administer CPR, and this entailed Mastrantonio being slapped repeatedly and as she lay motionless on the cold, wet floor. This took multiple, intense takes and when they thought they got the shot, a crew member announced that the camera had broken, so they’d have to film the scene all over again. Mastrantonio didn’t know if she could take another round of takes and almost quit.
Starring in Star Wars: The Force Awakens is any actor’s dream. It was one of the most anticipated movies of the century but it was that kind of pressure that almost made Daisy Ridley quit. Ridley had little experience prior to this Star Wars role and she almost quit on the first day after Abrams told her the desert scene felt “wooden.” She had overwhelming self-doubt but was able to stick it out and give a riveting performance of Rey.
Oh, the Harry Potter franchise. While Emma Watson appreciated the career opportunities afforded by her from the Harry Potter films, she gave some serious thought to quitting. Harry Potter is such a huge franchise that the demands of filming and appearances didn’t allow her to pursue anything else. During contract renegotiation for 2006’s Order of the Phoenix, she decided re-sign her contract but admitted feeling relief after Harry Potter was over.
Mike Myers has played so many iconic, hilarious roles, but none really compare to the one he created. After creating the character of Wayne Campbell on Saturday Night Live, there was the Wayne’s World movie. Myers wrote the screenplay, and he included a scene where Wayne and the boys headbang to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” During production, there was talk of replacing “Bohemian Rhapsody” with something cheaper to license. This was a deal breaker for Myers; in his mind, the Queen song was crucial and so “Bohemian Rhapsody” remained.
When Tippi Hedren signed on to 1963’s The Birds, it was written into her contract that she’d only be attacked with mechanical birds. But Alfred Hitchcock, who had a reputation for mistreating actresses, had other plans. He wanted Hedren’s terror to be real, so he told the film crew members to throw real, live birds at her during the most climactic scene. Hedren had a horrible breakdown afterward and a doctor ordered Hitchcock to give her a week off to recuperate from the trauma.
Shelley Duvall offered an incredible performance for her portrayal of Wendy in the 1980 horror classic The Shining. If you have seen the film, you probably vividly remember the scene where Duvall’s hysterical character uses a bat to fend off her deranged husband. Stanley Kubrick, the creator of The Shining, insisted on getting this scene perfect. It took 127 takes. About 100 takes in, Duvall was wrecked and completely dehydrated. She didn’t quit, but the stress took a physical toll; she reportedly began to lose her hair after filming concluded.
Zoe Saldana wasn’t always a well-known actress. Before she landed any leading roles (like Guardians of the Galaxy and Avatar), Saldana was just another struggling actress. It was this struggle that made her consider quitting the film business. When she played the relatively small role of Anamaria in 2003’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, she said she was treated so badly that she almost walked out. She said she was treated as a call number – as a nobody – and it was so demoralizing. Ultimately, she didn’t quit the film and she didn’t quit acting either.