Keira Knightley 'not interested' in doing sex scenes directed by male filmmakers

Ruth Kinane
·2 min read

Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

Keira Knightley is speaking out about her attitude towards shooting intimate scenes directed by men.

During an appearance on the Chanel Connects podcast, the actress spoke with director Lulu Wang and writer-producer Diane Solway about her decision to no longer participate in sex scenes if they're helmed by a male filmmaker. "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 filmmaker," said Knightley. "I don't have an absolute ban, but I kind of do with men." She added, "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."

The actress went on to share how uncomfortable she feels portraying scenes of these nature when they're coming from the point of view of the male gaze, but conceded that when a sex scene seems necessary, she'll opt for a body double. "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," she said by way of explanation.

This isn't the first time Knightley has spoken about her interactions with male directors. In a 2018 essay she wrote about the impossible standards often expected of women by men. "They tell me what it is to be a woman," she wrote. "Be nice, be supportive, be pretty but not too pretty, be thin but not too thin, be sexy but not too sexy, be successful but not too successful. … But I don't want to flirt and mother them, flirt and mother, flirt and mother. I don't want to flirt with you because I don't want to f--- you, and I don't want to mother you because I am not your mother. … I just want to work, mate. Is that OK? Talk and be heard, be talked to and listen. Male ego. Stop getting in the way."

Knightley can next be seen in Christmas comedy Silent Night alongside Matthew Goode, Annabelle Wallis and directed by Camille Griffin.

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