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Actors And Actresses That Used Body Doubles For Nude Scenes

If someone offered you a million dollars to get naked on camera, would you do it? What if someone was already paying you a million dollars to be on camera anyway, but still asked you to show some skin? Kinda takes the motivation away, doesn't it? Thus, it might not surprise you to learn that many celebs refuse to do nudity in films, for a variety of reasons.

How, then, do directors go about bringing the (sometimes intimate) images in their heads to life? Call it moviemaking magic... or, to be more specific, using body doubles. Body doubles have been utilized in cinematic productions for centuries, dating back to the silent film era. Their highly intriguing careers hold many Hollywood secrets, and although they aren't exclusively used to showcase their nethers, a good bit of their work revolves around stripping down so the A-lister they resemble doesn't have to. Here are a few famous actors and actresses that used body doubles for nude scenes.

Having no shame

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last decade, you're no doubt aware of Game of Thrones' inclination for nudity. HBO's smash series was unapologetically abundant in its topless scenes, and several stars, including Emilia Clarke, Natalie Dormer, and Rose Leslie, actually did bare it all during their time in Westeros.

However, Lena Headey, who plays the show's villainous Cersei Lannister, opted to use a body double for the notorious sequence in which her character must atone for her sins by walking nude throughout the streets of King's Landing. The actress who stood in for Headey, Rebecca Van Cleave, spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the process of tag-teaming the tough scene. "Lena was so good about walking beside me and guiding me into what Cersei was thinking and the movements... We were playing tag team — 'You're it!' — and trying to make light of the fact we're all covered in everything and going through this together."

Although over 1,000 actresses auditioned to be Headey's double, the Emmy nominee reportedly had no say in who got the role. "I was like, 'Listen guys, she happens to have a beautiful body, but I don't do casting... If somebody is brave enough to do this, I applaud it." A queen's approval, indeed.

A stage five body double

Although her first official acting credit came in 1993, Isla Fisher's big break came some 12 years later in the 2005 comedy blockbuster Wedding Crashers. In the film, Fisher holds her own alongside stars Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, at times stealing the show as the obsessive nymphomaniac Gloria Cleary.

In one of the film's raunchier moments, Vaughn's Jeremy wakes up with his hands tied above his head and a naked Gloria on top of him. Although it's hard to tell the difference, the woman in the scene is actually not Fisher, but one of her body doubles. 

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Fisher admitted that not only did she have a breast double for that scene, but also a butt double and even a hand double for a particularly promiscuous under-the-table scene. As she argued, if you see a character's breast, she's no longer funny. "You see her as someone sexual rather than as someone funny. I lost that argument with the producers... I amped up the reality of my character even more. I thought, to combat the fact that you're going to see her boobs, I have to make her even more extreme for us to still get a laugh." Mission accomplished.

Butt doubles with benefits

Is it possible to have consistent casual sex with someone without falling in love? That's the major question behind 2011's Friends With Benefits, which stars Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake doing their best to get it on without long-lasting attachment. Spoiler alert: it doesn't work.

Obviously, a premise like this is going to include some intimate scenes, and the rom-com didn't shy away from delivering. While Timberlake reportedly had no problem baring his rear end on camera, Kunis opted to use a double for some scenes. Although she did show a little skin throughout the flick, the scene that exposes her character's full bottom is actually a butt double.

When speaking to Ryan Seacrest on his radio show (via the Hollywood Reporter), the That '70s Show veteran jokingly explained her decision. "I showed side-boob, and I figured I can't just give away everything all at once... I gotta let it all out in little pieces here and there."

Mike and Dave need body doubles

2016's Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, which was loosely based on a real-life story, seemingly had a lot going for it on paper. Perhaps its most promising facet was its talented core ensemble of Zac Efron, Adam Devine, Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza. However, after a particularly poor box office outing to go along with abysmal reviews, it's safe to say that this misfire needed more than a strong cast to hit paydirt.

That's not to say that the comedy didn't have at least a few laughs, however. In one particularly funny scene, Kendrick's Alice and Sugar Lyn Beard's Jeanie take ecstasy, causing them to strip naked and free a stable of horses. While Beard bared it all, Kendrick actually used a butt double for the scene.

When speaking with E! News, Kendrick opened up about the surreal process of picking your own double. "When you choose a butt double they're like, 'Is there anything you want?' As though they were going to scour the nation for the perfect ass you described and then they showed me three pictures and were like, 'This is the only one that could be you. This is the only one that isn't seven feet tall.'" Size definitely matters in the body double industry.

Having her cake and eating it too

Keira Knightley is no stranger to nudity. For reference, the British beauty appeared topless in both The Duchess and The Edge of Love back in 2008. When speaking to Allure in 2012, Knightley explained that although she doesn't mind going nude, she does have her limits. "I'm quite rigorous about what gets exposed... No bottom half!"

However, the Oscar-nominated star changed her personal policy after becoming a mother in 2015, opting to instead use body doubles in any future naked scenes. "That was a choice... I get to choose the body double... I have been comfortable earlier with more nudity than I am now. I have had a kid, I am in my thirties, I am very happy with my body. But I don't feel I need to get it out that much any more."

When 2019's post-WWII drama The Aftermath called for a nude scene with co-star Alexander Skarsgård, Knightley stood firm on her decision. In fact, she quite enjoyed the process. "They (filmmakers) were like, 'What kind of body do you want?' I go, 'Wow, I'll have that one!'... She was very nice, and they (body double and Skarsgård) apparently had a lovely time, and I got to not take my clothes off and eat cake on the other side of the room!" Sometimes you get to have your cake and eat it too.

Too young to streak

2004's The Girl Next Door was perhaps a tad ahead of its time. Starring a young Elisha Cuthbert and even younger Emile Hirsch, the risque rom-com has developed quite a cult following since its theatrical release. Cuthbert, who went on to be crowned Maxim's Most Beautiful Woman on Television in 2012, recalls that the film especially resonated with a certain demographic. "I remember I had a lot of real porn stars tell me I was like their Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman."

Although Cuthbert was the film's true marketing draw, you could argue that Hirsch was the breakout star as crushing high schooler Matthew Kidman. It was his first major motion picture, and the then-17-year-old didn't want to hold back anything... even his own unclothed backside. However, in an interview with IGN, the Into the Wild actor recalled that he wasn't allowed to shoot the scene during which his character streaks the streets of his neighborhood for legal reasons. "I was 17 so they had to use a body double, but I would have gotten naked or whatever." That's one brave teenager!

Eastbound & double-down

Katy Mixon, who played Kenny Powers' lifelong love April Buchanon in HBO's Eastbound & Down, has an undeniably flattering figure, and one of the most prominent bits in the show's first season is how infatuated Danny McBride's Powers is with April's breasts. It's at times difficult to determine if he actually likes April or if he simply likes her body.

At the end of the first season, Kenny finally gets a chance to reignite things with his old flame, and while getting hot and heavy in a car, April treats him (and the audience) to a look at the source of Kenny's fixation. Although it may seem difficult to argue that it isn't Mixon in the shot, the Mike & Molly actress has gone on record to declare that she doesn't disrobe on camera. "I just can't do nudity... I'll act my face off, but I can't show the boobs. Not with my daddy watching everything I do."

In the same Vanity Fair interview, Mixon admitted that she used a breast double in that Eastbound & Down scene. "When they [Danny McBride and Jody Hill] told me about the nude scene, I was like, 'Well boys, I guess we're going to have to go with a body double, aren't we?'" Way to make daddy proud, Katy.

Body of an Immortal

After 2008's Oscar-winning hit Slumdog Millionaire, Freida Pinto's career should've really caught fire. The Indian actor played Latika in the film, and although it was her first time in a movie, she knocked her performance out of the park, even earning a BAFTA nomination. However, Pinto really stayed under the radar, only starring in a handful of studio productions throughout the past decade. One of these projects was 2011's mythological action thriller Immortals.

In the film, Pinto played Phaedra, a visionary oracle who assists Henry Cavill's Theseus in obtaining a legendary weapon to save humanity. At one point, Theseus and Phaedra become intimate, resulting in a tasteful shot of the oracle's bare buttocks. However, it isn't actually Pinto's derriere that the audience gets a peek at.

Speaking with SheKnows, Pinto dished about her experience on set, mentioning that the love scene was actually the first thing she had to shoot. Although it was understandably a nerve-wracking experience, it wasn't one she had to tackle alone. "I had a body double... It was someone else who was going to be really nervous instead of me." See, even the ancient Greeks used body doubles sometimes.

Sexy stand-ins

Saying that the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey has a lot of sex scenes is kind of like saying that Avengers: Endgame has a lot of superhero fights — it's basically the main thing audiences wanted to see in the movie. Thus, it should be no great shock that Fifty Shades was going to have a lot of nudity. The film's leads, Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, were up to the task of playing Anastasia and Christian, but they weren't without some assistance in the bedroom.

Reportedly, Dornan utilized Canadian model and actor Peter James Gray to double for him in erotic sequences that didn't require him showing his face. Gray's IMDb page further confirms that he was a stand-in for Dornan in the film.

Johnson, on the other hand, showcased her own body throughout the film, with one notable exception. She reportedly has tattoos in places that would contradict the innocence of her character, so they brought in a stand-in for close ups of Ana's rear end. In an interview with the New York Times, Fifty Shades cinematographer Seamus McGarvey confirmed the casting. "We did have a butt double for Dakota. I had the pleasure of casting a nontattooed bottom — Surreal Scenario No. 2."

The King in the North's doppelganger

As Jon Snow, the "bastard of Winterfell" on HBO's Game of Thrones, Kit Harington became a household name. He used Thrones as the primary vehicle driving his fame, building a massive fanbase and being consistently ogled for his rugged good looks. He married his co-star, Rose Leslie, in 2018, and he's still widely considered one of the most attractive men in Hollywood.

Thus, some might find it disappointing to learn that when Jon Snow showed his bare rear end in a romantic cave scene in Season 3, it wasn't actually Harington's cheeks on camera. In an interview with GQ, the Pompeii star admitted that he had injured himself six weeks prior to shooting, so he had to use a butt double for the scene. "When it came down to it I had a broken ankle... so the only time you saw my ass, it wasn't my ass."

If this news makes you unhappy, fear not: Harington did eventually show his real rear end in Season 7, when he and Emilia Clarke's Daenerys Targaryen got it on.

Mandy isn't mooning anyone

Once upon a time, Mandy Moore was America's Pop Sweetheart, a late '90s musical sensation behind hits like "Candy" and "I Wanna Be with You." In the early 2000s, Moore transitioned from pop star to movie star by starring in films like A Walk to Remember and How to Deal. In 2004's Chasing Liberty, Moore played the President's daughter, Anna Foster, as she escapes her security detail to explore Europe with Matthew Goode's Ben.

In one scene, Anna, feeling free for the first time in her life, goes skinny-dipping in a river in Prague. Although Anna's butt can be seen during this sequence, Moore told Mark Steins of Entertainment Tonight (via PopDirt) that it was a body double. "I'm a modest girl. No one has seen my butt besides me behind closed doors."

In the DVD's commentary, Moore further confirmed that the skinny-dipping scene was performed by a body double and not her. "I picked my own butt double. I think everyone at this point knows that... I didn't want to show the bum, but that river was so disgusting and so unhygienic, I was afraid something was gonna swim into my body that wasn't meant to be there." Sounds like a good call.