21 Actors Who Did Full-Frontal Nude Scenes — & Why

Designed by Seung Won Chun.
Outlaw King, Netflix's bloodiest (and beardiest) movie of the year, has landed and quickly garnered a lot of attention. While on the film's press tour, though, actor Chris Pine saw an opportunity to address the fact that there is still a huge double standard when it comes to nudity on screen (of which there is some in Outlaw King). If you show a woman’s breasts, no one will bat an eyelid; but if there’s a penis involved — there tends to be a dramatically different response.
The actor bares it all for less than three seconds as Robert the Bruce in David Mackenzie’s epic about the Scottish Wars for Independence, and yet that fleeting moment has dominated the conversation around the film. Chris! Pine! Peen! Chris Peen!
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Still, it’s worth delving a little deeper into why we care so much. Part of the reason male full frontal gets so much attention is because it’s so rare, especially for A-list actors. Men rarely get asked to show the full monty. It’s seen as extreme, something that will earn the film an extra strict rating from the MPAA. Where a naked woman might earn an R, a naked man might be considered NC-17 — as with Steve McQueen’s 2012 movie Shame, which showed Michael Fassbender’s character walking around his apartment naked.
And then there’s also the fact that it’s Chris Pine. A Hollywood Chris, member of the most wholesome, affable, universally loved tribe in Hollywood! Naked!
Still, he’s not the first dude to strip for posterity. Ahead, we rounded up some of the most memorable full-frontal scenes by male actors — and why they decided to do it.
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Chris Pine

Sighting: Outlaw King (2018)

Despite the oversized media attention directed at Chris Pine’s full frontal scene in Netflix’s Outlaw King, it’s actually surprisingly brief: a mere 12 frames as Robert the Bruce (Pine) emerges from a lake (loch?). The actor has been surprised by, and mildly disapproving of, the reactions to his decision to bare it all.

Why he did it: “In exploring this kind of man who is to be called king and treated like a king, I thought it was important to see the king and the animal, the man and the animal – that his feet are in the mud,” Pine told Mirror. “That he is both violent and primitive and bestial, but also something else. So I thought to see the human de-clothed and as his animal self is really important.”
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Michael Fassbender

Sighting: Shame (2012)

I saw Shame with my roommate, and we showed up at the theatre tipsy on white wine, convinced we were in for a Fassbender Nc-17 treat. We were very, very wrong. Well, not about the nudity, that’s definitely a thing. But Steve McQueen’s film is a dark, almost oppressive depiction of mental health and sex addiction. As Brandon, Fassbender does get naked — a lot — but it’s not the fun kind. Take it from me, Shame is not a white wine drunk kind of movie.

Why he did it: “It just baffles me: Women can parade around naked all the time, but the guy conveniently has his pants on,” Fassbender told Vulture in 2011. “I remember my mom always complaining about that to me, saying, “This is such bullshit, it’s always the women who are naked” … so I did this one for you, Mom!
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3 of 19
Richard Gere

Sighting: American Gigolo (1980)

Richard Gere changed the game when he appeared fully nude in the 1980 film about a male sex worker. No major Hollywood actor had ever freed the penis onscreen before, and his performance as Julian Kaye established Gere as a A-list sex symbol. (Fun fact: Gere stepped in after John Travolta, who was originally supposed to star in Paul Schrader’s film, dropped out.)

Why he did it: "If I recall, [the nudity] wasn't in the script," Gere told Entertainment Weekly in 2012. "It was just in the natural process of making the movie."
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Ewan McGregor

Sighting: Trainspotting (1996), The Pillow Book (1996), Velvet Goldmine (1998), Young Adam (2003)

Ewan McGregor is the MVP of male full-frontal nudity. His penis enjoys the kind of fame most actors can only aspire to.

Why he did it: "Being naked is something that happens in either end of the day for me, and if you're lucky, somewhere in the middle as well," McGregor told E! in 2012. "And I don't understand why it's an issue. I don't take my clothes off in movies because I want to flash my body around. I took my clothes off for movies because I'm an actor."
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Bruce Willis

Sighting: Colour of Night (1994)

Some full-frontal scenes are titillating. This one, in which psychiatrist Bill Capa (Willis) has sex with his patient Rose (Jane March) in a pool, is not. The mere seconds-long shot of Willis’ willis (I’m sorry, but come on!) occurs when the camera follows Rose going underwater, only to be greeted with...a floating penis. Surprise!

Why he did it: Good question!
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Harvey Keitel

Sighting: The Piano (1991), Bad Lieutenant (1992)

Here’s the thing. Harvey Keitel apparently doesn’t believe he’s ever done nude scenes. As reported by Flavorwire, the actor once responded to a query about this by saying “I’ve never done a nude scene.”

And if you, like me, were all “Huh? But what about those two movies where we saw your peen?” well, read on. “An actor tells a story the way his conscience dictates is best to tell it,” he said. “Actors do not do nude scenes. They play events in the story. Whether they’re dressed or undressed is up to their conscience and their artistic sense. I want to be clear about this point. Is it clear that I’m not actually doing nude scenes?”

Why he did it: It’s not him. It’s the character.
7 of 19
Ben Affleck

Sighting: Gone Girl (2014)

Gone Girl is synonymous with Ben Affleck’s penis. Or more specifically, its elusiveness. We heard it was there, we knew it was there, and yet, most of us missed it in theatres. Vulture went so far as to put together a brief guide as to how best to view it. The split-second moment is hazy, like a dream you know you had but can’t quite remember. A legend.

How he feels about it: “I want to take this opportunity to thank David for the way he treated me,” Affleck said in his 2014 speech at the Hollywood Film Awards. “In particular, we had a shower scene in the movie. And David assured me, because trust is essential with directors and actors: ‘Listen, if we tilt down we will never go far enough to see anything.’ So thank you David. And I’d like to thank you for keeping the set cool. Because if you are gonna have one chance for America to see your junk you want it to be cold. It’s a real gift.”
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8 of 19
Kevin Bacon

Sighting: Wild Things (1998)

Much like Chris Pine, Kevin Bacon was unprepared for the reaction to his full-frontal nudity in guilty pleasure thriller Wild Things. The moment in question happens as Detective Duquette (Bacon) exits the shower, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the plot. And yet, ask someone about that movie, and it’s probably the first thing they’ll mention — well, after the threesome in the pool. (To be fair though, Kevin’s bacon has been on screen so many times since that he’s in on the joke.)

How he feels about it: “My problem with nudity though — I did a movie called Wild Things, it was full-frontal nudity,” he told Business Insider in 2017. “And I didn't have a problem with it, because it's a scene getting out of the shower and it was just that kind of movie. What I did have a problem with was the fact that when I went to promote the movie — and even to this day — that's all I talk about. So it kind of ended up being, I don't know, just kind of boring to me as a topic of conversation."
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Diego Luna & Gael García Bernal

Sighting: Y Tu Mamá También (2001)

Real life friends Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal do everything together. They produce movies together, they selfie together, and they very memorably got naked in Y Tu Mamá También together. That’s true brotherhood.

Why they did it: Because they love us, obviously.
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Jason Segel

Sighting: Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

Jason Segel bears it all within the first five minutes of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, as his character Peter Bretter decides to surprise his actress girlfriend by standing naked in their apartment, shaking his dick. But Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell) isn’t here to be seduced. Instead, she breaks up with him, leaving Peter literally hanging.

Why he did it: There was a creative idea behind it; it wasn’t just for shock value,” Segel told Vulture in 2015. I wanted it to be the most humiliating breakup of all time. When I was writing it, I thought to myself, ‘The problem with romantic comedies is, you know what’s going to happen. The guy on the poster is going to end up with the girl on the poster. But if I open this movie with something you cannot believe you’re seeing, you’re sort of forced to go into a different attitude. You don’t know what’s going to happen in this movie.’”
11 of 19
Ken Jeong

Sighting: The Hangover (2009)

Jeong made his memorable debut as Mr. Chow in The Hangover when he jumped out of the trunk of a car fully nude. In hindsight, it’s a complicated scene to grapple with. On the one hand, it’s played for laughs, fuelling countless of jokes about Asian men throughout the films that followed. But on the other, it’s important moment for representation, as men of Asian descent are rarely given the opportunity to be sexual onscreen.

Why he did it: “I just kind of wanted to shock everybody,” Jeong told Kathy Lee Gifford in 2017, adding that “The Hangover gave me a career.”
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Jude Law

Sighting: The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), Dom Hemingway (2013)

Jude Law was a scene stealer as playboy rich kid Dickie Greenleaf, but never more so than when he bared it all during a bathtub game of chess. More recently, the actor stripped down in Dom Hemingway for a pretty explicit opening scene.

Why he did it: “We hurtled through the whole of this film, and I kind of figured that the best way to start was to make sure the crew knew who and what Dom was,” Law told E!, adding, “I strolled onto set, nothing on, and started that particular soliloquy.”
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Peter Sarsgaard

Sighting: Kinsey (2004)

Some actors don’t like to talk about their nude scenes (case-in-point: Harvey Keitel), but Peter Sarsgaard is not one of them. The actor, who dropped his drawers as bisexual graduate student Clyde in Kinsey, wields nudity a dramatic weapon. In the scene in question, Clyde and Dr. Alfred Kinsey (Liam Neeson) are on a business trip when the former strips down as an open invitation. (Later in the film, Clyde also sleeps with Kinsey’s wife, Clara.)

Why he did it: “It makes so much sense that I would not only be nude but just be nude a second too long,” he told The Advocate in 2005. “It doesn’t mean I’m hitting on him, but if I just do it a second too long, I can check and see [if Kinsey is interested]. I liked that it would have a dramatic meaning, that it would be active nudity.”
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Heath Ledger

Sighting: Brokeback Mountain (2005), I’m Not There (2007)

Whether or not you’ll see Heath Ledger’s penis in Brokeback Mountain depends on which cut you’re watching. Director Ang Lee reportedly almost cut the actor’s full-frontal moment — which happens when Ennis (Ledger) and Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal, using a stunt double) go for a swim — from the final film, but then paparazzi pictures teasing the scene leaked, and he decided to leave it in the Australian and European versions of the film.

Why he did it: I won’t link to the pictures here, but they are very easy to find on Google dot com.
15 of 19
Tom Cruise

Sighting: All The Right Moves (1983)

It all happens very quickly, but if you pause at just the right time during the love scene between football star Stefan (Cruise) and Lise (Lea Thompson), you’ll see it. And if you don’t believe me, just ask Kate Hudson. She’s a big fan.

Why he did it: Cruise wasn’t supposed to be naked in this movie, but he pushed for it after he realised that co-star Thompson was uncomfortable with the two nude scenes she was being asked to do. Thompson described the incident to Indiewire back in June: “He said, ‘Well, if she has to be naked, I’ll be naked, too,’ That’s pretty badass! I’ve always been grateful to him for standing up to the producers.”
16 of 19
Mark Wahlberg

Sighting: Boogie Nights (1997)

Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg) talks a lot about his dick in Boogie Nights, and though we don’t get to see the real deal until the end of the film, it is memorable. Wahlberg wore a prosthetic for the full-frontal scene, and though it wasn’t actually 13 inches (they tried that and it looked monstrous), the plaster mold (complete with a merkin matching Wahlberg’s hair colour) is still something to behold.

Why he did it: Speaking to Grantland for their 16,000 word oral history of the Paul Thomas Anderson film, director of photography Robert Elswit said: “What Mark Wahlberg did in that movie was all sorts of things that he had to absolutely commit to. He had to put a prosthetic cock on his own cock, you know what I mean? That’s asking an awful lot of an actor, honestly.”
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Adam Scott & Jason Schwartzman

Sighting: The Overnight (2015)

These two get simultaneous billing — you can’t really talk about one without mentioning the other. The big reveal happens during a family playdate, but don’t worry, the kids are asleep by then. Scott and Schwartzman’s characters are by the pool, when suddenly, they are joined by their striking prosthetics. Schwartzman's is humongous. Scott’s is not.

Why he did it: Scott told GQ that, laughs aside, the nudity was important in order to understand his character, who is revealed to have a micro-penis. “I think for the character in the movie it’s an obstruction to his entire life,” the actor said. “It’s damaged his self-image. It’s a really hard thing. Dick jokes are the first jokes you learn. And they’re funny your entire life.”
18 of 19
James McAvoy

Sighting: The Last King of Scotland (2006)

James McAvoy may be able to read minds as Professor X , but you know what, I don’t need to be a mutant to know what he looks like naked, because he left absolutely nothing to the imagination when he got out of bed in The Last King of Scotland.

How he feels about it: “Yeah, I like to get naked. I like being naked, I like being naked on stage, more than I like being naked on film,” the actor said in 2006. "Naked on film is not that fun, but naked on stage is really quite freeing. On stage there's nowhere to hide, you're completely vulnerable. When you're completely vulnerable, it can't get any worse, can it?"
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Ralph Fiennes

Sighting: A Bigger Splash (2016)

Before Call Me By Your Name, director Luca Guadagnino made a film called A Bigger Splash, starring Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Dakota Johnson, and Matthias Schoenaerts. There are many reasons to see it (it’s stunning, and Ralph Fiennes dances to Emotional Rescue by The Rolling Stones), but one of them is definitely Harry’s (Fiennes) habit of forgetting to wear pants. It’s an equal opportunity nudity movie — Johnson, who plays Harry’s daughter, also goes full frontal. Still, Fiennes just steals the show by his sheer number of naked appearances.

How he feels about it: Asked whether or not he found the prospect of appearing nude on screen “daunting,” Fiennes said: “Not really.”
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