Hollywood star Keira Knightley has spoken out about filming intimate scenes. She says she will no longer shoot any sex scenes if the film is directed by a man.

She was on the Chanel Connects podcast with director Lulu Wang and writer-producer Diane Solway. Knightley says “male gaze” and her own vanity is behind the decision.

“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 film-maker. I don’t have an absolute ban, but I kind of do with men,” she explains.

 “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,” Knightley adds.

“I feel very uncomfortable now trying to portray the male gaze. 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.”

Keira insists: “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.”

“We all empathise with men hugely because, culturally, their experience is so explored. We know so many aspects of even male sexuality. But we don’t feel like men can say, ‘Yes, I understand what you’re talking about because I’ve got this wealth of art and film and theatre and TV from your point of view.’”

They Tell Me What It Is To Be A Woman

Knightley previously spoke out about similar subjects in a 2018 essay about male colleagues:

“They tell me what it is to be a woman. 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 fuck 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.”

Keira also talked about the changes in the way you’re perceived before and after having children:  “Before motherhood, you’re sexy, but if we talk about the whole vagina-splitting thing then that’s terrifying; there’s no sex there, so what we do is go into the virgin-mother retrofit, that’s nice and safe. The problem with those two images is I think very few women actually identify with them. Women are meant to play the flirt or the mother in order to get their voice heard. I can’t. It makes me feel sick.”

Do you agree with Keira?

Image via Alamy