Keira Knightley Won’t Do Sex Scenes or Nudity With Male Directors

Keira Knightley is a British actress who has received acclaim for her versatility, and her willingness to appear in both independent and big-budget productions. Knightley first rose to fame as a teenager, and over the years, she has built a career that is the envy of many in Hollywood.

While Knightley keeps her personal life under wraps, she is outspoken when it comes to women’s empowerment causes. In a recent interview, Knightley opened up, revealing the relatable reason why she refuses to do nude scenes for male directors. 

Keira Knightley attends the UK Premiere of "Colette" and BFI Patrons gala during the 62nd BFI London Film Festival on October 11, 2018 in London, England.
Keira Knightley | Getty Images

How did Keira Knightley become famous?

Knightley was born in London in 1985. Raised as the daughter of theatre actors, Knightley was exposed to the world of the performing arts at a very early age. She determined to follow in her parents’ footsteps, and by the time she was six years old, she had her own agent.

Around the same time, Knightley began booking roles in television shows and commercials, as well as some stage productions.

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In 1999, Knightley got her first big break in Hollywood when she appeared in the blockbuster film Star Wars: Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace. Playing the body double of Natalie Portman, Knightley’s dialogue was dubbed over by Portman, but she still managed to make an impression.

Over the next several years, Knightley appeared in a handful of other movies, including Princess of Thieves, Bend It Like Beckham, and The Hole. Bend It Like Beckham cemented Knightley’s status as a young up and coming star, and the success of the film led to the actress landing her most high-profile role to date. 

What is Keira Knightley best known for?

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In 2003, Knightley appeared in the big-budget film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. As Elizabeth Swann, Knightley was much more than a lovely damsel in distress — only 17 at the time, the young actress got the chance to get right in on the action, sparring with swords and running from ghostly pirates.

The role catapulted Knightley to worldwide celebrity, and she went on to appear in several other films in the hugely popular franchise.

In the years that followed Knightley’s rapid ascent to fame, she appeared in other popular movies like Pride & Prejudice, King Arthur, Love Actually, and Atonement. Knightley demonstrated her range by acting in independent movies as well, and by 2014, she was one of the biggest female movie stars in the world. 

Keira Knightley refuses to do sex scenes for male directors

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Knightley has been involved in several steamy sex scenes on camera, including one in Atonement where she remained fully clothed.

In 2019, Knightley appeared in the film The Aftermath, which also featured a sex scene. However, for that film, Knightley later revealed that she used a body double for the nude scene.

“On this film there was a body double, so this wasn’t me. I was totally comfortable with doing nudity when I was younger, but post-child? Hey, I am really happy with the body. It did exactly what it needed to do, it grew her, I birthed her, I fed her,” Knightley stated. 

In a recent podcast, reports BestLife, Knightley stated that she doesn’t envision herself ever getting naked on camera. “It’s partly vanity, it’s partly, also, the male gaze,” the actress stated, admitting that “I don’t have an absolute ban, but I kind of do with men…Because I’m too vain and the body has had two children now, and I’d rather not stand in front of a group of men naked.”