Recently, Game of Thrones star, Emilia Clarke opened up on “terrifying” nude scenes for the hit show. The good news now, is that she became more assertive, and turning down such requests.
At the time of casting, Clarke was only 23 but she’s still being criticised for complaining about the role that made her career skyrocket. However, it was note-worthy that Clarke was not upset about the role itself. She was referring to the fact that the series was chock full of nude scenes.
Of course, this was Game of Thrones, where female nudity was deemed “integral”. Admittedly, Clarke agreed to do such scenes, as did co-star Maisie Williams, who was portrayed as a child in the show.
Nude scenes are loaded with pressure: first, wanting the job; then wanting to be perceived as a team player. All laudable, but it shouldn’t involve taking your clothes off.
The good news is that the issue is now being addressed with a new set of guidelines, from Directors UK, for the British film and TV industry. Meant as a resource for “grey areas”, bringing the UK into line with changes in Hollywood, Directors UK’s 96 recommendations involve everything from whether nude scenes are necessary to stopping nude auditions, via providing on-set support.
All of which is commendable, but shouldn’t audiences also change their attitudes? As it is, certain men weirdly seem to presume that they have a right to see women naked. Guys, calm down – you bought a television subscription or a cinema ticket, not a VIP seat at a lap-dancing show.
Let’s face it, most nude scenes are gratuitous – even when integral to the story, nudity could usually be suggested without anyone actually being naked. Yet here we are, two years since #MeToo, and actresses are still not only having to strip but being denounced for hating doing it. While on-screen nudity is a choice, and some are fine about it, too many others feel uncomfortable and obliged.
Perhaps the new guidelines will help people such as Emilia Clarke in the simplest, most effective way possible – making it a damn sight more difficult to justify asking them to get undressed in the first place.