“Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke made headlines this week when she expressed her distaste for steamy love scenes, telling an interviewer, “Sex scenes should be more subtle. I’m British, so I cringe at that sort of thing anyway — I can’t stand it.”
But while others ponder the oddity of it all, TheWrap wants to reassure Clarke that she’s in good company — plenty of actresses who’ve pooh-poohed onscreen nudity and sex scenes have nonetheless stripped down to nothing but a forced happy-face to get the job done. Way to take one for the team, ladies!
Below, TheWrap presents the 11 Best Sex Scenes by Actresses Who Hate Sex Scenes.
Former “Weeds” star Parker complained about a nude bathtub scene on the Showtime series, huffing, “I didn’t think I needed to be naked… I fought with the director about it, and now I am bitter.” That bitterness didn’t prevent Parker’s character Nancy Botwin from graphically hooking up with any number of men on the series. We’ll pick her passionate skin-slapping session in a bar with Mark-Paul Gosselaar, because, hey, it’s Mark-Paul.
Witherspoon has said that the three-way scene in her film “Wild” caused her to “panic” and “took up a tremendous amount of fear in my mind … Sometimes I was just terrified.” Witherspoon was able to put the panic and fear aside convincingly enough to earn an Oscar nomination for the 2014 film.
“Titanic” actress Winslet has said of doing nude scenes, “I hate it! I just get on it. I just go in and say ‘Oh f*ck’ let’s do it,’ and boom.” Many viewers had a similarly explosive reaction to her full-frontal, splashy encounter with Harvey Keitel in “Holy Smoke.”
A sex scene with James Franco, uncomfortable? So said former “High School Musical” star Vanessa Hudgens, who said that after filming an erotic sequence with Franco, “I told my agent that I never want to do it again.” But Nessie, baby, we’ll always have “Spring Breakers.”
“It’s hard to have a sex scene, period. It doesn’t matter if it’s a friend, a male, a female,” Kunis has said. “You’re with 100-something crew members, lighting you, repositioning you, there’s no comfort whatsoever.” Which does nothing to detract from the fact that her erotic get-together with Natalie Portman was the best thing about the 2010 ballet thriller “Black Swan.”
”Love scenes are awful. Let’s just say that. They’re always awkward,” Mendes has said. But plenty of viewers were comfortable with her probing display of sexuality in the 2007 film “We Own the Night.”
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux
The two stars of “Blue Is the Warmest Colour” had plenty to say about their 10-minute sex scene in the film, most of it along the lines of, “For us, it’s very embarrassing.” For others, the only complaint was that it could have run a little longer.
40 Actresses in Their 40s Who Are Still Conquering Hollywood (Photos)
Celebrate the leading ladies of Hollywood who are still killing it in their 40s.
Amy Adams (1974) Academy Award-nominated Amy Adams is best known for roles in Disney's "Enchanted" and "Arrival."
Kerry Washington (1977) Kerry Washington broke out in films like "Ray" and Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained," but really came into her own on the small screen, picking up Emmy nominations for her work in Shonda Rhimes' "Scandal" and for playing Anita Hill in the HBO film "Confirmation." In 2020, she starred with Reese Witherspoon in "Little Fires Everywhere."
Zoe Saldana (1978) Zoe Saldana is best known for starring in the science fiction franchises "Avatar," "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Star Trek."
Reese Witherspoon (1976) A star since her teenage years, Witherspoon has expanded her profile with the Draper James fashion and home line as well as producing projects (that she often also acts in) such as "Wild" and HBO's "Big Little Lies."
Jennifer Hudson (1981) The "Dreamgirls" star became the 17th entertainer to earn the rare EGOT honor — Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony — in 2022 for producing the play "A Strange Loop."
Rose Byrne (1979) The Australian actress can do drama (the series "Damages") or comedy ("Bridesmaids," "Neighbors" and "Physical"). In 2020, she even played Gloria Steinem in the limited series "Mrs. America."
Angelina Jolie (1975) Academy Award-winning Angelina Jolie has starred in "Girl, Interrupted," "Maleficent" and "Mr. & Mrs. Smith." She has also written and directed several films, including "Unbroken" and "First They Killed My Father."
Eva Longoria (1975) Besides starring on "The Young and the Restless" and "Desperate Housewives," Eva Longoria launched her own production company, UnbeliEVAble Entertainment, in 2016.
Penélope Cruz (1974) The Oscar-winning actress has graced screens in films such as "Belle Époque," "Sahara," and "Murder on the Orient Express." She received her fourth Oscar nomination for her role in 2021's "Parallel Mothers."
Jessica Alba (1981) As a Golden Globe nominated actress, Alba has tackled everything from "Fantastic Four" to "Sin City" to "LA's Finest."
Jessica Chastain (1977) Jessica Chastain, who won the Best Actress Oscar for "The Eyes of Tammy Faye" (and nabbed previous nominations for "Help" and "Zero Dark Thirty," made her film debut in 2008's "Jolene" and has gone on to star in "Miss Sloane," "Molly's Game" and "IT: Chapter Two."
Stephanie Beatriz (1981) Her debut as Detective Rosa Diaz in "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" earned Beatriz the role of Carla in the hit musical film "In the Heights."
Charlize Theron (1975) From "Mad Max: Fury Road" to "Long Shot," this Academy Award-winning actress can do it all.
Natalie Portman (1981) The "V for Vendetta" star received an Academy Award for her performance in "Black Swan." She also starred as Jane Foster in "Thor" and "Thor: The Dark World," and hoists the hammer herself in "Thor: Love and Thunder."
Sutton Foster (1975) After winning two Tony awards for her work on the Broadway stage, Sutton Foster broke into Hollywood through her leading debut in "Younger."
Kate Hudson (1979) After her Golden Globe winning performance in "Almost Famous," the actress and Fabletics founder has starred in "Bride Wars," "Music" and Rian Johnson's "Glass Onion."
Alicia Silverstone (1976) The "Clueless" star has also starred in "Batman & Robin" and "Miss Match," along with publishing two vegan cookbooks.
Michelle Williams (1980) The "Dawson's Creek" actress has starred in "Brokeback Mountain," "The Greatest Showman" and "My Week with Marilyn." She's been nominated for four Oscars and won an Emmy for playing dancer Gwen Verdon in "Fosse/Verdon."
Bryce Dallas Howard (1981) Besides costarring in the massive "Jurassic World" films, she has also directed episodes of "The Manadalorian" and "The Book of Boba Fett." She is also making her directorial feature film debut with "The Flight of the Navigator."
Amy Schumer (1980) Comedian Amy Schumer is best known for her roles in "Trainwreck," "I Feel Pretty," and "Snatched," and co-hosting the 2022 Oscars.
Uzo Aduba (1981) Best known for her Emmy-winning role as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren on "Orange Is the New Black," Aduba also won an Emmy for playing Shirley Chisholm in "Mrs. America." SHe currently stars in the HBO drama "In Treatment."
Chrissy Metz (1980) For her role as Kate in "This Is Us," Chrissy Metz has earned nominations for two Golden Globe Awards and an Emmy.
Carrie Coon (1981) Carrie Coon is best known for "Gone Girl," "The Leftovers," "The Gilded Age," and "Ghostbusters: Afterlife."
Isla Fisher (1976) The Australian actress, who broke out in "The Wedding Crashers," stars in and executive produces the Peacock series "Wolf Like Me."
Kirsten Dunst (1982) The star of "Bring It On," "Spider-Man" and several Sofia Coppola films was finally nominated for an Oscar for her performance in "The Power of the Dog." In 2016, she received an Emmy nomination for her role on "Fargo."
Kate Winslet (1975) The Oscar-winning "Titanic" star earned two Emmys (for the HBO mini-series "Mildred Pierece" and, more recently, for her her role as a dogged smalltown detective in 2021's "Mare of Easttown"). She's been nominated for seven Oscars.
Rebel Wilson (1980) The Australian actress is best known for "Pitch Perfect," "How to Be Single," and her leading roles in "Isn't It Romantic" and "Senior Year."
Constance Wu (1982) The star of "Crazy Rich Asians" and ABC's "Fresh Off the Boat" also starred opposite Jennifer Lopez in "Hustlers."
Tiffany Haddish (1979) The comedic star of "Girls Trip," "Tuca & Bertie" and "The Afterparty" has also proven herself adept at drama in films like Paul Schrader's "The Card Counter."
Christina Ricci (1980) The former child star who made her mark in the '90s with "The Addams Family" and "Now and Then" went on to costar in "Monster," "The Matrix Resurrections" and earned an Emmy nomination for her 2006 guest turn on "Grey's Anatomy." And she terrifies us, in the best way possible, as Misty on "Yellowjackets."
Melanie Lynskey (1977) Between "Yellowjackets" and "Candy," this New Zealand actress is killing it. It's about time the "Heavenly Creatures" star got the acclaim she deserves.
Rebecca Hall (1982) This British actress, who we loved in "The Town" and "The Night House" and topped critics' lists with her harrowing performance in 2016's "Christine," made her directorial debut in 2021 with the acclaimed period drama "Passing."
Ruth Negga (1982) The Ethiopian-born Irish actress was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar and won an Independent Spirit Award for her role in "Loving," and received universal praise — and a BAFTA nomination — for her performance opposite Tessa Thompson in 2021's "Passing."
Keri Russell (1976) The former "Felicity" star made a very convincing spy on "The Americans," which earned her three Emmy nominations. She also costarred in the films "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2017.
Jenny Slate (1982) The actress co-created, wrote and produced the children's short film and book series "Marcel the Shell With Shoes On," which became an A24 feature film. She also charmed us in "Gifted" with Chris Evans and "I Want You Back," and won numerous critics awards for her lead role in 2014's "Obvious Child."
Natasha Lyonne (1979) The "American Pie" star scored a hit with the Netflix series "Russian Doll," which she co-created with Amy Poehler. She is also the showrunner.
Maggie Gyllenhaal (1977) After receiving a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for the 2009 film "Crazy Heart, in 2021 she made her directorial film debut with "The Lost Daughter," which earned Oscar nominations for her screenplay, as well as acting nods for stars Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley.
Rosario Dawson (1979) The actress who made her acting debut in the 1995 indie drama "Kids" has gone on to star in "Sin City" and five Marvel/Netflix series including "Daredevil." She's also set to star as Ahsoka Tano in the live-action Disney+ series, “Ahsoka.”
Natsha Rothwell (1980)
The actress, who plays Kelli on HBO's "Insecure" was also nominated as a supervising producer on the series. Her other TV shows include "The White Lotus" and "Archer."
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From Amy Adams to Reese Witherspoon, these actresses aren’t letting four-plus decades slow down their career
Celebrate the leading ladies of Hollywood who are still killing it in their 40s.