Jessica Chastain doesn’t care for nudity in American films, and we get it


Nudity in film has become a staple for, mainly, females but Jessica Chastain isn’t here for it. Particularly in American films.

Jessica Chastain is not afraid to raise her voice in Hollywood. From tying her salary to Octavia Spencer to her continual use of her platform to speak out for women, Chastain is someone we want on our side.

In a recent interview with Vulture, Chastain discussed another problem with Hollywood: female nudity. Chastain has appeared in some racy productions herself, including the production of Salomé that she starred in opposite of Al Pacino. This weekend, select moviegoers can see a double feature of the film with Pacino’s behind-the-scenes documentary Wilde Salomé. While speaking with Vulture, Chastain remembered the project and how it offered a positive form of female sexual expression; something the actress feels is missing in American movie experiences.

Chastain expressed that when it comes to nudity in American movies, it doesn’t seem to be what the character wants. To her, it is a way of victimization. This makes sense unfortunately. So often in American films, we focus our energy on the idea of nudity as a means to a “sexual” setting.

As Chastain points out, it sends a message to the audience that isn’t exactly something we should strive for.

"It trains an audience that exploiting someone in their body should be normal for nudity, when I think the opposite."

Chastain adds that the nature of the nudity and sexuality makes a difference. Anyone could be naked in a movie. But more often than not, American cinema uses it as a way to make someone vulnerable. She compares this to European storytelling, where nudity offers a positive breakthrough for a character, as her character had in Salomé. It is telling that there needs to be a shift for American movies going forward.

Chastain explained to Vulture how it was her choice to dance nude in Salomé, and the key word here is choice.

"From the very beginning, like when I first came on to the play, I was never told it was something I had to do. The more I researched and read about the other versions of the play, I learned about how scandalous it was, I read about Sarah Bernhardt, and I read a book called Sisters of Salomé which talked about what it meant to dance naked. What is that power? What is that freedom? Even the idea of the Salem witch trials, when you think of the young girls dancing naked… what is so scary to society about that kind of female sexual freedom. I realized that there’s power in that to harness, so learning all of that stuff actually made me feel it was important for the character that there was nudity."

Next: Jessica Chastain’s reaction to Johnny Depp is on-point

Chastain is one of the best actresses we have around, for this and so much more. It is incredible to see her continually fighting for actresses and expressing what they need and want in film today.