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Jamie Lee Curtis Explains Why She Was 'Embarrassed' By Her Nude Scene In Trading Places

Jamie Lee Curtis is a force to be reckoned with, both on screen as one of the most iconic Scream Queens in history and off. She has become quite the figure in Hollywood, but back near the beginning of her career she was still trying to prove herself in the industry. This may have led her to being more open to doing that famous nude scene in Trading Places, and she now has opened up to why she was “embarrassed” about the scene opposite Dan Aykroyd.

She may act opposite Dan Aykroyd in her Trading Places nude scene, but Jamie Lee Curtis might as well be the star of the movie in those few moments. She looks amazing, and her screen presence is undeniable.

In an interview with People, Jamie Lee Curtis explains that she knows she looks good and she entered the scene fully aware of what it entailed, but that having done the nude scene was the source of much embarrassment for the actress. Here’s what she says, exactly:

I was 21 years old and the part required Ophelia to take off her dress. Did I like doing it? No. Did I feel embarrassed that I was doing it? Yes. Did I look OK? Yeah. Did I know what I was doing? Yeah. Did I like it? No. Was I doing it because it was the job? Yes.

I think it’s completely relatable to feel embarrassed over something that happened at a young age like 21. The difference is, though, that most of us don’t have our embarrassing moments cemented in history forever in a well-known film opposite some seriously big names in Hollywood, like Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy. I see Facebook memories from ten years ago that bring on some major cringes, and I’m the only one who sees them. I can’t imagine basically having my nudes mainstreamed to the entire world, even if I looked as amazing as Jamie Lee.

In the same interview, Jamie Lee Curtis admits that there’s no chance she would be doing a nude scene at this point in her career. She references that she’s in a completely different stage of her life now, saying:

I wouldn't do it today, it's the last thing in the world I would do now. I also am married for 37 years, I wasn't married then. I'm a mother of children. Absolutely not.

Kids or no kids, if someone isn’t comfortable being nude on camera, they shouldn’t need to. The reality is, though, that the willingness to be nude on screen can be the deciding factor of an actress (or, in some cases, actor) getting a part. For a newer actress, this could make or break a career. For someone who has had a lengthy and successful Hollywood career, though, Jamie Lee Curtis could basically refuse anything a part entails with not much consequence. 

While she certainly wouldn’t be the first established, older actress to go nude on screen (Meryl Streep just went nude for Don’t Look Up, with a twist), the point is that she has no desire to do so. It sounds like Jamie Lee Curtis had enough of it in her younger years, with Trading Places not being the extent of her experience going nude in front of the camera. We see nudity from her in a number of films, along with films like True Lies with Arnold Schwarzenegger having her in very little clothing, much to Schwarzenegger’s dismay

Luckily, Jamie Lee Curtis won’t need to go out of her comfort zone, or clothes, if she doesn’t want to. It doesn’t sound like we’ll be seeing any Trading Places nostalgia anytime soon, but that doesn’t apply to her Halloween franchise. Halloween Ends is one of the highly anticipated upcoming films of 2022, and will have Curtis saying goodbye to a role she has held for 4 decades. We can expect the film to hit theaters this October 14th, just in time for its titular holiday. 

Carlie Hoke
Carlie Hoke

Constantly thinking about books, coffee, and the existential dread I feel from Bo Burnham’s Inside.  While writing I’m also raising a chaotic toddler, who may or may not have picked up personality traits from watching one too many episodes of Trailer Park Boys.