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It is no longer uncommon, with the amount of cable channels, premium cablers and streaming services we now have access to, to begin watching a show and see lots and lots of jaybird-naked bodies hanging out and doing things. Mostly, of course, all this nudity tends to have a lot to do with sex scenes, but while many actors are clearly OK with the idea of showing off what nature gave them, some, like Anna Kendrick, have decided that it's not for them. In her new HBO Max show, Love Life, Kendrick elected, once again, to forgo all nudity, and she's got some good reasons for that.
We've seen so many actors, both well-known and not so well-known, agree to doff their garments as the cameras roll that's it's actually become a bit surprising when a sex scene doesn't include butts, boobs or other private parts. Anna Kendrick's new series revolves around her character's love life, and while Kendrick's Darby does a lot of getting down with the get down in Love Life, she felt that keeping her clothes on was still the best option. While speaking with The Sydney Morning Herald about it, she said:
My personal feelings on nudity – that I’m not really interested in nudity for me – stayed the same. I’ve never had a problem with simulated sex scenes – that feels like it’s about the character, whereas I only get one body, so nudity is more about me.
I have to admit, while I've watched plenty of nude scenes and had several of questions about why the actors decided to do it, or why it was even written as a nude scene in the first place, it's never really occurred to me to think about it in the way that Anna Kendrick has.
But, it makes a lot of sense to see a sex scene as being about the character, and a nude scene as being more about the actor. After all, if Kendrick did change her mind and take her clothes off for a project, it would be her actual body that we're looking at, no matter how deeply in character she was at that moment.
As you might imagine, Anna Kendrick has been asked about her general take on nudity on-screen before, and why she doesn't want to do it herself, even though she has nothing against actors who are fine with going au naturel. And, her position on the matter is basically the same, seeing as how she noted previously that "a character can be having a sex scene, but my physical parts always feel like mine."
Part of the reason that Anna Kendrick stuck with her stance for Love Life has to deal with the simple fact that the show does focus so heavily on her character's romantic life. Instead of following Darby as she embarks on one life-changing romance, the show is focused on "the journey from first love to last love" and how those early relationships prepare us for the one that lasts. So, Love Life will see Kendrick interact intimately with several different people, and it sounds like the idea of being naked around a new person so frequently was not a plus for her:
When we started filming, it dawned on me that in every single episode I was going to be doing a kissing scene or a sex scene with someone brand new. It was definitely weird to know that we were going to meet and within a week we were going to be in bed pretending to have sex!
It would be strange enough to have to feign intimacy and simulate sex with a person who is mostly a stranger (as other near-strangers watch), but the thought of doing that while being naked just seems like too much. I'm with Anna; this does not feel like the best idea. So, you stick to those never-nude guns, Ms. Kendrick. As long as you're doing what's best for you, you're always on the right track.