Don't blame screenwriter James Ivory for Call Me By Your Name's lack of full-frontal male nudity

By Dave Quinn
March 28, 2018 01:33 PM

A month after making history as the oldest person to win an Oscar at 89 for adapting the gay coming-of-age romance, the openly gay screenwriter has blasted his own film for not going the distance with its stars Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet.

In a recent interview with The Guardian, Ivory — who was originally attached to direct Call Me By Your Name before stepping down to solely be its screenwriter — slammed director Luca Guadagnino for the lack of male genitalia in the movie.

James Ivory at the Academy Awards
| Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

When people are wandering around before or after making love, and they’re decorously covered with sheets, it’s always seemed phony to me,” Ivory said, using his 1987 film, Maurice, as an example. “I never liked doing that. And I don’t do it, as you know.”

“[In Maurice], the two guys have had sex and they get up and you certainly see everything there is to be seen,” Ivory continued. “To me, that’s a more natural way of doing things than to hide them, or to do what Luca did, which is to pan the camera out of the window toward some trees. Well …”

Ivory went on to claim that his original screenplay specified Hammer and Chalamet’s characters, Oliver and Elio, would be shown fully naked. He said that detail was cut due to clauses in the actors’ contracts.

Armie Hammer and Timotheé Chalamet in Call Me By Your Nam
| Credit: Sony

Guadagnino has heard Ivory’s gripes about this in the past. In October, the 46-year-old Italian filmmaker responded to previous criticism from Ivory on the subject, telling The Independent, “I am the least prudish director you can meet.”

I’ve been very precise in using the female and male body on screen to convey all kind of emotions,” he said. “I thought that the display of nudity in this specific movie was absolutely irrelevant and I understand that for James it would have been relevant but that is his vision, what is clear is that we had no limitations on what we wanted to do.”

Luca Guadagnino
| Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AFI

RELATED VIDEO: Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet Discuss Their Characters’ Love in ‘Call Me By Your Name’

But in his chat with The Guardian on Tuesday, Ivory clapped back at that.

“When Luca says he never thought of putting nudity in, that is totally untrue,” Ivory said. “He sat in this very room where I am sitting now, talking about how he would do it, so when he says that it was a conscious aesthetic decision not to – well, that’s just b——-.”

“There was a few times where they had to go back and digitally remove my balls from the movie,” The Social Network star, 31, admitted. “They were short shorts — what are you gonna do?”