Jessica Chastain Has 'No Issues with Nudity' But Is 'Bothered' By How It's Used in Hollywood
"I have no issues with nudity, especially in a lot of European cinema that I adore, but I find that in American cinema, the idea of nudity has always bothered me," she said.
Jessica Chastain is opening up about stripping down.
The Molly’s Game actress, 41, spoke about what she says are major differences in the way nudity is depicted in American and European films during a recent interview with Vulture.
“I have no issues with nudity, especially in a lot of European cinema that I adore, but I find that in American cinema, the idea of nudity has always bothered me,” she told the outlet.
“I realized why: For me, I’m uncomfortable with nudity when it feels like it’s not the person’s decision to be naked, when it’s something that has been put upon them,” she explained.
“In a way, I see that as like a victimization. It trains an audience that exploiting someone in their body should be normal for nudity, when I think the opposite. When people are completely in control of their decisions, that is a really exciting thing. I love the human form — male nudity, female nudity, I’m all about it,” she added.
Back in 2006, before she was a famous Oscar nominee, Chastain starred alongside Al Pacino in a theater production of Oscar Wilde’s Salomé. A filmed version of the play, along with a behind-the-scenes documentary, is just now hitting theaters.
In the play, Chastain’s character Salomé performs a dance that has traditionally involved nudity. “I had to get to that place where, for me, it was my decision,” the actress said of recreating the scene.
“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,” she explained.
“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,” she continued. “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.”
The documentary Wild Salomé and the feature film version of the play will premiere for the first time in the U.S. on March 30.