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Keira Knightley opens up about why she won't do nude scenes for male filmmakers

"I'd just rather not stand in front of a group of men naked."
/ Source: TODAY

Keira Knightley says she's done shooting sex scenes for male directors.

The Oscar-nominated actor, 35, opened up during a recent appearance on the "Chanel Connects" podcast about why she's no longer interested in being the subject of "the male gaze."

Keira Knightley poses for photographers at the UK Premiere of "Colette" in London in October 2018.Mike Marsland / WireImage

"I feel like, if I was making a story that was about that journey of motherhood and body (acceptance), I feel like, I'm sorry, but that would have to be with a female filmmaker," Knightley said during a conversation with director Lulu Wang and writer Diane Solway.

"I don't have an absolute ban, but I kind of do with men," she continued. "I don't want it to be ... those horrible sex scenes where you're all greased up and everybody is grunting. I'm not interested in doing that."

Since becoming a mom, the "Love Actually" star has refused to do nude scenes, although she said she'd consider baring her body if the right part came along.

Knightley with husband James Righton in 2019. The couple are parents to two young daughters.Stephane Cardinale / Getty Images

"If it was about motherhood, literally about how extraordinary that body is, about how suddenly you’re looking at this body that you’ve got to know and is your own and it’s seen in this completely different way and it’s changed in ways that are unfathomable to you before you become a mother, then yeah, I’d totally be up for kind of exploring that with a woman who would understand that," she said.

"But I feel very uncomfortable now trying to portray the male gaze," added Knightley, who welcomed daughters Edie, 5, and Delilah, 1, with her husband, musician James Righton, 37.

Still, Knightley concedes that a passionate love scene can spice up a film.

"There’s times where I go, yeah, I completely see why this sex scene would be really good in this film, and you basically just need somebody to look hot," she said.

"So, therefore you can use somebody else," she added. "Because I’m too vain, and the body has had two children now, and I’d just rather not stand in front of a group of men naked."

The British-born actor, who rose to fame in her teens, said growing older has made her feel more comfortable advocating for herself on movie sets.

"When I was younger, I just did what I was told, and if I felt uncomfortable with it, then I went, 'Oh, I feel uncomfortable, but I don’t have a voice here' ... and as I’ve got older, I’m much more vocal if I feel it doesn't make sense," she said.

Knightley has repeatedly spoken out about the objectification she’s faced in Hollywood.

In 2019, on the “Feminists Don’t Wear Pink” podcast, she claimed that her 2002 film “Bend It Like Beckham" was originally pitched as a “sexy (soccer) film” with “girls in shorts.”

She also recalled being followed by paparazzi after the premiere of “King Arthur” in 2004.

“There were 10 men outside my door screaming at me and they didn’t leave for about the next four years,” she said. “Suddenly it was all about whatever boyfriend I might have or might not have, how thin I was or how thin I wasn’t, or what my lips were like or had I had plastic surgery.”