CGI plays a huge part in the movie business these days – how else would we conjure up fiery dragons and de-wrinkle our beloved veteran stars? Luckily, though, there are some things that never change: that is, actresses exposing themselves for, uh, “artistic” reasons. Now there’s something that can’t be ruined by computers, right? It’s not like an actress can pretend to go nude, is it? If they’re naked on the screen, then they’re naked in real life, aren’t they? And, I mean, you can always tell if it’s a body double, because that never really looks right…
1) Olivia Wilde – The Change-Up
One of the weirdest things about some of the actresses who opt for the CGI nudity route is that they’ve done real nude scenes in other movies. Such is the case with Olivia Wilde, who decided that Alpha Dog was a movie deserving of her naked form, but The Change-Up wasn’t. To be totally fair, none of those movies deserved to have Wilde nude in them, because they were both awful and they deserve to be erased from existence. Maybe that’s why she “changed” her mind for The Change-Up in the first place, eh? (haha).
The downright strangest thing about this particular case of computer-based nudity, though, is how specific it was: Olivia Wilde was happy to expose herself, all except for her nipples, which were added in during post-production. Again, I hate to cite a familiar argument, but what’s the point, you know? Especially when – as in this case – you really can’t tell the difference between the fake and the computer-generated. I mean, if it’s for peace of mind or something, I guess I understand. But at the same I don’t understand at all. What gives, Olivia?
2) Lindsay Lohan – Machete
Speaking of highly specific instances of CGI fakery, renegade movie star Lindsay Lohan also decided to do “an Olivia Wilde” when she appeared in Machete, a movie that is all violence, nudity and explosions (mostly it’s breasts, though). Although the world at large would probably be quick to condemn poor Lohan as “somebody who would definitely get naked on film, because she’s that kind of girl,” the world would – in this case – be totally wrong. Yes, Lindsay Lohan has got way more class than we’d all likely give her credit for. Sort of.
If you’ve seen Machete, you’ll know that there’s a moment in the movie where Lindsay exposes herself completely: she’s making out with Danny Trejo in a tropical-themed swimming pool with another woman and everything. But this – I’m afraid to say – was achieved using a well-placed body double. Later on in the movie, Lohan opted for CGI to obsure her naked self, too, so all of those shots where you thought you were seeing the actress in the buff? Just a bunch of pixels and stuff. Now it’s just, uh, weird, eh?
3) Angelia Jolie – Beowulf
Despite the fact that Robert Zemeckis’ Beowulf is a movie comprised entirely of CGI, the director opted to use the likenesses of his voice actors when it came to designing the characters. So that means that the character voiced by Angelina Jolie in the movie looks exactly like Angelia Jolie. Which explains why everybody in the cinema totally freaked out when her character, Grendel’s Mother, appeared naked. I mean, that’s Jolie’s body, right?!
Please assemble your feelings of disappointment now. Despite the fact that the movie’s gold-painted, nude body was attached to a CGI-rendered Jolie head, it didn’t belong to Angelina, and was not actually Zemeckis’ secret way of giving us a good ol’ look at one of the world’s hottest actresses. The lower half of Grendel’s Mother was based on that of swimsuit model Rachael Bernstein. So, that’s still hot, I guess, but it certainly ain’t Angelina.
4) Mila Kunis – Forgetting Sarah Marshall
This is one of those “blink or you’ll miss it” moments that likely stayed with you long after Forgetting Sarah Marshall was over, because… did you just get to see the beautiful Mila Kunis exposing herself via a drunk photograph, even if it was on for, like, a second? Although this little moment is about as brief as they come, it successfully managed to excite pretty much everyone who suddenly found themselves staring upon it in a state of perpetual shock (happy shock, that is).
Well, Mila Kunis is cool, but she’s not that cool, apparently, because our good old buddy CGI was used to transpose Miss Kunis’ head onto another person’s body, which means that what we’re actually looking at/aweing over here is some strange, twisted double-woman hybrid – a Frankenstein’s monster of attractive lady parts, if you will. I probably could have gone without describing it like that, of course, but you know how it is.
5) Natalie Portman – Your Highness
The only good thing about the disastrously unfunny medieval comedy flick Your Highness was that it had Natalie Portman going about being semi-nude in it. And although the actress was nice enough to expose herself by way of a fantasy bikini thing that would give even Princess Leia a run for her money, I’m afraid that the infamous money shot – you know, the one where Portman dives into the lake – was achieved using a body double.
Sadly, the actress was all like, “I’m gonna want somebody that isn’t me for this part,” although perhaps not for the prudish reasons that you imagined: apparently the water was just too cold, and she didn’t want to have to dive in. Okay? Is that a legitimate excuse? Lifestyles of the rich and famous, huh? Anyway, there’s still a lot of Portman on show for real throughout this movie, though I’m sure she regrets ever being in it, given that it’s one of the worst comedies ever made. Even for a glimpse of Natalie, it’s really not worth your time.
6) Helena Bontham Carter – Fight Club
As was the case with that extremely brief moment of Mila Kunis-based nudity in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, here’s another moment that all you DVD pausers out there are probably already familiar with (you’re secret safe with me). Yes, for one single solitary second of David Fincher’s sensational Fight Club, there’s a quick shot of what appears to be Helena Bontham Carter having sex with Brad Pitt. And what’s that we can see if we remove this image from the quick-cutting montage its contained within? She’s naked?!
Although the first person who discovered this probably thought that they’d stumbled upon the greatest hidden nude scene in the history of cinematic endeavour, I can reveal to you now that this moment was crafted entirely using computer-generated imagery. Don’t worry, though, it’s not like David Fincher did this without Helena Bonham Carter’s permission or anything – she was cool with it. That’s not even Brad Pitt on bottom, either, by the way. For late ’90s CGI, I think this looks pretty good, though. You know: from a technical perspective.
7) Mila Kunis – Friends With Benefits
Look who is it again: Mila Kunis, teasing us with her physical, uh… “energy” – this time in rom-com Friends With Benefits, which attempted to shed a candid light on the mating customs of twenty-somethings in 2012. Kunis starred in the movie with Justin Timberlake, of course, an actor whom she had to pretend to have sex with. Poor guy. And though Kunis was happy to (in her own words) “show some side-boob,” she wasn’t prepared to show us anything else. Have some respect, won’t you?
So that moment where you thought your glimpsed her butt was, sadly, achieved using a body double. Kunis has stated on a couple of occassions that she intends to reveal herself slowly over the course of her career, although she was being kind of flippant when she did so. In this case, though, the actress said: “You get one or the other. You don’t get both,” referring to her chest and breasts. Have you ever stopped to consider we might not want both, Mila? I mean, we totally do, but c’mon.
8) Jessica Alba – Machete
Oh God, no: seriously?! Believe it or not, that one special moment where you thought Jessica Alba gave you the chance to glimpse her uncovered form in Machete was pure trickery! Fact is, Alba has stated on a number of occassions that she will never go fully nude on camera, because she’s uncomfortable with her own body. “I will never do a nude scene in a movie – not ever,” she said. “I can act sexy and I can wear sexy clothes but I can’t go naked.” Hear that strange, frustrated noise? That’s the sound of a billion men freaking out all at once.
Anyway, that now infamous shower moment in Robert Rodriguez’s Mexploitation flick Machete was achieved by way of CGI. Alba wore undergarments whilst filming the scene and they were removed in post-production by the luckiest guy in Hollywood. Thing is, unless you actually research this, how would you know that Alba hadn’t stripped down for real? There’s no way to tell. Which ultimately begs the question: what’s the point? Wouldn’t the results have been the same if she’d opted to do this one nude? Now leave me to my crude rationalising.