Peruse these movies with real sex scenes – for method-acting research
A wise philosopher once said, “Don’t do anything half-assed, do it full-assed.” Sometimes in cinema that literally happens. Unsimulated sex, or when real sex happens in a mainstream movie, occurs more often than you would think. Sometimes it’s a creative decision by the director and sometimes it’s out of necessity.
Like any action performed on camera, preparing, rehearsing, and getting into character can be a long & arduous process. Even some of the best actors can’t fake it, so why not do it for real? Here are some unsimulated sex scenes in movies that you might not know about.
Self love counts right? Before his renaissance, before Twilight was released, Robert Pattinson played artist Salvador Dali in Little Ashes. Focusing on the artist’s early years and sexual identity, the film captures the sexual angst and relationship with gay writer Fedrico Garcia Lorca (Javier Beltran).
In the scene in question, Pattinson’s character masturbates while thinking about gay sex. Pattinson explained that the choice was a necessary one rather than a creative one. He told Interview in 2013, despite masturbating in his trailer before the scene was shot, it was hard to carry that reaction over into the next take. “[Faking it] just doesn’t work. So I pleasured myself in front of the camera.”
While the film was a flop and Dali’s paintings certainly capture the artist’s essence better, there’s something to be said for an artist going the extra mile for his art. As Pattinson put it, “My orgasm is recorded for eternity.”
Instead of auditioning for Nymphomaniac, Shia LaBeouf sent director Lars von Trier a dick pic. That obviously didn’t stop the eccentric actor from starring in the film. By this time, von Trier used real sex in his films twice before. But before you get too excited, the Danish director prefers using porn doubles for those scenes rather than his lead actors.
Despite this, Nymphomaniac features quite a bit of nudity from its star-packed cast, which includes Christian Slater, Uma Thurman, Connie Nielson, Willem Dafoe, Jamie Bell and Stellan Skarsgård. Like its title suggests, the film follows a sex addict recounting her escapades in order to heal from a sexual assault.
Before directing scenes where Emma Stone & Olivia Coleman pleasure each other in The Favorite, Director Yorgos Lanthimos made Dogtooth. A Greek family drama focusing on dysfunction & trauma, Lanthimos has stood by the need to use real sex acts in order to convey just how maladjusted this family is.
Breaking all kinds of familiar boundaries, a factory owner & father pays a female security guard to have sex with his son. When he refuses, the guard convinces one of his other daughters to perform oral sex on her. This eventually leads to incest between two sisters, because nothing is off limits in this family apparently.
Instead of using the sex scene to spice up the film, Lanthimos uses it showcase just how disturbed this family is. Void of eroticism, Dogtooth proves un-simulated sex can be used as a narrative and tonal tool.
Another Lars von Trier film, Antichrist combines sex & horror to tell the story of a couple reeling from the death of their child. Psychologically thrilling, the film examines where the mind can go when in grief… but in a very disturbing and sexual way.
Filled with horrific visions and Willem Dafoe’s penis, Antichrist features some of the most horrifying events that can take place during sex. For example, doing it in the woods might seem exciting, but make sure there are no demon hands hiding in the trees before you have sex against the trunk.
One of the many steamy films to get popular during the pandemic, Love’s very real threesome scene took a lot of viewers by surprise. You see pretty much everything and the film doesn’t shy away from letting you know you’re watching unsimulated sex. Starring Aomi Muyock and Karl Glusman (future Catwoman Zoë Kravitz‘s husband), the film recounts the sex act that tore a couple apart.
The Brown Bunny
The misconception that you can’t have a career after a nude or sex scene is false. Indie darling Chloë Sevigny may have made big in Big Love, American Horror Story, and We Are Who We Are but her real launch into stardom was The Brown Bunny. Written, directed and starring Vincient Gallo, the film tells the story of a young man on a cross-country motorcycle trip still obsessed with his first love.
Dubbed the worst film in the history of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival by Roger Ebert due to this scene, The Brown Bunny doesn’t shy away from drug use, obsession, abuse, sexual assult, and sex acts. The scene that caused much controversy features Sevigny literally and figuratively performing oral on Gallo’s character.
Even if you don’t know anything about the Roman emperor, his name even sounds dirty. His reign started out tame and noble but as historians will tell you, his fondness for sex and torture colored his legacy. 1979’s Caligula, starring acting giants Malcolm McDowell and Dame Helen Mirren would have made its namesake proud, with orgies and depravity galore.
With the founder of Penthouse as a producer, it’s no wonder Caligula is as explicit as it is. More scandalous than sexy, it wouldn’t be too far off to call the film porn with plot. Now considered a cult classic, the film is definitely an exercise of when art and commerce combine.