With an increase in male nudity in mainstream cinema and television, actors and crew have been more openly discussing the experience of performing and producing full-frontal male nude scenes in various interviews.

While male nudity had previously been reserved for more indie fare or slapstick comedy gags like Jackass, a desire for authenticity in art and more balance in nude scenes between male and female actors has meant more and more actors are stripping down for scenes in popular films and TV series, usually with a prosthetic covering themselves, of course.

Bradley Cooper filmed his first-ever nude scene in the new Guillermo del Toro film Nightmare Alley. He told The Hollywood Reporter that the experience was affecting for him. “I can still remember that day just to be naked in front of the crew for six hours, and it was Toni Collette’s first day. It was just like, ‘Whoa.’ It was pretty heavy.”

Nudity was also discussed when Benedict Cumberbatch was doing press for his film The Power of the Dog, which has already won several awards. Cumberbatch was comfortable with the scene, which featured his character bathing in a river. The actor said, “He [Cumberbatch’s character] calls this ‘the sacred place’. It’s where he’s allowed to reveal the truth of his past in a very private way. That was more tender and difficult and awkward to me to watch than seeing a brief flash of male nudity.” Cumberbatch even admitted that he didn’t use covering “modesty pants” for the scene.

While there may be a spike in male nude scenes, caused almost entirely by the two seasons of HBO’s Euphoria, the reality is they still pale in comparison to the sheer number of nude scenes actresses perform on a regular basis.

Eva Husson, a French director, told The Wall Street Journal, “It really irks me when I see male actors lauded for their bravery and it’s considered completely normal for actresses.”

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