Like many women actors, Jessica Alba has spoken out about the sexualization she’s endured throughout her career. She’s also been open about the lines that she’s drawn as far as what she’s willing to do onscreen. The L.A.’s Finest star has firm boundaries regarding nudity that she refuses to compromise. And though she’s done sex scenes in some of her projects, Alba says that she usually finds them “disgusting” to film. To see why she’s so grossed out by them, read on. And for another actor’s stance, check out Megan Fox Says These Are the Kind of Sex Scenes She Won’t Do Anymore.
Alba thinks that filming sex scenes with another actor is actually pretty revolting.
When Alba and her husband, producer Cash Warren, were guests on The Skinny Confidential Him & Her Podcast in May 2019, Warren said that he didn’t understand why his wife thought “hooking up with someone else [onscreen] was not fun.” He went on to say that Alba had worked with some “studs,” and that he found the idea of doing sex scenes with attractive actors appealing. His wife did not agree.
“That’s the difference between me and you,” Alba responded. “It’s disgusting most of the time because they’re usually a stranger.”
And while Alba highlighted how Pierce Brosnan and Bruce Willis, two of her previous costars, were “very attractive gentlemen,” she said that it’s “weird” to film sexual scenes with any actor, since she doesn’t really know them.
“When you’re choosing to want to be with someone in that way, it’s very intimate, like, you’re breathing on someone,” the Sin City star explained. “And it’s all there, and you’re like, smelling the skin…You want to choose who you’re doing that with, and you got to really, kind of like, pretend.”
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There have been times when she’s had to spend days filming sex scenes.
The actor also explained on the podcast that it can often take “15 to 16 hours” or even days to complete a love scene. She said that, in her experience, there was no privacy, and that the sets were still crowded with crew regardless of the delicate nature of what was being filmed.
“It’s days and days of the same thing,” Alba said. “And you have to recreate that moment every time and recreate the peak of your intimacy, and that thing they want to capture. And they need it from this angle and that angle.”
For a male star’s take, check out John David Washington Says He Hated Doing Sex Scenes in His New Movie.
Alba has it in her contracts that she will not do onscreen nudity.
Alba told Glamour in 2014 that she has a no-nudity clause in her contracts. That means that she won’t do any nudity on screen, whether it’s in a sex scene or not. She also revealed the main reason why she has this rule and how it relates to her family.
“I don’t want my grandparents to see my boobs. That’s it,” the star said. “And, I mean, really, if you look at the movies I have done, getting naked would never ‘elevate’ the picture.”
For how another celebrity’s approach, check out Keira Knightley Says She’ll Only Do Sex Scenes in These Circumstances.
One famous Alba “nude” scene was actually done through CGI.
In 2010, The Daily Mail reported that a scene in the action film Machete in which Alba appeared to be nude was actually achieved through digital effects. The actor filmed a shower scene wearing white undergarments, which were digitally deleted for the final cut.
Entertainment Weekly reported on the debate that ensued online. One male film writer posited that using CGI nudity makes a performance less effective since the actor isn’t actually as exposed as they appear. Another argument was about whether a performer could be pressured into acting in more graphic scenes than they may wish because CGI could make it so that they themselves wouldn’t have to disrobe.
Alba’s representative shared a statement with EW at the time, emphasizing that she was very involved in the decision-making process on Machete.
“Jessica has been steadfast in her resolve not to appear nude in films from the beginning of her career,” the statement reads. “She is very proud of the film and stands by the creative decisions she and [director Robert Rodriguez] made about this scene.”
But digitally altered nude and sex scenes are still being debated. Read more about that in James Bond Star Naomie Harris Is Pushing to Ban These Sex Scenes.
Alba has said that she is no longer letting tabloid sexualization bother her.
Alba told InStyle in 2019 that in the ’00s, she was “still trying to figure out how to be in the public eye and have ownership over who [she] was.” She noticed a huge difference in the next decade.
“I was in my early 30s, and it had taken up until then for me to feel confident in my body,” she said. “I also stopped allowing myself to be objectified in the press through a male’s perspective. Screw that, man. It’s okay to be sexy.”
She also explained that she stopped allowing other’s impressions of her to impact her own self-worth and embraced how giving birth changed her body. “Who am I now? I give zero f***s,” Alba continued. “I have three children. They’ve exploded my body, and I’m cool with it.”
For another actor who’s dealt with unsolicited body comments, check out Jennifer Love Hewitt Looks Back on “Gross” Questions Reporters Asked Her.