Hollywood Stars Who Shed Their Inhibitions on the Big Screen

By Sophia Maddox | June 8, 2023

Scarlett Johansson

In the golden age of Hollywood, actresses were often celebrated for their demure and ladylike personas, carefully crafted to appeal to a mass audience. However, as time went on and societal norms began to shift, more and more actresses began to push boundaries and bare it all on screen, challenging traditional notions of femininity and sexuality. From Marlene Dietrich's provocative performances in the 1930s to the bold and fearless portrayals of modern-day stars like Elizabeth Berkley and Jennifer Connelly, these women have fearlessly used their bodies to tell stories, challenge norms, and break barriers.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the actresses who have dared to bare it all on screen. From Golden Age stars like Brigitte Bardot and Jayne Mansfield to modern-day icons like Cate Blanchett and Halle Berry, these women have used their bodies as a powerful tool to convey raw emotion, expose societal taboos, and push the boundaries of what is acceptable on screen. So if you're ready to delve deeper into the world of fearless and boundary-breaking actresses, read on and discover the stories behind some of the most iconic scenes in film history.

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(A24)

Scarlett Johansson, twice crowned as "Sexiest Woman Alive" by Esquire, and celebrated for her roles in mainstream films, such as in Woody Allen's films, takes a sharp turn with her polarizing performance in the Scottish science fiction film Under the Skin. Here she portrays an alien that barely wears clothing, hunting down men to feed on them. It's a role that pushes the boundaries of conventional Hollywood fare, and it takes Johansson's acting prowess and fearlessness to fully realize the character's complexity. The film may have polarized audiences, but there's no denying Johansson's dedication to her craft and willingness to take risks.

Johansson said that the complete freedom of this strange character is what drew her to making the film. In 2014, she told The Guardian:

I heard Jonathan [Glazer, the film's director] was making a film and originally it was a very different story. But I met him, and it was very clear that he was struggling to figure out what he was doing with it, and what had attracted him to it. It wasn't his passion project but there was something in the idea of having a character that was an alien that could give him the freedom to be completely observant without any judgment. I think we were both interested in that. I thought it would be incredibly challenging to play a character that's free of judgment, that has no relationship to any emotion I could relate to.

Monica Bellucci

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(Mars Distribution)

Miss Bellucci's unforgettable performance in Gaspar Noe's film, Irreversible, is a tour-de-force of emotional depth and raw vulnerability. The film is undeniably brutal, and it leaves an indelible impression on audiences with its unflinching depiction of violence and trauma. Nevertheless, Miss Bellucci's performance was a revelation, a testament to her talent and range as an actress.

She was fearless and completely committed to her role, never shying away from the harrowing scenes that the film demanded of her. Her performance was nothing short of stunning, and it solidified her reputation as a true force to be reckoned with in the world of cinema. While speaking with Entertainment Weekly about her openness to appear onscreen with no clothes she explained:

I think that when [scenes with no clothing are] well filmed, it’s beautiful. In Brotherhood, my character is a prostitute, a courtesan. In the beginning, when you see her in a love scene and she’s naked, it’s filmed to look like a painting, so there it’s in very good taste… One reason that I’m comfortable with [these scenes] is because I come from Europe, and I have a good relation with my body. Europeans are different, even in the way we lay on the beach [without suits]. Why do we have to be scared? [The human body] is pure; if not, why were Michelangelo and Raffaello so interested in it?