Hollywood Stars Who Shed Their Inhibitions on the Big Screen

By Sophia Maddox | June 15, 2023

Katie Holmes

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 bear 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.

test article image

Katie Holmes' performance in the 2000 thriller The Gift was nothing short of titillating. Holmes plays Jessica King, a troubled young woman who seeks the help of a psychic to uncover the truth behind a series of mysterious events. One of the most memorable moments in the film features Holmes in a racy and intense love scene with her co-star Greg Kinnear. Some audiences were big fans of Holmes' decision to forego a top, while others found it gratuitous. Whether you choose to fast forward or not, The Gift is worth a watch, as it is often sadly overlooked despite its stellar cast and tight budget. 

Scarlett Johansson

test article image

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.