Hollywood Stars Who Shed Their Inhibitions on the Big Screen

By Sophia Maddox | July 6, 2023

Susan Sarandon

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.

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(Paramount Pictures)

Louis Malle's 1978 film Pretty Baby stirred up significant controversy upon its release, and still does to this day. One polarizing topic of discussion was the performance of actress Susan Sarandon, who plays a sex worker named Hattie who becomes involved with a photographer named EJ Bellocq (played by Keith Carradine). During their relationship, EJ is shown photographing Hattie in a way that many critics deemed gratuitous and exploitative. Nonetheless, Sarandon's performance brings depth and complexity to the role, making Hattie one of the film's most memorable and compelling figures.

Isabella Rosselini

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David Lynch's 1986 film Blue Velvet has been considered controversial since its release. The film tells the story of a young man named Jeffrey Beaumont, who becomes embroiled in a dark and twisted mystery involving a singer named Dorothy Vallens, played by Isabella Rossellini. One of the most polarizing aspects of the film was its graphic violence and sexual content. Many of Rossellini's scenes feature the actress sans clothing, in distress, or both, which many critics found exploitative. Rossellini herself found the notion ridiculous. 

''That is suggesting that David Lynch used me or photographed me badly to ruin my reputation. I resent that because first of all I think it would hurt his feelings. But also it takes away from me, from my judgment. It says that I'm so helpless that a director can make me do something I don't want to do. I'm not a kid. I understood the film. It's beyond that - I loved it.'