Fifteen years ago, Halle Berry unveiled her hallowed berries to the world in an otherwise forgettable film called Swordfish.
In her honor, here are the true stories behind five iconic nude scenes. The only criterion for this selection: sexiness. Because nude scenes.
No hard feelings, rotting bath lady in The Shining, Azamat Bagatov of Borat and Kathy Bates in About Schmidt. You’re each iconic in your own right.
Eyes Wide Shut
The scene: Donning a see-through shirt, Alice (Nicole Kidman) recounts the time she longed to cheat on Bill (Tom Cruise) with a handsome sailor. The vivid fantasy plagues him the whole movie.
Backstage: To instill genuine envy, director Stanley Kubrick banned Kidman's real-life (and shortly thereafter, ex-) husband Cruise from the set for six days while Kidman filmed more than 50 sex positions naked with a male model (equaling one minute of film). Kubrick forbade her from discussing any of it with Cruise.
Fun fact: Hanro’s camisole sales soon doubled.
The scene: A nymphomaniac, uh, maniac (Sharon Stone) nonchalantly uncrosses/re-crosses her legs sans skivvies whilst being interrogated for murder. Lady parts appear. Cops sweat. Power shifts.
Backstage: Stone slapped director Paul Verhoeven after the premiere. He made her go (unscripted) commando, lied about how loud her cat’s meow was, and then reassured her with the set’s grainy playback monitor. The big screen showed, ahem, a different cut.
The scene: Teen boys peep showering girls via locker-room gloryholes. When a portly coed blocks Pee Wee’s (Dan Monahan) view, he shouts, “Goddammit, will you move, you lard ass!”
Backstage: “I was the only method actor in the group,” Monahan tells Huffington Post. “So when I told Blubber McNeil to move her lard ass, I meant it! I was no misogynist and didn’t like what I’d become, so I had to leave the set to decompress for a few days … It took months of monastic living to get Pee Wee out of my system.”
9 ½ Weeks
The scene: Pre-Fifty Shades, a dom (Mickey Rourke) does that ice cube/nipple thing to his blindfolded sub (Kim Basinger).
Backstage: To make the BDSM relationship feel more genuine, director Adrian Lyne emotionally manipulated Basinger throughout filming and forbade her from speaking to Rourke off camera. “She needed to be scared of him,” Lyne tells the Times. Basinger describes the entire filming experience as “traumatic.”
Don’t Look Now
The scene: Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie bang.
Backstage: Like, actually bang. Film exec Peter Bart claims in his memoir Infinite Players that he witnessed the sex scene, commonly hailed as the greatest ever, and it was real. Sutherland denies it. Christie recalls the scene as “absolutely lovely” and charmingly evades any confirmation.