Working as an actor requires being open to some crazy things. Having to film a love scene can give even the most courageous and reputable actors some stage fright. But imagine if you had to do it for real? I mean, full on penetrative intercourse. You'd think it would be illegal, but plenty of movies have incorporated real sex between actors in order to establish a sort of genuine authenticity to the film.
While some may think that esteemed actors engaging in that kind of behavior for a movie is gratuitous and inappropriate, many actors have agreed to the conditions. Racy and controversial director Lars von Trier has utilized unsimulated scenes for several of his films, including his movie Nymphomaniac.
These types of scenes in film can be crucial to the story that writers and directors are trying to tell. But at what point is the boundary between real and fantasy crossed? For a lot of artists, both behind-the-scenes and in front of them, there is no line.
This is a roundup of some of the most infamous films where actors really did it on sets for the camera. Keep reading to find out who they are.
Lars von Trier's controversial two-part Nymphomaniac featured no small amount of unsimulated scenes. When actor Shia LaBeouf signed on as a love interest opposite Stacy Martin, rumors spread about their performance for the film. Lars von Trier had already mentioned his film would feature the real deal. LaBeouf initially said he agreed to participate in the scenes. However, when the film finally premiered, it was revealed the actual deed was performed between two adult actors. LaBeouf and Martin's bodies were superimposed with CGI for those scenes.
Actors: Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Stellan Skarsgård, + more
Initial Release: 2013
Directed by: Lars von Triersee more on Nymphomaniac: Volume I
Gaspar Noé's 2015 film, Love, featured real love between actors Karl Glusman and Aomi Muyock. But Noé took his romance film to the next level by producing it in 3D! Love is first and foremost about sex in 3D and only secondly about the dramatic love story between the two protagonists. Most of it was not choreographed and Noé admitted he hoped his film would make men and women both feel, well, "excited."
Actors: Karl Glusman, Klara Kristin, Aomi Muyocksee more on Love
Robert Pattinson's "O" face (as Salvador Dalí in Little Ashes) seemed a little too real to audiences. And they weren't wrong. Pattinson admitted he touched himself onscreen for the scene in order to make it realistic. According to Pattinson, faking the scene “just doesn’t work... My... face is recorded for eternity," he said.
Actors: Robert Pattinson, Arly Jover, Matthew McNulty, Simón Andreu, Esther Nubiola, + more
Initial Release: 2008
Directed by: Paul Morrisonsee more on Little Ashes
Penthouse Magazine founder Bob Guccione produced the intense historical drama Caligula about the fall of the Roman emperor of the same name. It can't be all that surprising the founder of an adult men's magazine wanted to make a movie with unsimulated love scenes. The movie, starring Helen Mirren and Malcolm McDowell, featured after-the-fact scenes Guccione filmed in private. Although the leads of the film didn't do it with one another, Guccione's personal Penthouse Pets filmed unsimulated scenes for post-production.
Actors: Helen Mirren, Peter O'Toole, Malcolm McDowell, John Gielgud, Patrick Allen, + more
Initial Release: 1979
Directed by: Tinto Brasssee more on Caligula