Keira Knightley: I won't appear in sex scenes directed by men

Keira Knightley said her decision was partly to do with 'vanity' and being uncomfortable with the 'male gaze'. Credit: PA

Actress Keira Knightley has said she is no longer comfortable shooting nude scenes in films directed by men.

During an interview on the Chanel Connects podcast, the Pirates of the Caribbean star said that her decision was partly due to "vanity" as well as the "male gaze".

The 35-year-old actress has previously said that she has a 'no nudity' clause in her film contracts since becoming a mother in 2015.

In a conversation with director Lulu Wang and writer-producer Diane Solway, she said: "I don't have an absolute ban [on filming nude scenes], but I kind of do with men."

She added: "I don't want it to be those horrible sex scenes where you're all greased up and everybody is grunting. I'm not interested in doing that.

"But I feel very uncomfortable now trying to portray the male gaze."

She added: "Saying that, there's times where I go, 'Yeah, I completely see where this sex would be really good in this film and you basically just need somebody to look hot', so therefore you can use somebody else.

"Because I'm too vain, and the body has had two children now, and I'd just rather not stand in front of a group of men naked."

Keira Knightley said that the movie business can be 'brutal' for women. Credit: AP

She said she would opt to work with a female director if it required nudity and if the film related to motherhood or body acceptance.

She said: "If I was making a story that was about that journey of motherhood and body [acceptance], I feel like, I'm sorry, but that would have to be with a female film-maker.

She added: "If it was about motherhood, about how extraordinary that body is, about how suddenly you're looking at this body that you've got to know and is your own and it's seen in a completely different way and it's changed in ways which are unfathomable to you before you become a mother, then yeah, I would totally be up for exploring that with a woman who would understand that."

The topic of how sex scenes are filmed has been put in the spotlight since the MeToo movement.

Many studios hire 'intimacy co-ordinators' to oversee sex scenes in movies to ensure actors are treated respectfully during filming.

Ms Knightley acknowledged that she had been "incredibly lucky" with the opportunities she has been given, adding: "I had this incredible run of success and I was absolutely aware that I was learning my trade.

"But when you do that in public, it's a pretty brutal place to do that, particularly if you're a woman.

"So my growing up on screen and that realisation of the kind of misogyny that existed in a totally worldwide way both within the industry and within the media industry and the portrayal of women and suddenly finding myself right in the centre of that was incredibly difficult."