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Jennifer Love Hewitt: No Nudes? Ever?

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I will never do nudity. Ever.
I don't know if I buy this at all, career desperation can do a lot in compromising ones personal integrity -- assuming you have some to begin with. Jen's big hangup appears to be that she doesn't get enough respect as an actress right now. Given her low self esteem, and if so many men want to see her naked on screen, what will people think of her professional abilities afterwards?

To be painfully honest, it's not a question that Hewitt needs to concern herself with. She is not a good actress, and she's not getting better by the day, only older. She thinks she has talent because she got famous on a teen angst show, but that's more like getting famous because you have a third arm, or because you can't stop hiccuping for five years. The people who used to watch those shows don't generally watch TV anymore because they grew up and have lives now, and shows like that aren't even being made anymore.

If Jen doesn't want to get naked purely because she doesn't want to get naked, I respect that. But I do not respect delusion.

Neve Campbell is in the same class as JLH is, and she finally realized that her phone isn't going to be ringing off the hook just because she decided to keep her shirt on. Unfortunately for Neve, taking it off didn't exactly help either. Nudity is not going to bring you instant fame and success, you still need to pick your jobs carefully and have some modicum of talent buried in there. Sharon Stone, after all, didn't get famous because she got naked in Basic Instinct -- she got famous because she was in Basic Instinct.

I find it odd that people like Jen make such a big deal about this, like nudity is still some sort of taboo (in Hollywood, it ain't.) The history of film is littered with talented and award-winning actresses who have done nudity in the past, are willing to do it today, and will probably do it in the future long past the time anybody wants to see it. Harry freaking Potter even got naked for the sake of the show, I mean for crying out loud, just how prudish do you have to be to be shown up by Harry Potter?

“I feel like there’s still a world full of people out there who think there’s not much more to me than the girl who can wear tiny tops. So if I had actually gone and done those things (shedding the tiny top) to try to prove something, where would I be?

You'd be precisely where you are right now, only richer, and also not a wuss. Think about this for a moment: she claims to be concerned about her professional career, but what true actress has ever been afraid to shed clothing when the film and the part called for it? Isn't that a part of acting? So what if you're shy personally, I'm reasonably certain you don't see dead people or talk to ghosts in real life like you do on TV, so why not actually act, and do something you've never done before?

Angelina Jolie made a similar pledge in the fall of 2006, and I just had to laugh at that old girl. Jolie isn't rich and popular because she's a good actress -- if that were the case, all her peers would hate her -- it's because she's a hottie. Not just a hottie, but a hottie that wasn't afraid to show her stuff. But let's be honest for a moment, in all of Jolie's movies that I've seen where she was nude, even just partially, it wasn't anything to write home about.

Not unless you get off on super skinny chicks with veins popping out of their arms like drug addicts or 16-year-old male computer geeks who do nothing but type and jerk off all day. The tats are getting a little excessive as well.

Others have made the obvious point about Jolie, that she's been naked plenty already and that things captured on digital media like that just don't fade into history anymore, short of an asteroid that wipes out humankind or something.

I can't help but notice that women like this use nudity or their bodies to get attention and traction when they are first starting out, but then get very prudish once they've secured a place for their name in the marketplace. Take a look around at magazine pictures, and the one top right is a prime example of this. How can someone who would do pictures like that *still today* have a problem with nudity?

By the time a person like JLH gets to this point in her career, we've already seen 95% of her anyone, and the only parts that are left are her nipples, short of an X rating. It's ridiculous, and I should think that a number of true feminists ought to be pretty pissed off about that, because it's dishonest. They'll use 95% of their body to get attention, but once they have it, the other 5% is off limits because it's exploitive and has nothing to do with their true inner talents?


For a moment, I think that maybe I'll be equally as dishonest, and refuse to put any actress in one of my films that refuses to do nudity. Doesn't matter if it's a porno, or an animated flick with nothing but celebrity voice-overs. No nudity? No scratch.

But then I remember that I'm a writer, and we have no say in the matter, even if I burst into the studio holding a shotgun in one hand a poster of Cindy Sheehan in the other.

It boils down to this: if you've done nudity before but refuse to do it now, then you've lost all credibility to begin with and you're just a dishonest hack. If you refuse to do it now for any other reason than you're shy about your body, then you're just an attention whore who has no interest in what real actresses want -- taking any part given to you, and knocking it out of the park to prove that you're just that damn good.

I don't care what assignment somebody handed me, so long as I didn't think it was a boring waste of time, I'd probably take it. Even if it was pro-religion, something I'd probably not do terribly well, I'd still take it and give the best effort I had to make the film successful. It's not about me, or making myself or my career successful, it's always about the film.

I was going to wrap this up by saying that neither Jen nor Jolie "get" what I'm saying, and that it's probably why neither of them will see an Academy Award sitting inside their mansions anytime in the near future. Only problem is, Jolie has one for Girl, Interrupted for best actress in a supporting role. Congrats to her, but she was naked in three out of four movies during that span, and it didn't exactly hurt her career, nor has she done anything notable since.

Make your own arguments, but mine is that if you're going to make a career out of pretending to be somebody you aren't, and doing things that you'd never do, then you need to be honest about it and just freaking do it, no qualms about it.

Either you're acting, or you're not.

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The text of this article is Copyright © 2006,2007 Paul William Tenny. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Attribution by: full name and original URL. Comments are copyrighted by their authors and are not subject to the Creative Commons license of the article itself.