Culture

Ben Affleck's Full Frontal in "Gone Girl" May Be All the Rage—But Here Are 9 Male Stars Who Bared All First

Male nudity on film is memorable because it's still rare.

Photo Credit: s_bukley/Shutterstock.com

These days, it seems everyone’s talking about Ben Affleck’s penis’ ever-so-brief appearance in the new film “Gone Girl.” So much so that you would think he was the first big-time male star to go full-frontal. Far from it, though! Granted, it is all too rare, but  several leading men have come (ugh) before him and, unlike Affleck, some have offered more than a was-that-what-I-thought-it-was glimpse. You know what that means: time foranother penis list.

Leonardo DiCaprio, “Total Eclipse”

This one often escapes attention because it happened before “Titanic” turned Leonardo DiCaprio into a leading man. You can thank 12-year-old me — creator of a DiCaprio fan-site and daily newsletter — for catching the full Leo back in the day. In this film about the tumultuous relationship between French poets Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud, Dicaprio, playing the latter, climbs naked onto a balcony (around 6:29). Blink and you’ll miss it, but my pubescent self hit rewind, play and pause enough times on that VHS to know that there’s peen there — and enough to permanently damage the tape (sorry, Blockbuster).

Kevin Bacon, “Wild Things”

I mean, obviously, this has to be on the list. It’s obligatory in any discussion of male nudity in movies, but I just don’t get the hype. In the 1998 film, Bacon flashes his penis for but a fraction of a second. I’m too old — and free Internet porn is too accessible — now to play the rewind-and-pause game.

Jason Segel, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”

The penis has long, ehem, been a, um, tool for comedy — from destroying a homemade dessert in “American Pie” to getting caught in Ben Stiller’s zipper in “There’s Something About Mary” to masquerading as a tiny mushroom in “The Hangover 3.” But no one has done so as bravely as Jason Segel in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” When his character, fresh out of the shower, is unexpectedly dumped by his girlfriend, he drops his bath towel in shock — and refuses to cover up.

Bruce Willis, “Color of Night”

In the 1994 film “Color of Night,” Bruce Willis and co-star Jane March get busy in a pool and we get a clear underwater shot of the action star’s action figure, if you know what I’m sayin’. It still can’t compete with the vision of a bloody and sweaty Willis in a tank top in “Die Hard.”

Harvey Keitel, “The Piano”

I could probably compile a list solely of Harvey Keitel’s nude scenes, but perhaps his most memorable is in “The Piano,” while naked and cleaning the aforementioned piano — as one does. Four words: That light, those muscles.

Shia Labeouf, Sigur Ross’ “Fjögur píanó”

This music video, with its interpretive dance and body painting, is the most annoying, but at least Shia Labeouf is briefly naked in it. It’s a de-sexualized, matter-of-fact nudity — so much so that it almost doesn’t even belong on this list. It is just that unremarkable, andthat is oddly refreshing.

Viggo Mortensen, “Eastern Promises”

In this David Cronenberg film, a naked Viggo Mortensen is attacked in a bathhouse by knife-wielding Russian mobsters. There are broken bones, bucket loads of blood and a knife stabbed in an eye. It is incredibly disgusting. But, Viggo Mortensen, you guys.

Tom Hardy, “Bronson”

Tom Hardy has done his fair share of nude scenes, but while playing a prisoner in “Bronson” he is arguably nuder than nude. I’m talking naked prison fights galore. As the blogger Melissa McEwan told her husband after watching the movie, “I saw body parts on him that I’m not sure I’ve ever seen on you after ten years of marriage.”

Michael Fassbender, “Shame”

This isn’t a teasing flash. Michael Fassbender gets out of bed and leisurely strolls to the bathroom, and the camera all the while lingers — nay, luxuriates — at crotch-level. Never before has a limp dick inspired such excitement: It prompted George Clooney to joke that Fassbender could play golf with his hands behind his back. Size aside, this scene deserves to be celebrated for this comment alone from Fassbender: “It just baffles me: Women can parade around naked all the time, but the guy conveniently has his pants on. I remember my mom always complaining about that to me, saying, ‘This is such bullshit, it’s always the women who are naked’ … so I did this one for you, Mom!”

 

Tracy Clark-Flory is a staff writer at Salon. Follow @tracyclarkflory on Twitter and Facebook.

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