Jessica Alba's CGI 'Machete' nude scene: Does it bother you?

jessica-alba-Machete-nudeThe Internet is abuzz with film fans (and men who like to think they saw Jessica Alba naked) debating whether CGI nude scenes are bad for movies after the Daily Mail reported that Jessica Alba didn’t actually go nude for her shower scene in Machete. Instead, as shown here, she filmed it wearing white undergarments, which were digitally deleted in post-production. (UPDATE: Alba’s publicist has released the following statement to EW: “Jessica has been steadfast in her resolve not to appear nude in films from the beginning of her career. The decision to digitally remove the underwear from the shower scene in Machete was one she and Robert Rodriguez made together, which would serve his vision for the film, as well as honor her personal convictions regarding nudity. She is very proud of the film and stands by the creative decisions she and Robert made about this scene.”) There are a couple interesting discussions here:

• Over on /Film, the debate is whether CGI nude scenes can end up detracting from performances when nudity is not merely being used to sell some tickets (as is arguably the case with Machete). As Germain Lussier theorizes, “The real case against CGI is when it takes away nudity where it’s appropriate for the subject matter. If an actress like Kate Winslet can just ask James Cameron to make her nude through CGI in Titanic, are we as an audience really experiencing the newly found openness and sexual deviance those characters are experiencing? No, we’re not, and it will come across in the actors’ portrayals. There’s a huge different between acting naked and just being naked. It’s very much like the new technology where CGI can make actors any weight or body shape they need to be. That’s all fine and well, but what about performance and really getting into a role?” I understand what Lussier is trying to say, but I do think it’s easier for an actress to imagine what it’s like to lay or stand naked in front of a man for the first time (when she’s probably only wearing a bra and panties in front of a film crew) than for, say, Adrien Brody and Christian Bale to go through an entire movie pretending they’re malnourished. (Though, of course, one could argue that a drastic weight loss is actually dangerous to an actor’s health, so who are we to say they should go Method?) I think it’s more about the effect it has on the audience if they find out about the CGI, regardless of whether it was a gratuitous shot or key to the plot: If it was gratuitous, then the filmmakers purposely duped us (not cool); if it was actually necessary, the filmmakers did what they needed to, but you still might feel foolish for being as invested in that scene as you were. It’s like finding out that someone used a body double — it was fine if you didn’t know, but once you do, a little wall goes up between you and the character, if only for that second when you see the movie again.

• Should an actress lose out on a role because she doesn’t want to show the side of her breast, especially now that CGI can come to her rescue? If an actress doesn’t want to do nudity, there are four options: Cut the scene; do the scene but have the character wear her bra for 99 percent of her life like Carrie Bradshaw did on Sex and the City; do the scene but use CGI or a body double; or replace the actress. What do you think is the right call? Does it depend project to project, actress to actress? You have to wonder how directors will negotiate with actresses now. Is it better business to pay an actress a seven-figure bonus to go topless, or to tell her you’ll use CGI? What I find even more fascinating is an anti-nudity actress that allows herself to be shown naked with the use of CGI. As the Daily Mail pointed out, Alba told the UK’s Scarlet magazine in its March 2010 issue that she would never do a nude scene. “I can act sexy and wear sexy clothes, but I can’t go naked,” she said. “I think I was always uncomfortable about the way my body developed, and I remember my grandmother would freak out and throw a towel over me if she saw me wearing just a bra and panties. I came from a very Catholic family so it wasn’t seen as a good thing to flaunt yourself like that. I can handle being sexy with clothes on but not with them off.” She and her family are okay with her appearing nude on-screen because she didn’t actually show her private parts, they were just so realistically rendered that we all assumed she did? (Per the statement, the answer is yes.)

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Comments (207 total) Add your comment
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  • sam

    I was fooled. I totally thought she was naked. Complete buck nasty. But in this scene did we see any nip or butt? I don’t think we did…So I don’t really know why she opted to wear white underwear..We just saw a little more skin.

    • Holly

      Ok “Larry” I am a girl and even I know Jessica Alba is hot. You need to bang your head against a wall hard three times, then look again.

    • Sara

      I guess I’m confused by your question. Although her “nips and butt” weren’t exposed in the movie, they WOULD have been exposed to the crew if she hadn’t worn the underwear. Could that have been her concern?

      • Joe

        Lol, they have nip covers and even vag covers, the girl who’s in the “I spit on your grave” movie talked about it on Howard stern. Nude scenes always have “closed” sets so typically only one camera man, sound engineer and director are in the room.

        As for Jessica, she must have some skin defect or some droopy boobs to not want to do that scene au natural. Pretty disappointing, if she really had a hot body I don’t understand why she wouldn’t do it.

      • Sara

        I guess I don’t understand why they have to be nude IRL if the clothes can be digitally removed. What’s the difference to the movie goer?

      • RyanK

        The difference? To put it bluntly, one of the selling points of movies like Machate is hotness and boobs. Boobs. Not CGI boobs. Boobs. You find out it was CGI and you just feel duped.

      • Jen

        The whole movie is a dupe, though. It’s not real. What does it matter if you did or didn’t see the actor’s junk? The problem is only in your own mind.

    • K

      Man, this guy is commenting on every discussion and all his comments are negative or make no sense. He/She either doesn’t work, or is obsessed with putting down EW. Or both…

    • Frank

      Is your life so empty that commenting on every single article EW runs the highlight of your life? I’m pretty sure we should all be feeling sorry for you…

    • jennifer

      Myself and the husband watched this movie the other night, he was very happy to see a naked Jessica, I was shocked as I always thought she said she wouldn’t go naked, really though she might as well now as people who don’t read this story will think she did and if your gonna let them blot your underwear out anyway you might as well just do it.

    • mh2365

      so Larry is gay … nice to know

    • Altair

      Hello there folks of America, I’m from England and I just thought I should say that you should never go near the Daily Mail if you ever come to this country OR go on their website, as they are run by bigoted arse-wipes. That is all.

      • TheRealEverton

        Hear, hear!

    • alli

      i smell a troll….

    • Mike

      Geez, if Larry was any dumber, he’d be on life-support. I personally think Jessica Albert is very attractive, but if you don’t find her so, that’s fine. Most of us do.

    • creaux

      I agree with Larry and I rarely even look at these sort of articles but I have agree with him. Are your lives so pitiful and non fullfilling that this is the highlight of your day? There are plenty of nice looking women everywhere you look and just because they aren’t big movies stars does not mean they are any less attractive, my wife could put Jessica Alba to shame and she’s 5 yrs. older. The point is who cares if she’s nude or not and if you’re depending on looks to define yourself and get you thru life then you have a big surprise coming when you get old, and it doesn’t take that long.

    • asche

      day/month/year/life – you used THIS sh_t stack in a sentence and then feel sorry for… others?

    • Newsy

      Guys, she was naked (topless), 2003, in Sleeping Dictionary. Not sure why she is taking the high road now – nor why she claims to have maintained a “no nudity” philosophy from the start…confused.

      • Ladyli1

        That was a body double. Look it up on IMDB.

      • phantom

        it’s also noted on Celebrity Movie Archive that it was a body double…

      • susan

        She had a baby… her body changed obviously

    • michael

      dude I am a gay man and even I know Jessica Alba is HOT. Good for her for not going nude. Let the CGI do it, but I’m glad she’s making it known she didn’t go nude

    • David Larry

      There is some serious retarded thinking going on in this chick’s head. You have some sort of old-world Catholic Guilt thing going on and can’t go nude, but you can photoshop it in. What is the difference? No, I mean really, what is the difference? I actually want to know. Because from wherever I’m sitting, it’s still the same end result – you appear naked in front of millions of people. I agree, she must have some sort of deformed body or scars or something. Only way to explain it. Either way, holy balls, Hollywood is stupid.

      Mark my words, in 10 years, you’ll have Hollywood CGing entirely new faces onto the actors, and 10 years after that, the actors will be replaced by completely cg’d virtual bodies, and will just be there to do voice-over work and then to be pretentious and boring in interviews on Leno.

      • Jen

        I think she’s a little crazy to feel so ashamed of her body, but there is a big difference. The difference is between reality and an artist’s rendering of reality.

      • Anon

        I think your rather stupid. Way to make a “slippery slope” argument. Some people don’t want to actually go nude in front of a camera crew because they don’t feel that that should be a part of their career as actors. It’s a choice. They aren’t porn stars, after all. The director wanted nudity for the film, so that’s what he got, but Alba did not want to be nude. It’s her choice, and all of you simpletons should shut up about it. She has a right to her body and how she will present herself as a person, not as an actress. There is a lot of fabrication in Hollywood; we all know that. So nit-picking because you didn’t see “real bewbs” or because Alba has her own set of values is ridiculous. Again, a lot of things in movies are fake so that the actors do not have to compromise themselves. I am indifferent to her decision. This wasn’t an artsy, indie film, where nudity is generally liberal and not romanticized, and she isn’t in to any of those sorts of films anyway, so why should she go along with taking her clothes off? Because she knows she’s hot? You people that her calling her a prude now would just call her a shameless whore if she did that.

        Point blank, she’s a respectable actress with a right to doing whatever she pleases with her body, regardless of if they will remove the clothes using CGI to add to the sex appeal that really isn’t needed anyway. She doesn’t need to truly be naked to be sexy or to compromise her position, rather it lines up with what you consider individualistic or powerful or not. She isn’t ashamed of her body. Back in the old days, actresses weren’t *expected* to show skin, but nobody mentions that. I would never take part in a movie like this as an actress anyway, but I can see why she did (for the experience/publicity) and why she did not go all the way for the project (not worth compromising her morals). Yeah, it does seem odd that she takes sexualized roles that don’t represent her to begin with, but read or watch interviews by her; she takes them because they’re available and she needs to work to stay in the business. She doesn’t go all the way with nudity because that doesn’t represent her as a person or a serious actress. Cut the judgmental crap. It’s that simple.

    • Tony

      While JA is definitely gorgeous, her I’m above you personna turns me off. I’d much rather watch someone like Mila Kunis or Yvonne Strahovski act and be sexy.

    • ashlee

      I agree with Larry. Why is it so important to see Alba naked. Many times an actress is required to go nude even if it is not essential to the role. I’m glad she said no. It shows her power.

    • Rebecca

      I would imagine she just has some kind of personal shyness factor going on that having very high-waisted white undies would help. She definitely was not naked in that set of underwear. It wasn’t even particularly revealing underwear as far as that goes! Perhaps she has more confidence acting and staying focused on the scene when she’s in some sort of clothing rather than worrying about what’s hanging out or whether the crew can see through the modesty garments they give her. I can definitely see feeling nervous being butt naked, but not in undies that essentially look like a very modest bikini. LOL!! Why on earth she would allow someone to photoshop her naked (and I notice they took off a bit of stomach too, so she looked even skinnier!!!) if she is opposed to nude scenes is an entirely different question. She seems a bit conflicted on the whole thing. ;/

  • sparkle the gym bag

    yea she is a bit of a prude but that is her call she is super hot with clothes on and I think it is going to be a deal by deal thing for for Alba check out the Killer Inside me she and Kate Hudson both get spanked and have none or very little clothes on quite a bit..are those body doubles? CGI? it does detract a bit….also for a real shot of most of Jessica’s upper right assest check out Blue crush when she is surfacing and guy is ripping at her from below you get a very brief glimpse of the right one but you have to pause it to catch it…

    • Immature

      It’s common knowledge to anyone who cares about such things (me), that that was a stunt woman/body double in that scene. And btw the movie is “Into The Blue”

  • Mr. Holloway

    I think this is really interesting.

    When I go to the movies, I know the Autobots in “Transformers” and the prawns in “District 9″ aren’t really there, but when I see boobs and butt, I like to think those are the real deal…so on that level, I definitely WOULD feel duped and slightly betrayed if I found out they were CGI.

    • Alia

      Okay, this is going to sound snarky, but I’m honestly curious:

      You say you’d feel duped if you found out it was CGI. Do you feel duped when you find out a Maxim (or whatever) photoshoot was airbrushed? How about when you find out an actress has implants? I think “real deal” might be a relative term, y’know?

      • Mr. Holloway

        Thanks for the non-snark disclaimer. I’m happy to try and tackle your questions:

        I don’t so much feel “duped” when I learn a magazine photoshoot is airbrushed because I’ve come to expect it. The CGI nudity thing in movies is new to me. Even if I didn’t assume all magazines are airbrushed to some extent, I’d still be disappointed to learn a shoot I was into had been noticeably altered.

        As far as the actress having implants? Yep…I’m a little disappointed it to. All I can do is compare it to finding out all those baseball players in the 90s and early 2000s were using performance-enhancing drugs: I prefer to think the actresses are getting it done “naturally.” :) (Especially since most of these actresses are stunning without the aid of CGI, airbrushing or anything else.)

      • Alia

        You’re welcome for the disclaimer, and thanks for the answers. :-)

        All of this stuff kinda bothers me, too, as a relatively normal-looking girl. I think CGI and air brushing and implants (especially on someone who is already Jessica Alba, for cryin’ out loud) set impossible standards for the rest of us. I’m actually really glad to hear that the male population agrees at least a little bit. (Although, I’m also totally unbothered if everyone just keeps their darn clothes on.)

      • Jen

        FYI: All photoshoots you are into are heavily airbrushed (not to mention all the makeup applied). Hollywood is not about reality, it’s about fantasy.

    • Marie

      Did people feel duped when watching 300 with all the CGI abs? Personally, I don’t care if there’s nudity in a movie or not since that’s never the reason to watch anything. And Germain Lussier is a dumba$$ to say an actor’s fake nudity will come across in their portrayal. After all, they are paid to fake a lot of things in movies, and to imply CGI nudity will change the performance is like saying an actor doesn’t really know how to portray a killer just because the actor’s never done it in real life.

      • Mr. Holloway

        If we’re talking “300” specifically, then no…I didn’t feel duped because – unlike the Alba example, which looks incredibly realistic – the abs in “300” were so obviously enhanced that I never really thought they were real, so I didn’t feel tricked. (At least that’s what I told myself as a reason for why I’ll never have abs that look like that.)

        I do agree with you in not completely buying Lussier’s example.

  • Terry

    Well, now, what about the bare bottom spanking scene in The Killer inside Me? Did they digitally remove her underwear in that as well, cuz her face was in the same shot as her behind. I don’t really like the cgi nudity, but I guess it would depend on intent and how it’s used. For some actresses(especially with a less than Playboy level body) they may wabt to reveal nudity as a way to also reveal naked emotions or feelings. I worry that some filmakers may use cgi to “improve” an actresses body. The other worry is an actress who may WANT to have cgi improvements done, leading to even more unrealistic body images. For me, one of the best uses of nudity was Diane Keatons in Somethings Gotta Give, both for her willingness to show her 60 year old body, and for how good her body did look.

    • Mr. Holloway

      Excellent point about the potential for “enhancements.” I mean, airbrushing is already out of control on magazines, and we’d probably never know. (I would’ve never known about this Alba thing if it weren’t for this article.)

    • mscisluv

      It actually looks like in those pictures that they may have trimmed a little off of her stomach in post-production (which is insane, because she looks amazing).

      • murley

        this bothers me more than the nudity issue. making her fake skinnier with special effects is gross.

      • Birv

        I agree mscisluv… it looks like they shaved off a few inches of stomch and thigh, which is so stupid. Can’t a body just be a body? Must we enhance EVERYTHING?

      • Cheri

        Thanks for pointing this out, because I was about to. I’m rather offended by that. What the heck is wrong with her body as it’s portrayed in the first pic?! Nothing! So why change it?

        Also, I’m glad to hear that she takes a no-nude stance. It’s kind of refreshing that a young actress does that and tries to not rely strictly on her hot body.

  • Kel Varnsen

    I am surprised that Alba has been able to find work in hollywood for this long while refusing to do nude scenes. I mean it’s not like she is that good of an actress to begin with. And yes she is hot, but hot girls in hollywood are not really a rare commodity, and I am sure there are girls just as hot if not hotter than her that are willing to be naked on film. I mean in Sin City she was the most covered stripper ever.

    • Mr. Holloway

      My thoughts exactly. I don’t think anyone (possibly including Alba) is under the impression that she’s being hired because she’s a great actress. It’s pretty amazing that she continues to get consistent work.

    • MCS

      Lindsay Lohan didnt do her nude scenes either.

      • etm

        Lohan saves her nude scenes for the paparazi (sp?).

      • Richard Hertz

        @MCS actually the scene in the pool was from the fake Machete trailer in Grindhouse but Lindsay did get nude in the church scene, granted though you didn’t see much because her long hair covered it, the actress who played the mother however bared almost everything.

  • René De Beaumarchais

    A clock-teaser, that’s what she is. Bad actress too.

    • Vanessa

      your face is a bad actress…

  • Stephanie T.

    You can tell the difference. On the left, she has a little more weight on compared to the right photo and her butt was lifted.

    • Snsetblaze

      I thought so too. I’m suprised the article did not comment on that aspect.

    • Stacey

      Yeah, I’m more bothered by that than the nudity CGI nudity. It’s one thing if the actor in question is uncomfortable shooting a nude scene and prefers to have that altered later on, but changing the shape of her body in the process? That’s something else.

  • Jen

    Rose in “Titanic” was experiencing “sexual deviance?”

    • katy

      Definitely “dalliance”

  • mark in nyc

    hasn’t hollywood used body doubles since the get go?
    How is the cgi different? besidest the fact that we won’t get a Al Pacino butt clenching body double.

    • Sue1

      Exactly, Mark. This is no different, a non-issue pushed as controversial.

  • Emymegs

    I personally think all arguments are stupid. If you’re a good actor/actress you don’t need to be naked to portray whatever you think the nudity dies for the scene. I don’t think you need to see a boob to connect with a character. I honestly never think nudity is “necessary.”

    My problem with CGI in this shot is that they clearly trimmed her tummy down. That to me is less authentic then putting in what her underwear covers.

    • Sal

      I’ve never really found nudity necessary, either. But it’s worse when it’s even less necessary than normal (e.g. Halle Berry in Swordfish).

  • Alan

    Does it really matter when there’s so much porn everywhere?

  • Jeff

    Hey Larry, any chance you might STFU?

  • ImStillToni

    I’m bothered by this use of CGI in the case of Alba (or perhaps in general). I can respect someone claiming to never film nude; however, but her accepting the use of CGI she is being showed to the public forever as being nude – so that’s acceptable to her? Makes he look like a hypocrite, especially since she’s showed a lot of skin in other roles.
    Also, not only did they CGI’ed her her undergarments, but they also CGI’ed her body – the image on the right shows they also edited her to appear skinnier. Not only is it okay for this heffa to not want to film nude, but it’s apparently ok for the studio to make her appear even SKINNIER than she is? She looks malnourished in the image on the right! GTFO Alba, your demands are as outrageous as your lack of talent!

    • mscisluv

      Why would you assume that Alba asked them to further alter her body with CGI? I’m sure that was not her choice (or her demand).

      • ImStillToni

        Where did I assumed that statement? All I stated is that I understand her preference not to film nude scenes. But I have also read Alba stating she does not like her body since motherhood, has body image issues due to her upbringing, and find it hypocritical for her to accept a role with nudity she may refuse to perform but yet may not take issue with the studio further morphing her body image. Alba has body issues, she’s admitted to it point blank, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t ask for some contouring considering how she was drooling over Michelle Rodriguez’ body during filming (google it). I don’t get why ppl think stars do NOT get control over CGI imaging in films, like it couldn’t be in a contract? Just putting it out there, but I sure did not state my opinion as fact since I said “it’s apparently ok for the studio to make her appear” and not “ok for the actress”

      • Jen

        ImStillToni – You’ve read about her body issues and you’re going to criticize her even though she stood by her beliefs and didn’t film nude… you really think that she had control? Do you think actors have control over magazine airbrushing? Not really. The fact that there was a nude scene at all shows just how powerless the actors really are.

    • Alia

      Heffa? Seriously?

    • etm

      Yes, it does seem hypocritical for her to not do a nude scene, but accept CGI nudity. I mean, wasn’t she upset when they put her on the cover of Playboy (in a bathing suit), implying that she was nude in the magazine?

  • Lauren

    If I didn’t want to be naked on film, I don’t think I would be any more comfortable with CGI nudity. If it looks so realistic, what’s the difference? We’re still looking at a pretty good rendering of what she would look like naked.

  • Jax

    not only did they CGI her clothes…they CGI’ed her to a flat stomach as well! Look closely…not that I honestly care because everything today is either airbrushed or CSGI’ed so why should nudity be any different? Allows for a nude scene without the actress having to actually remove her clothes!

    • Lauren

      If Jessica freaking Alba needs CGI to enhance her naked body then I am screwed

      • Dino

        HAHAHA I think I love you!

      • tracy bluth

        We all are, Lauren. We all are.

      • harry

        damn! thats a good one, Ha!

    • Jason S.

      You’re right she looks preggers! Probably cause she had a baby!

      • Anon

        She doesn’t look pregnant! Most women’s (people’s, really) stomach sticks out slightly in a position like that. You’d have to permanently suck in! Even if you have muscle there, you’re abdomen is going to protrude slightly, especially at the angle her body is placed.

        Sheesh. People will talk and conspire about anything… Leave it alone.

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