Olivia Wilde will have fake CGI nipples in 'The Change-Up.' Oh, for the days before digital nudity...


Image Credit: Richard Cartwright

You can blame digital effects for many strange and terrible things. Thanks to CGI, great Hollywood trades like production design, makeup, and old-school practical visual effects have begun to slowly fade away, with smiling teams of faceless engineers doing the same work for cheaper, Gooback-style. Thanks to CGI, 2-D feature animation has entered a period of eternal decline. Thanks to CGI, every freaking movie and a lot of freaking TV shows are shot in front of greenscreens. Thanks to CGI, Jar Jar Binks exists, and Green Lantern exists, and in the fourth Die Hard movie John McClane fought a freaking fighter jet, because why not?

But if you ask me, the single greatest crime of the Digital Effects Era is more subtle, and yet also more profound. I’m talking about fake movie nudity, which first made headlines last year with Jessica Alba’s shower scene in Machete. Last night, omnipresent film beauty Olivia Wilde swung by Jimmy Kimmel Live! to chat about Cowboys & Aliens, but the conversation took a tangent when she started discussing her other upcoming release, The Change-Up. The movie features a shot of the actress nude, but Wilde explained that the offending bits were all added in post-production. “I wasn’t actually naked, but now I appear naked. They CGI’d me naked.” Apparently, the scene as filmed featured a shot of Wilde’s “pasties” — adhesives that actors use to cover up their private bits during nude scenes. The studio cheerily opted to paint in nipples, which is coincidentally exactly how my fifth-grade friends made X-Men comics more emotionally compelling. Wilde even got to pick her own nipples! Watch:

Now, it’s impossible to simplify the subject of nudity in Hollywood. This is the town that cluck-clucked when Halle Berry flashed her breasts in Swordfish, and then gave her an Oscar the same year for going full-nude in Monster’s Ball. Nudity was a bit more common in commercial Hollywood releases in the ’70s and ’80s, and you could argue that the terrible rise of the PG-13 blockbuster is to blame. (Remember: In a PG-13 movie, you can kill dozens of people, but absolutely not show any nude bodies, unless maybe they’re on the autopsy table.) But that’s a simplistic reading. The Internet didn’t exist in the ’80s, and you surely can’t blame performers for not wanting private pictures floating around online for the rest of eternity. Not everyone is Paz de la Huerta.

Still, the invention of CGI nudity feels like an unhealthy middle ground: All the titillation with none of the intimacy, the emotion, or yeeesh, the sheer reality of actual nakedness. You could argue that digitally enhanced nudity is no different from using body doubles, but I think that’s wrong. There is some subconscious synapse in your brain that knows the difference between actual breathing humanity and synthetic android digi-life. That’s why we all groan a little bit when a modern action movie inevitably features the scene where a main character is thrown halfway across a room — which never looks real, because there’s the split-second where the actor becomes a CGI rag-doll. (In Green Lantern, that split-second was usually about a minute long.)

PopWatchers, are you disturbed by the slow rise of digital nudity? Doesn’t this put us one step closer to the dystopian time period when pornographic films will feature the almost-real likenesses of Old Hollywood stars engaged in X-rated activities? Or is a nipple just a nipple, no matter if it was born in a computer?

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

Read more:
Photo Gallery: 42 Unforgettable Nude Scenes
‘The Change-Up’ red band trailer: A change did it good
Jessica Alba’s CGI ‘Machete’ nude scene: Does it bother you?

Comments (130 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2 3 4

    Just show the real thing, dammit.

    • KC

      fap fap fap fap

      • ERNIE

        My b0ner won’t be CGI’d.

      • dan

        if you want to see the real thing watch alpha dog towards the end of the film she is full nude for a few minutes

      • Lane

        HAHA best comment ever, ernie

      • James Wilson

        Ernie Wins

      • Jason

        Wasn’t this dumb ho already naked in Alpha Dog?

      • Gary

        Gimme an Asian girl with a little bit of blue eyeliner over any white girl naked, ANYDAY.

    • outrageousness

      I’ve already seen her rack, her tits aren’t that impressive. Now her vag on the other hand…

      • Holly

        Wow, you must be real popular with the ladies…

      • outrageousness

        I am, but I don’t see what you’re getting at? Are you some kind of prude? We’re talking about nudity here. Hollywood has restricted nudity to an actress showing her boobs and her bottom. I’m here to advocate showing the whole thing.

      • Holly

        No, you are not popular with the ladies at all. You wear elasticized pants, and eat microwaved buritos from your Mom’s kitchen while taking a break from video games and Internet trolling. And “we” are talking about the philosophical idea of whether it is right for movies to alter reality in such a subtle way. Nudity is not really the point at all. But being 12, you don’t get that, or what the meaning of “prude” is.

      • outrageousness

        Well, Holly, it’s really sad to see that you’re projecting. And I wouldn’t want to be popular with ladies like you. Let’s face it. You’re only whining because you’re a fat cow who’s obviously very insecure about your own body and the idea of nudity scares the hell out of you. You crave junk food and spend lots of money on cosmetics to at least try to not look completely disgusting. Philosophy? Around these parts? Only a fat pile of crap, who has nothing else going for her, would hope for that.

        And I’ll have you know, I’m the local powerlifting champion at my gym. Elasticized pants, burritos, video games? No thanks. Does your philosophical musing include spouting stereotypes? I guess it does. Now here’s some fries… Catch!

        Good cow… Good cow… eat it all up…

      • Lyndsey

        Though it is politically incorrect & insensitive, the two of you definitely prove the “old” adage that arguing over the internet is like competing in the Special Olympics…you may win but you’re still retarded!!!

      • Color Me Impressed

        Wow @outrageousness…youre a f*cking d0uche. Youre like the @ssholes in my dorm who sleep with random drunk women like they’re objects every other night, and yet undoubtedly never make a real connection with them (and likely never actually DO anything for them–the white-trash hos that you’re “popular” with must be real good at the fake orgasm noises.) You’re like the “dangerous” d*cks that my “ex-girlfriend/best-friend/occasional friend-with-benefits/woman I love” has taken to hooking up with lately. Well f*ck you! You’re ultimately going to find yourself unfufilled and alone, while the rest of us are actually making tangible emotional connections with eachother. Grow up d0uche.

      • Regina George

        Oh my god, Lyndsey. Please tell me you didn’t just say that whole Special Olympics thing. What an ignorant b!tch.

      • Color Me Impressed

        Women are not objects. Not only do they deserve our respect, but they deserve to be taken care of, not just “used” and thrown away. But no, nobody f*cking understands that. Guys will keep on using girls, and girls will keep on letting themselves be used because its “fun” and “wild”. Power-lifting champion, chauvanistic do0uches like you will always get the girls, while the nice, sensitive musician-types finish last. What the f*cks new?

      • Lyndsey

        An absolutely ridiculous argument deserved a ridiculous analogy.
        Regina, I’d be careful throwing around insults on a website…it shows a weak mind. Oh, and I’d put my education & intelligence up against yours any day!

      • TicklePig

        Right, women aren’t object and they want to be viewed with respect. I guess you haven’t been to a bar or the beach in a few decades. I live the girl that says show me some respect and stop looking at the 12 square inches of fabric that I use to cover my ample breasts.

      • Color Me Impressed

        @TicklePig: Did you read ALL of my comment? “Guys will keep on using girls, and girls will keep on letting themselves be used because its ‘fun’ and ‘wild’.” Girls are a significant portion of the problem too! Nonetheless, women deserve to be taken care of. Sigh, but women are never attracted to the men that take care of them. Like I said, nice guys finish last. Thats just the way it is.

      • Squishmar

        Seeing if this will post..
        Okay… two things: One, Regina, you’re really going to pick on Lyndsey for being politically incorrect? This whole board is politically incorrect and she was just making a point. Lighten up!

      • Lyndsey

        Thanks Squishmar! I despise that analogy but given the juvenile arguing & name-calling I couldn’t think of a better one (especially at 3am). To say they were acting like teenagers would have been an insult to my students.
        Ohhh, Regina, did I forget to mention that, thanks to a car accident, I’M physically handicapped??!!!!

      • Holly

        Yeah whatever Elastopants…

      • SideOfBacon

        @Color Me Impressed. you sound fat and/or a virgin. women are objects solely put on this planet to fulfill man’s sexual desires and make us sandwiches.

      • abadstroller

        Holly, re: Outrageousness:: You’re hilarious! Clearly, O’ doesn’t get the intent of exaggeration to illustrate the point…on the top of his head…. Oh, BTW, Outrageousness: Yeah, you are a bit of a douche….

      • Rhys

        I’m on your side, Outrageousness. And Holly, I take it you are a female. How sad it is that you have developed the ability to not only devour endless amounts of food, but to speak your own mind and post your thoughts online. I liked you better as an object that I could command to suit my own needs. You have made it clear to me, Holly, that all females should be CGI in movies today. Thanks.

      • Color Me Impressed

        I am neither fat nor a virgin, thank you very much.

      • Holly

        Thanks abadstroller. Yeah I obviously touched a nerve with the Basement-Couch Crew. They actually think that the He-Man costumes they wear to Comic-Con are real muscles… Isn’t that sad. The ear-medicine they keep in their fanny-packs should give it away though.

      • outrageousness

        Keep moo-ing you fat cow. I’m no nerd and I despise the whole comic-con crap. How much garbage did you eat today? Are you ready to lose some weight yet, fat @ss?
        How long has it been since you’ve been f*cked? All that bitter frustration is showing up, piggie. I’m guessing your “elastopants” are getting a full workout right now, huh? That fanny pack of yours must fit tightly around your cankle.

        See, two can play at that game. The funniest thing is you call people nerds, yet here you are after 3 days and you’re still trying to argue about some pointless thing.

        As for you, “color me unimpressive”, well, f*ck you right back. Everybody’s free to live their life the way they see fit. Just because you’re an over-sensitive pathetic loser who hides his inadequacies behind fake romantic bullsh!t, that doesn’t mean others have to do just like you. I’m not even white and I’m supposedly hooking up with white trash, hilarious. Fyi, musicians seem to be doing well, as far as lucking out with the ladies go. It would seem you’re the one who needs to learn how to grow up and not not be a 5 year old crybaby.

        Oh, BTW, abadstroller: Yeah, you are a bit of a nosy c*nt, so f*ck you as well.

        Lyndsey, I see your point and those people call themselves “nice” and what not, yet they are the quickest to jump to conclusions about anyone for giving an honest opinion. Kind of hypocritical if you ask me.

      • Holly

        You have girlfriend? LOL. Uh, you know Lara Croft is not a real person, right?

      • TR

        Classy guy! Going out with Charlie Sheen later?

        But having said that, I heard that Cowboys and Aliens underperformed at the box office.
        I’m sure it would have done better with a bit of Wilde nudity. :)

      • outrageousness

        You have boyfriend? LOL. Uh, you know that plastic d!ldo is not a real person, right?

    • Strepsi

      This article is very well-written. I agree that the mind recognizes CGI. I also agree with the posters below, that it’s actually mainly about the actor’s ego/asking price.

      Because why else would someone go to the trouble of “I’m naked in this movie. But I’m not really naked, it’s CGI. So now everyone on the net is seeing images of me naked. But I wasn’t really naked.” It’s like a ‘solution’ without there having been a problem.

    • Puck


      • Squishmar

        Why won’t this let me post?!?! I wanted to say that “outrageousness” is really a poster named “gazmo.” I recognize his insults and immaturity.

      • Squishmar

        And I also wanted to add to Color Me Impressed: Don’t give up. Nice guys (and girls, for that matter) do NOT finish last. They just (sometimes) finish later than most… but they are the real winners; taking time to find the right person and a real, meaningful connection. Because no matter who you are, looks fade, people age and if you don’t have that… you’ve got nothing when all is said and done.

    • Dee

      It will look real enough – why not just show it? I agree! Our society is too sensitive about nudity, I love it when an actor nonchalantly shows nudity in a movie.

      On the other hand – even though the nude scene will look real, I guess all those porn sites which feature screen shots of nude actresses won’t really be able to feature Olivia Wilde, since it will be common knowledge that her nudity was CGI’d. Still, this whole fake nudity thing seems weird to me.

      • Hoboken Nudist

        This is why Kate Winslet is an Oscar winning actress and the TV star from house is a celebrity.

        If you want to be considered an actress, engulf yourself in the role entirely…don’t be a celebrity. Stupid pin-up.

    • Michael

      You are a sick individual! There should not be any nudity whatsoever!
      People are not all the same! There are still people with family values and morals. I FEEL VERY SORRY FOR YOU!

      • Squishmar

        You’re kidding, right?

      • SideOfBacon

        it’s not a f*cking porno, Michael. it’s a set of t!ts and nothing more. more immaturity about you thinking this to be extremely degrading and immoral than actually just throwing up a pair of knockers on the big screen. I too was once 8 and awed at a decent set of twins, but grew up and realized their just breasts…

      • Dirtty Old Man

        SideOfBacon, wow I would have liked to have been able to see those twins when you were 8. If they are “just breasts”, you shouldn’t have a problem with that, whether you are 8 or 18, right?

        The female body can be thing of beauty, and should be reveled as such,. Olivia has a great body, and should not be ashamed to show it.. Many actresses have shown their “naughty bits” and gone on to great critical acclaim and won awards for their acting skills (Charlize Theron, among others), so why hide those assets.

        BTW, I was disappointed when Jodie Foster used her older sister as a body double in “Taxi Driver” and “The Little Girl Who Lives Dow n the Lane” for her nude scenes.

      • Dirtty Old Man

        SideOfBacon, I see now I misunderstood your comment, dude (not dudestte). Though I stand by the essence of my reply.

        Michael, you have the choice of seeing or not seeing those films that offend your silly “family values”. Just don’t try to impose your prudish views on everyone else, OK? It’s called “freedom”; you can choose what you want to see, but can’t force others to abide by your rules. You understand that, I assume, right?

      • Dirtty Old Man

        You are watching the wrong movies. Stop watching things like “Cowboys vs. Aliens:” and look at the independent films for both good writing and good acting (By the way, Kunis was very good in “Black Swan”, though I think the movie itself was overrated).

        There are plenty of well-written movies out there. They tend not to be the most advertised and popular ones, though, so you have to look harder for them. But don’t discount all writers as being bad; many of them write to their intended audiences, which often lowers their quality (look at he “Twilight” movies for evidence of that). Well-written movies are out there; you just have to look beyond the blockbusters to find them

  • Brian Wallace

    If the have to technology to do this now, why are we still kidding ourselves by watching Scarlett Johansson and Mila Kunis “act”?


    • Tom

      Because that takes writers, something Hollywood does not have anymore.

      • Dirtty Old Man

        My original reply to you was posted to the wrong place; my bad. So here it is again:

        You are watching the wrong movies. Stop watching things like “Cowboys vs. Aliens:” and look at the independent films for both good writing and good acting (By the way, Kunis was very good in “Black Swan”, though I think the movie itself was overrated).

        There are plenty of well-written movies out there. They tend not to be the most advertised and popular ones, though, so you have to look harder for them. But don’t discount all writers as being bad; many of them write to their intended audiences, which often lowers their quality (look at he “Twilight” movies for evidence of that). Well-written movies are out there; you just have to look beyond the blockbusters to find them

    • SideOfBacon

      Mila Kunis is one hot nerd that this jedi would love to saber the hell out of.

  • Um…

    Why is she digitally nude in “The Change-up,” but went full-blown in “Cowboys and Aliens?” What’s the difference?

    • MC

      She wasn’t nude in “Cowboys & Aliens” at all.

      • Captain

        But she did go nude for Alpha Dog.

      • Private

        Read below, sir.

      • Tom

        She can play cowboys and aliens with my alpha dog anytime.

      • Puck

        You want her to shoot your manhood off with a bow and arrow?

      • Tom

        She can fondle my bow and arrow with her alpha kitty anytime.

  • Skip182

    Ya that’s not a waste of money…

  • korri

    Seriously, she had pasties on… that’s literally 2 square inches of fabric from being naked. And if you can see the whole boob already, you’re basically naked.

  • JLC

    I also think it’s funny how the actresses in question are rushing to make sure everyone knows “I wasn’t really nude.”

    • Daw Johnson

      They want to keep their price up. If producers find out she did a nude scene for her usual quote in The Change-Up, she’ll have trouble charging a premium when she does real nudity later on.

  • J

    Alrighty then…

  • john

    dont care. was hot

  • kate

    i’m not concerned with cgi – i’m concerned with actresses who “will never do nudity.” what’s the big deal about a nude scene? it’s just a body. we all see them every day.

    • UGH

      Wasn’t she nekkid already in Alpha Dog?

      • DVj8

        Very much so. The only good part of that movie.

      • ERNIE

        I might have to consult Mr. Skin for that one!

      • Emoney

        Yep. See this month’s Playboy for evidence.

      • Captain

        Yes but Alpha Dog was actually a good movie with some depth to it. I’m sure she thought she was being a good actress but going nude for that sex scene because it was “raw.” The Change Up is hardly Oscar-bait.

    • whatevs

      Some people don’t want others to see them naked. I’m not sure there’s a simpler way to explain it.

      • Tom

        Well if their acting sucks, why not?

      • Jason

        Sure, there is; if you don’t want people to see you nude don’t take a job where you’re required to be nude.
        It’s not like we’re talking about something that’s physically dangerous. like getting blown through a wall into a vat of acid. We’re talking about taking some or all, of your clothes off. If you don’t want to do it, just move on to the next job offer.

      • Fanta

        I don’t really understand the nudity problem in USA. WE WERE BORN NAKED.

      • Dirtty Old Man

        Fanta, yes, but unless you are a pervert, a naked newborn isn’t as erotic as a naked young starlet. Would you consider Olivia Wilde as interesting nude as a newborn, or as she is now?

    • Lane

      I dunno, I kind of get it. yes we see our own naked body every day but millions people don’t also see it. I don’t know how I would feel about the idea of millions of strangers drooling over naked body, even if I was a quarter as hot as olivia wilde.

      • Regina George

        Yes! It’s one thing to just be naked without a camera filming you, and without worrying about how millions of people are going to see it. But then it’s another thing to actually have that happen.

    • Lyndsey

      I can’t remember who said it but one actress summed up her reason for a no-nudity clause perfectly: “I just don’t think my high school chemistry teacher needs to know what my butt looks like”! It’s not just faceless America that sees it but everyone you & your family knows. I don’t have an issue with nudity but there’s absolutely no way I’d want everyone I went to high school with to see me naked!

      • Squishmar

        Hi there! I know Julia Roberts once said about why she doesn’t do nudity was because with her being so famous, the film would become a documentary about her breasts and take people out of the storyline because they’d be focused on the nudity itself.

      • Fanta


  • DGH

    If I want nudity I’d just put in a porn who cares about seeing someone’s nipple(or fake nipple)for a few seconds?

  • Rev. O.J. Flow

    CGI in the place of nudity is always a creative cop-out. ALWAYS.

    • ERNIE

      I don’t mind it if they’re trying to do a little bit of airbrushing, such as cellulite on an otherwise perfect butt.

  • Peter Vee

    This is so ludicrous. “I’m not really naked, but through CGI millions of people will see exactly what I look like naked.” Is it really so awful to be naked on set? This country’s twisted, Puritanical attitudes toward nudity never cease to amaze me.

    • Tharn

      That was sort of my thought. If the CGI’d nipples look exactly like (or even almost exactly like) her real nipples, then why not just film the real thing? Where does reality begin and end in the case? Unless of course the issue is about not wanting to be naked on set …

  • Matt W

    And how many people DON’T go on the internet like all of us and don’t go to EW.com? Plenty. Those people will think she was really nude. Might as well just be nude if nude colored strips of paper cover two small parts.

    • Puck

      It’s not just EW.com you idiot. She said this on Jimmy Kimmel and I’m sure she will say it in every interview she does. This was not an interview for EW.com.

  • Peet

    I have to say that’s a horrendous picture of her. Bad hair and boobs pushed up to the moon.

  • GV

    Whatever, they should tell you is fake after it has come out not before now if you know you won’t enjoy the movie as much. Is just like CGI in Sci-fi fliks I don’t want to see the raw green screen before but after the fact after i paid to get transported to another place for 120 min.

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