Ah, movie nudity. To the delight of European arthouse freaks and perverts everywhere, film stars have been undressing for the camera since cinema's golden age. But what happens when a flash of nudity is required of one of the more inhibited A-listers?

From distracting groins to CGI nipples, here are the stories behind some of the most famous uses of fraudulent nudity in film.

WILLEM DAFOE

(

Antichrist

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In typical Lars von Trier fashion, he couldn't just reveal that Willem Dafoe used a penis double for a scene in 2009's controversial Antichrist, but got a little carried away when explaining the reasons behind the phallic switcheroo. "He's extremely well-equipped," he told the Boston Phoenix. Von Trier is no stranger to body doubles. Many of the more graphic shots in his 2013 film Nymphomaniac were performed by pornographic actors ... or so they claimed.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

(

Domino

)

The British actress has revealed she has a very specific nudity policy, one that favours the top half of her body. "I say, 'You can have the top half but you can't have the bottom half,' and it kind of works quite well." So, for a scene in her dismal Tony Scott action movie Domino, in which her character performs a striptease, Knightley requested a butt double. "I said, 'Could you get me a bottom please?' And so I went into a room with Tony Scott, the director, and these three women came in and just dropped their trousers and he was like, 'Well, which one do you want?' So there was one that was really amazing and I was like, 'No one's going to believe that.' The girl we picked had a lovely bottom." In weirder Knightley body-double trivia, she also hired one for Atonement. Not for her rear end again, but rather for her feet.

NATALIE PORTMAN

(

Your Highness

)

Natalie Portman in Black Swan.
Natalie Portman in Black Swan.

While Portman has performed sexually explicit scenes in Oscar fare such as Closer and Black Swan, she baulked at performing sexy scenes in a bawdy stoner comedy featuring a minotaur with an enormous prosthetic penis. For 2011's medieval comedy Your Highness, an Irish student named Caroline Davies was paid $500 for a scene in which Portman's character, wearing a thong, is leaping into a lake. "I got a phone call completely out of the blue from an extras firm saying they wanted me to come in," said Davies. "Then they asked me to go down to the Titanic Quarter to see if I could act as Natalie's body double. I'm a film studies student, so I jumped at the chance to be on set. They took me to a small pool and I had to train how to jump into water only three or four metres deep ... It was hard work, but worth it."

JESSICA ALBA

(

Machete

)

Jessica Alba in Machete.
Jessica Alba in Machete.

Another CGI nudity fest occurred one year earlier in Robert Rodriguez's Machete. While shooting a shower scene in the B-movie spoof, Alba in fact wore white underwear, which was digitally erased later on. It sparked a brief debate about the future of cinematic nudity, while Alba's publicist released a somewhat stern statement on the matter: "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 honour 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."

KIM BASINGER

(

My Stepmother Is an Alien/Final Analysis

)

For two films from her late-80s heyday, Basinger sought help from Shelley Michelle. It turns out Basinger had a problem with her legs, as Michelle doubled for them in both films. "For two minutes in Stepmother, the whole screen is this leg scene," Michelle said. "At the premiere, the first time I saw it, I jumped up out of my seat and yelled, 'Those are my legs! Those are my legs!' And everyone's like, 'Sure they're your legs'." Michelle later insured her legs with Lloyds of London for $1 million and co-wrote the autobiography Confessions of a Body Double.

ANNE ARCHER

(

Body of Evidence

)

Fatal Attraction star and noteworthy Scientologist Archer caused a ruckus in 1993 by telling reporters her nude scenes in the cataclysmic Madonna flop Body of Evidence were all part of a sexy mid-life makeover. "I hit 40 and boy, the last three movies, the sex scenes I got," Archer giggled. "Life's changing, what can I tell you? Forty's wonderful." The problem was that all of Archer's nudity was in fact performed for about $1000 by body double Shawn Lusader, who angrily went to the press claiming Archer was taking credit for her work. "The industry is set up for her to do that. It allows her to misrepresent herself. She gets to enhance her career and I don't," Lusader said. Lusader went on to attempt to launch a rights organisation called The Body of Doubles in retaliation.

DREW BARRYMORE

(

Poison Ivy

)

For the coming-of-age erotica, Barrymore declined to perform nude scenes, despite the film's promotional material capitalising on her just-turned-18 notoriety. "Those breasts are not mine," she told Movieline. "I was a little nervous about doing it in the first place and the company just felt it would be better [to use a double]. Those shots were only supposed to be for European distribution, so I thought: no problem. But now they're in both versions and, well, no offence to the girl, but I have prettier boobs than she does. I'm pretty bummed that America's gonna think those are mine."

KEVIN COSTNER

(

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

)

Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

When Costner refused to shoot his character's skinny-dipping scene in 1991's Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, producers were forced to hire a replacement rear end. While tabloids at the time claimed Costner was embarrassed by his flat butt, he revealed in the film's DVD commentary that he was, in fact, just terrified of contracting hypothermia.

ANNE BANCROFT

(

The Graduate

)

Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft in The Graduate.
Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft in The Graduate.

Not only does Bancroft's leg not actually appear on the iconic poster for The Graduate (it actually belonged to Dallas actress Linda Gray, who was paid $25 for the job), but neither does her nipple in the film itself - briefly glimpsed while her character attempts to seduce Dustin Hoffman's awkward college student. While the split-second cameo (performed by a body double) isn't all that notable on its own, it has an interesting story behind it: Bancroft had full veto power over the quality and length of any nudity from her double, and took home a copy of the film's work print after viewing it at a private screening before release. Bancroft was then able to launch legal proceedings if the length of time the nipple appeared on-screen differed between the work print she signed off on and the film as it appeared in cinemas. Luckily for the film's producers, both versions stayed the same.