Elle Fanning on Nudity and Intimacy in ‘The Great’

Elle Fanning, the talented actress known for her remarkable roles in Hollywood, has been making waves with her portrayal of Catherine the Great in the hit Hulu series, “The Great.” In an interview with W Magazine, Fanning delves into her experiences filming love scenes in the series, shedding light on the intricacies of on-screen intimacy and her evolving perspective on nudity.

Fanning, who has been in the industry for over two decades, acknowledges that “The Great” is a unique project that has stood out in her career. She describes it as the “best script” she has ever read, a testament to the show’s exceptional storytelling and comedic brilliance. Despite her young age, Fanning’s performance as Catherine the Great has been nothing short of remarkable, capturing the essence of the historical figure with wit and humor.

One of the intriguing aspects of “The Great” is its approach to love scenes. While the series is not shy about exploring the passionate relationships of its characters, Fanning points out that nudity is not central to these intimate moments. Instead, the focus is on the characters’ desires and the palpable sexual tension that permeates the atmosphere.

Fanning elaborates on the practicalities of filming these scenes within the context of the show’s lavish 18th-century costumes. She explains that the characters are often clad in multiple layers of clothing, including corsets and petticoats, which make it cumbersome to disrobe fully. In such situations, the characters must find creative ways to express their desires without exposing their bodies entirely.

In fact, Fanning reveals that the decision to keep the characters clothed during sex scenes is a deliberate choice made to maintain the flow and intensity of the scenes. She explains that undoing corsets or other intricate period garments would disrupt the mood and authenticity of the moment. Therefore, the characters engage in passionate encounters while still dressed, creating a unique and memorable experience for viewers.

However, Fanning acknowledges that there was one exception to this approach, where a love scene required her to be naked. In this instance, the decision was made to prioritize intimacy and passion, differentiating it from the other scenes. It showcases the show’s commitment to storytelling and character development rather than gratuitous nudity.

What is clear from Fanning’s perspective is that nudity should not be a focal point or a distraction in the portrayal of intimate moments on screen. Instead, it should serve the narrative and enhance the emotional depth of the characters. Fanning’s experience in “The Great” highlights the importance of creative choices in depicting love and desire on television and film.

Beyond discussing her role in the series, Fanning offers glimpses into her personal life and interests. She shares her childhood infatuations with iconic figures like Danny Zuko and Johnny Cash, revealing the influence of music on her upbringing. She even confesses to having Bob Dylan posters in her room, a passion ignited by director Cameron Crowe during the filming of “We Bought a Zoo.”

As the interview delves into lighter topics such as astrology and karaoke songs, Fanning’s fearless nature becomes evident. She explains that she is not easily frightened by life’s uncertainties, embracing the idea that some things are beyond one’s control. Her candidness about overcoming fears, like elevators and flying, reflects her resilient and adventurous spirit.

Elle Fanning’s interview with W Magazine provides a refreshing perspective on love scenes and nudity in the entertainment industry. Her experiences on “The Great” reveal that nudity should not be the focus of intimate moments on screen; rather, it should serve the narrative and the characters’ emotional journeys. Fanning’s willingness to embrace vulnerability and explore comedic roles showcases her growth as an actress. Her fearless outlook on life is a testament to her resilience and willingness to embrace the unknown.

In a world where body positivity and acceptance are gaining prominence, Elle Fanning’s perspective on nudity serves as a reminder that it is a natural part of the human experience. There should be no shame or judgment surrounding what is, ultimately, a celebration of human beauty and vulnerability. Nudity, when handled with care and purpose, can be a powerful tool for storytelling and character development. Elle Fanning’s journey in “The Great” exemplifies the evolving landscape of entertainment, where creative choices are made to prioritize the art of storytelling over gratuitous exposure.

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