Game of Thrones actress Carice van Houten calls for more male nudity in show

The Dutch actress defended nudity in the show saying it was 'part of life'

It's known for its bloody violence and risqué sex scenes, so it's no surprise that the stars of Game of Thrones are all in favour of the show's X-rated content – so long as it serves the story.

Dutch actress Carice van Houten, who plays the enigmatic Red Priestess Melisandre, has defended the amount of bare flesh in the show and called for more male nudity in the HBO series.

Asked whether there should be more male nudity, she said: "Hell yeah! Of course it has to be functional and it mostly is. But in general that's what I like about the show, not the sex per se but the nudity is part of life."

She added: "We can see machine guns but we can’t see f**king – sorry – people? I really don’t get, I have to make a point here. Who sleeps with their bra on? I mean, sorry if that’s a Dutch approach but I think we need to get used to it. It’s part of life."

Van Houten has shed her character’s flowing red robes on more than one occasion, most notably when Melisandre gave birth to a dark spirit in a cave. The actress wore little more than a bulging, prosthetic pregnant belly while going into labour.

In another scene that played out like a medieval version of 50 Shades of Grey, Melisandre bared all to seduce a young man before chaining him to bed and sticking leeches on him.   

Van Houten has appeared naked in other projects including Dutch film The Happy Housewife, and while she is all for it, she said that the prospect of doing a nude scene makes her "nervous" and she tries to alleviate the tension on set in a novel way.

"I'd rather just show everyone this is the material, like very plain and clean. This is the body, your mother has them, let’s not make a big fuss out of them and then they get used to it. I don’t do it for them, I do it for me because I pick up on tension in the room and I just want people to be fine with it."

Co-star Liam Cunningham also defended the sex scenes in the show, arguing they were not demeaning to women because of the strength of the female characters.

Speaking at a press event in London, he said: "If there wasn't a hugely strong female character in this, like [Melisandre], then it would be sexist. It's just gratuitous. But some of the most dangerous characters in the show are women - there's Cersei. They are extraordinarily well-drawn."

Cunningham, who stars as Davos Seaworth in the medieval drama, has had dangerous dealings with the priestess and bore witness to the shadow baby. The pair have a tense relationship in the story and it is often a battle of wits with Melisandre usually getting the upper hand.

"I think there's a level of intelligence required by the viewer or whoever watching this and it doesn't patronise, it shows the dark side and the bright side of humanity in this.

"It's inclusive and it's not just the strong man and the women as the stay-at-home wife or she’s there to be the hostage. She's not functional. She's f**king dangerous in this show and has to be watched," he added with a laugh.

An extended preview for Season 4 was released yesterday on YouTube, giving fans a tantalising taste of what they can expect this year.

Entitled  Ice and Fire: A Foreshadowing, members of the cast answered questions posed by fans on Twitter. Producer David Benioff shared some tit bits about the upcoming series, including the purple wedding, Daenerys’ growing dragons and Tyrion's ever-present threat of peril.

Speaking about her story strand in Season 4 van Houten said: "Stannis has a light season this year but we have a few meaty scenes. [...] Our storyline is going to move somewhere else and it's going to be interesting because it's going to collide with a world which we also know, and what's going to happen there."

Cunningham said: "One of the differences this year from reading the scripts is that, generally speaking, over the three seasons there's been a slow and gradual build up with magnificent stories up to the big episodes which is usually episode 9. It's not like that in this season. It's kicking off very early on, it's really dramatic and as opposed to the one big climax of the other season, there's going to be several. It's bigger, bolder, brassier - and I'm dying to see it as well".    

The new season will be airing in April this year.

' Game of Thrones': The Complete Third Season is out on Blu-ray and DVD from HBO Home Entertainment from 17 February

Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper, Alessandro Nivola and Patricia Clarkson on stage

film
Arts and Entertainment

Grace Dent on TV

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is heading to Norwich for Radio 1's Big Weekend

music
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Arts and Entertainment

Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated

Arts and Entertainment
Damian Lewis shooting a scene as Henry VIII in Wolf Hall
TV

Arts and Entertainment
A history of violence: ‘Angry, White and Proud’ looked at the rise of far-right groups

tv

An expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle

Arts and Entertainment

art

Lee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Keaton in the 1998 Beetlejuice original

film

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Kitchen plays Christopher Foyle in ITV's 'Foyle's War'

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt will be starring in Dominic Savage's new BBC drama The Secrets

Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
art

‘Remember the attackers are a cold-blooded, crazy minority’, says Blek le Rat

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
    Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

    Diana Krall interview

    The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
    Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

    Pinstriped for action

    A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

    'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

    Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

    Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
    Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us