Romola Garai says she will never appear nude on stage again

Actor said the experience was ‘psychologically too demanding for me’

Annabel Nugent
Saturday 29 January 2022 08:09
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Romola Garai has said she will never appear nude on stage again.

The Atonement star spoke about her experience of being nude on stage during an interview with The Independent.

The 39-year-old said: “I’m 40 this year, and there are all those weird things that I had to pretend to do. You get to the stage where you go: ‘I’m not doing that, I’m not doing that, I’m not doing that’, because it’s too affecting. I couldn’t be naked on stage again.”

In 2014, the actor played a dying bohemian poet in Tom Stoppard’s stage production Indian Ink off-Broadway. The role required Garai to be nude at certain moments.

At the time, the play’s director Carey Perloff said that Garai agreed to the nude scene “without missing a beat”.

The actor, however, said that “it’s just not something I could do again”. She added that it was “psychologically too demanding for me”.

“But then that’s problematic, because actually it would be quite good for people to be seeing an ordinary woman in her forties on stage,” she added.

Garai continued: “There were times when I felt completely comfortable and times where I didn’t. And the trouble is that every time that you didn’t feel comfortable was too many times.

“But you can’t sign up for a theatre run and say, ‘I’ll do it when I feel comfortable and not when I don’t.’”

She said: “That would be awesome actually, if they could do a theatre run where they’re like, ‘Tonight the actress has chosen not to be nude.’”

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The Emma star went on to say she was unsure whether she had ever seen nudity on stage and thought it to be “totally necessary”.

“That interrogation should happen every single time somebody asks an actor to be naked. Is this 100 per cent essential for the story? And if it isn’t, why are you doing it?’”

Elsewhere in the interview, Garai spoke about her directorial debut Amulet, explaining that she didn't have her actors touching during a scene of sexual violence because: "I don't think anyone needs to see a rape on screen ever again."

She also opened up about not wanting to be defined by her role in the #MeToo movement.

Garai has previously spoken about being asked by disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein to audition for a role wearing a bathrobe in his hotel room.

You can read the full interview here.

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