Amanda Seyfried strips down, says it’s ‘just a costume’

When it comes to art and entertainment, a naked body can cause quite a stir.

But is nudity ever justified? Is it ever OK to bare it all?

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Amanda Seyfried seems to think that we “Americans” make much too big a deal over nudity in film.

“It’s just a naked body,” she told US at the Hollywood premiere of her latest film, “Lovelace,” a porn biopic in which Seyfried plays the part of Linda Lovelace. ”You don’t think too much about it. It’s a costume really. It’s just a naked body. I mean, in America it’s something, but most other places in the world, it’s just a naked body. We all look the same.”

I think Seyfried’s overuse of the phrase “it’s just a naked body” says she’s trying to justify it a bit too much. In fact, when asked about the sex scenes she shot with actor Peter Sarsgaard in an interview for GQ, Seyfried said, “Yeah, I keep trying to, like, justify it in some way, and I can’t anymore.” Sarsgaard agreed, saying, “It’s a bizarre part of our jobs, no doubt about it.”

It’s interesting how easily Sarsgaard and Seyfried can just wave their hands at portraying porn without a second thought and call it just “part of the job.” So what’s the difference between pornography and art? Would one argue that it’s another? Is there a difference?

And what about art PORTRAYING porn. Is that the same thing?

How come the statue of the David is considered a classic masterpiece, but a modern picture of a naked man would be considered porn? I tend to disagree with Seyfried: I think a naked body is much more sacred and shouldn’t be shown to millions of people. I’m glad we crazy Americans (some, anyway) think that a person’s own unique body is still “something.”

Pornography is obviously much, much more than just a depiction of a naked body or bodies. In fact, it’s the root of so much evil: Many crimes stem from pornography addiction which can become extremely and even deathly addictive and can cause terrible pain and suffering for the viewer as well as his/her family and associates.

I’m surprised that Seyfried, especially taking on this role, cannot — or refuses to — see that in the name of art.

I understand that the job of actors and actresses is to take on different characters and sometimes, if they immerse themselves enough, find themselves getting “lost” in the roles. But I wonder if there’s ever a line that should be drawn. I wonder if an actress can truly separate herself from her character or role without taking a small part of that character with her or leaving a small piece of herself behind.

Especially if that character is required to reveal the most intimate parts of herself on camera.

Do you think art and pornography are two completely different things? Are we Americans too “old-fashioned” when it comes to covering up?

4 comments

  1. John Charity Spring

    This blog points out just how out of touch these so called celebrities are when it comes to mainstream American values. Far too many are like Seyfried, who have abandoned all sense of morality.

    Seyfried should be condemned for her willingness to portray deviant sexuality as something that is not only acceptable, but is something that should be pursued. Indeed, Seyfried attacks anyone with moral values and claims that anyone who opposes pornography is small-minded and prudish. This is a lie, and it is Seyfried who is being small-minded.

    Seyfried’s willingness to participate in depravity will have serious consequences for herself. One can not participate in wanton, uncontrolled sexual deviancy without destroying one’s soul. She has set herself on the path of misery and depression. However, that is not the worst of it.

    If Seyfried wants to destroy herself, so be it. But what she is doing will have trajic consequences for society at large. Study after study confirms that pornography inevitably leads to desensitization and eventually, criminal behavior. In societies where pornography is prevelant, the rates of sexual assauts skyrocket. Will Seyfried be willing to donate her millions to pay for the treatment of the women and children who will become victims of sexual abuse? Of course not. If she cared about the innocent, she would not participate in this depravity in the first place.

  2. SLC gal

    Interestingly enough, other news media outlets have reported her saying that the biopic will destroy her career.

  3. Lagomorph

    I’ll venture that neither Ms. Rasmusen nor Mr. Spring has seen the film in question. Not that one can’t render an opinion based on hearsay and reasonable speculation, but firsthand experience makes for a stronger argument. Given that many of the questions posed in the column revolve around how the events of Ms. Lovelace’s life are portrayed onscreen, any comments made without seeing the film are suspect and necessarily tentative.

    Ms. Rasmusen makes a huge and unsupported logical leap in going from mere nudity to pornography and essentially equating them in all cases. Even obscenity law does not go this far. It recognizes that nudity can have redeeming social value and sets forth a much more stringent standard for pornography. She asks why Michelangelo’s David is art, but a modern nude is porn. Well, it’s not. The modern nude can be art. She may have missed Rodin’s “The Kiss” because it was crated in the basement, but the UMFA Impressionist exhibit awhile back had “The Thinker” and nudes by Picasso. There are many, many modern painters, sculptors, and photographers producing nudes that are indisputably art and not pornographic. The premise of her argument is meritless; the conclusions that follow are questionable. Her syllogism of “all nudity is porn, porn is evil, therefore all nudity is evil” fails.

    Mr. Spring similarly makes conclusions from facts not in evidence and his argument similarly fails.

    It is entirely possible to present Ms. Lovelace’s life and career in a nonpornographic way. Not having seen it myself, I imagine that this film ventures closer to the lurid than many readers of this paper would feel comfortable with. That in itself does not make it porn. It carries and R rating, not an NC-17. If the studio thought that the MPAA would have gone with the more severe rating, it probably would have released it unrated. Given the tragedy of Lovelace’s life, the plot likely has a precautionary theme of loss and redemption, even if the path there is rocky. That is hardly porn puts in “Art” territory.

    Ms. Rasmusen asks, “I wonder if an actress can truly separate herself from her character or role without taking a small part of that character with her or leaving a small piece of herself behind.” Perhaps she should ask any actress who has ever portrayed Lady Macbeth. Do their souls become a little more ambitious and murderous? Did Jane Seymour become a little more evil for playing Kate Trask in the “East of Eden” miniseries? As the Great Thespian said, it’s Acting.

    The responses to the final paragraph: Yes. Yes.

    • Becky

      I completely agree with you. I am a Christian who is opposed to pornography, but believe that the naked body is beautiful, created by God, and can be shown in an artistic way. Americans have such strange reactions to nudity.

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