Debra Messing Was Pressured To Film Naked Scene In A Walk In The Clouds

The Hollywood film industry can be a tough place for women.

Debra Messing has finally come out about a distressing incident that occurred on the set of her first film, A Walk In The Clouds. At this week’s 2017 MAKERS Conference, a conference dedicated to bringing together hundreds of leaders, Messing talked about the tough experiences she went through on set.

Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

The Will & Grace star acted alongside Keanu Reeves for the 1995 movie, and she revealed that the experience was far from pleasant. She claimed that after contacting her agent about the director Alfonso Arau’s request for her to strip down, she was told that she would probably be fired if she didn’t do what she was told.

The 48-year-old admitted she confronted Arau about his demands. He reportedly responded with, “Your job is to get naked and to say the lines. That’s it. You should be grateful to have a part.”

In a panic, she ran to the producers, and they told her that she was only promised no nudity in the domestic release, not the international release.

She said Arau even made her feel uncomfortable during the scene.

“He lifts [the sheet up], scans my naked body, then drops the sheet on top of me like a used Kleenex,” she said. “He walks away without a word.”

After all the trauma, Messing said the only exposed area of her body shown in the movie was her back.

She told the MAKERS audience that the whole thing seemed like a power play to her. She felt it was a game with a goal to demean her and strip her of her strength.

The actress was obviously horrified, but her experiences didn’t end there.

Next, it was a comment about her nose while she was filming a kissing scene with Reeves. Arau made it clear that he was unsatisfied with how it looked on camera, and he referred to her as “that nose” for the entire day.

“We started filming and the very famous director screamed ‘cut’ and said, ‘How quickly can we get a plastic surgeon in here? Her nose is ruining my movie.’”

“It was a shock,” she said. “I was so confident coming out of graduate school with my Masters in acting. I’d studied in London and I was so well equipped with skill sets, and then to walk on set and have that happen—I was reduced to an un-Hollywood nose.”

The problem, she said, isn’t with her. It’s Hollywood and our culture’s painfully narrow definition of what a valuable, vital and beautiful woman looks like.