Amber Heard is one hot leading lady.Every year a few brave actresses make the decision to bare it all in the name of art without using body doubles or the magic of CGI. It’s not an easy choice to make, especially since so many celebs can skate through their careers without stripping down, and they don’t always win awards or get critical acclaim for their dedication to their craft. So let’s take a minute to honor some of the women who made the difficult decision to do nude scenes in 2011 movies:

Amber Heard in “The Rum Diary”

This blonde bombshell might have needed a shot or two of rum to make it through her sex scenes with Johnny Depp in this movie about a boozing journalist, especially since she joked that kissing her costar was “torture.” Amber described her nude scene as “naked and cold,” stating that “it’s such a weird job that we’re in.” There is a lot of truth to that – there are few other professions where it’s okay to wear your birthday suit and kiss coworkers.

Kirsten Dunst in “Melancholia”

This former child star is trying to show that she’s got what it takes to become a serious (and possibly Oscar-worthy) actress by working with acclaimed director Lars Von Trier, and perhaps the theme of his movie is what inspired her to do a nude scene – in “Melancholia” life on Earth is about to come to an end, so maybe Kirsten decided that stripping down was simply something she wanted to do while she has the chance. However, she only felt comfortable with one of her nude scenes because she thought the shot looked like a painting, and she thinks breasts aren’t funny and are inappropriately used in many movies (so don’t expect her to star in a comedy with gratuitous nudity anytime soon).

Keira Knightley in “A Dangerous Method”

Like Kirsten, Keira knew that her nude scenes would eventually end up all over the internet. However, she decided to disrobe in “A Dangerous Method” for an uncomfortable scene that called for her to be spanked anyway. The movie focuses on three pioneers of psychoanalysis, Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender), his mentor Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen), and Sabina Spielrein (Knightley). Fassbender is the one who does the spanking. Cronenberg almost took Keira’s nude scenes out of the movie to ensure that she would take the role, but she decided that they were a crucial part of the film. However, the actress believes that more and more actresses are turning down these kinds of roles since their nude scenes end up taken out of context on the internet.

Carey Mulligan in “Shame”

This actress also co-stars with Fassbender, but she’s not the only one who strips down in their movie – Michael shares her “shame” by starring in a full frontal scene in the flick about a sex addict. However, Carey had the most embarrassing experience involving her nude scenes – her mother checked out her performance and responded to it with “gasps and giggles.” This might not be such a good thing since the movie is supposed to be a drama.

Elizabeth Olsen in “Martha Marcy May Marlene”

A lot of people didn’t even know that Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen had a younger sister until she started getting critical acclaim for her performance in this movie about a cult, and her emergence was made even more shocking since she stars in a creepy nude scene in the movie. Here’s what she told GQ about why she felt the scene was important: “The movie wouldn’t have been as disturbing without it. Taking away someone’s sexuality, making it something you don’t even own anymore–that’s the scariest thing.”

Emily Browning in “Sleeping Beauty”

Hopefully no one goes to watch this movie expecting the Disney version of the fairy tale. In this non-family-friendly film Emily stars as a prostitute who pops pills so that she sleeps through her sexual encounters. Needless to say, it wasn’t easy for the “Sucker Punch” star to shoot her many nude scenes, so she learned to meditate so that she “wasn’t present in those scenes at all.” (And everyone thinks the two new versions of Snow White’s story are twisted).

Rooney Mara in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

Rooney also stars in some very brutal nude scenes in this remake, including one in which her hacker character gets raped. However, the actress says it wasn’t stripping down that was difficult for her – she was terrified of having to ride a motorcycle.

So even though stripping down can be stressful and lead to internet infamy, these celebs are doing their best to prove that nude scenes can be gritty and artistic instead of gratuitous.

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