Candice Van Houten, who portrayed Melisandre, the Red Woman, on HBO’s hit fantasy series Game of Thrones, has offered some new commentary on the show and its inclusion of female nudity. The fantasy epic, known for its violence and labyrinthine story, has been called to task by critics many times throughout the years for its gratuitous nudity, though many of the show’s cast have defended its inclusion.
Speaking with Insider, Van Houten credited the #MeToo movement for providing her with a new perspective on the nude scenes she shot for the television series, and on the inclusion of female nudity in media in general. She stated, “In retrospect, I thought, ‘Why did that scene have to be nude? Why was that normal?'” She continued, “I did question things and it was not so much that I was blaming anyone, but that’s just how we evolved, and just how the movement affected me.”
She went on to explain that the movement made her more aware of the male gaze, which later on inspired one of her projects. “Me and my friend Halina Reijn [director] made ‘Instinct,’ very much inspired by that.” Van Houten noted that she still believes nudity and sex have a place in art and media, but in the case of film and television, it should be there to further the narrative. Speaking for herself, and for her career moving forward, Van Houten said of nude scenes, “I’ve done that enough now. No more.”
Game of Thrones aired on HBO from 2011 to 2019, and along with Van Houten starred Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister, Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark, Maisie Williams as Arya Stark and Kit Harington as Jon Snow.
Game of Thrones actor Carice Van Houten discussed how the #MeToo movement impacted her view on on-screen nudity.