Helen Hunt’s Nude Scenes In The Sessions Didn’t Scare Her (And That’s Important)

With so much nudity and sex on display, some might assume “The Sessions” would’ve been rated NC-17. IndieWire discussed this with Helen Hunt, who said the movie should be seen by anyone who wants to see a different perspective on sex. “I think teenagers should see this movie!” she exclaimed. “I think they should see a movie about sex that’s not weird, or titillating, or shame-ridden, or cool, or slick. Sex is just not any of those things.” The film could’ve been slapped with an NC-17 rating if it wasn’t for one choice.

While Hunt’s character has many nude scenes, John Hawkes’ private parts are covered, which some might view as sexist. “The Sessions” writer-director Ben Lewin spoke with The Los Angeles Times about that approach. “I was pretty aware of [the MPAA’s] attitude toward erect penises — that we’d immediately be dumped into quasi-porno land.” It’s just people’s bodies, but not depicting such anatomy allowed the film to receive an R rating, permitting it to be seen and advertised much more easily. Historically, NC-17 movies fare poorly at the box office.

For her part, Hunt understood the decision. She summed it up to the LA Times pretty well: “For me, the movie is about having a body, and everybody’s God-given right to get off.”

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