Nude scenes. We've all seen them. We all want to see more of them. Even more interesting are when they come as a surprise. Why are they a surprise? Well, there's the obvious reason that the actress in question most likely has never done a nude scene before. Then there's the nude scene that just doesn't make any sense. And then we have the nude scene that makes sense...But did we really ever need to see that person in the nude? Yeah, nude scenes! Whatever the case, nude scenes have been with us since Adam and Eve. They aren't going anywhere and as a result we give you the 11 Most Surprising Actresses Who Ever Went Nude...And we start with a nude scene that isn't on everyone's radar just yet, as the film only just opened in limited release:

1Kristen Wiig in Welcome to Me

Kristen Wiig in Welcome to Me

Kristen Wiig is one of the biggest, most sought after actresses in the world. She does chick power movies like Bridesmaids and art films like The Skeleton Twins. Quite simply, as one of the world's biggest comedy stars, she doesn't need to go nude. But we're not gonna stop her if she tries again. Her raw, powerful full-frontal moment in Welcome to Me is (dare we say) needed in this dramedy, though. Let's just hope she keeps her clothes on for Ghostbusters.

RELATED: Wes Bentley and Joan Cusack Join Kristen Wiig in Welcome to Me

2Anne Hathaway in Brokeback Mountain

Anne Hathaway in Brokeback Mountain

When you blast on to the scene in a Disney film it is only a matter of time until you do a nude or scantily clad scene in an art film. (See Vanessa Hudgens in Spring Breakers if you don't believe me). What made Anne Hathaway's nudes in this film so unexpected, was the fact that it didn't seem like anybody was talking about it. I guess this makes sense, this was a movie about two of Hollywoods hottest male actors making love with one another. Still, Anne Hathaway showing her stuff was unexpectedly great.

3Katie Holmes in The Gift

Katie Holmes in the Gift

So we have this supernatural movie that was pretty darn good (considering the sad state of supernatural/horror movies at the start of the new millennium), Oscar caliber actors AND a wonderful shot of Katie Holmes' breasts. This scene was truly unexpected because no movie watcher saw it coming. I recall both saying and thinking, "Did I just see Katie Holmes breasts?" This moment was that unexpected and it made the literal reveal so much better because of it.

4Natalie Portman in Hotel Chevalier

Natalie Portman in Hotel Chevalier

Okay, she showed us in Closer that she was essentially a perfect physical specimen. So one expected that when she did show more, it would be in an arty movie with class. You can check all of these boxes, but the movie in question is a short film that is a prologue to The Darjeeling Limited. Okay, we get it. George Lucas? She wears as many layers as possible. Wes Anderson? Darren Aronovsky? The girl can't wait to show some skin.

5Reese Witherspoon in Twilight

Reese Witherspoon in Twilight

When you go from moving films like The Man in the Moon and the lily white virgin in Fear with Marky Mark, to showing your breasts in a Paul Newman thriller, that is pretty darn unexpected. It is interesting that Reese Witherspoon did this so early in her career. Was she trying to make over her image? Was she looking to get into Playboy? Did she even care that she was doing this? Who knows...I think we're all glad she did, though.

 

6Keira Knightley in The Jacket

Keira Knightley in The Jacket

At this time in movies, Keira Knightley was nude at probably the moment she was biggest in her career. Every studio wanted her. She didn't need to display her breasts, yet she did in the opening of this film. This was unexpected. It also felt like a stunt. Don't get me wrong, Keira Knightley can be nude all day long, but in that movie, in that scene, in that context...It just came off as odd.

7Salma Hayek in Desperado

Salma Hayek in Desperado

For a brief moment, during a well done Robert Rodriguez montage, we were given a nicely-shot glimpse of Salma Hayek's vulumptuous breasts. And then, for many years, until she did an art film here and there, we rarely saw this again. In the context of Desperado it made sense to see her boobs. That it took so long to see them on screen after that (when she was doing movies like From Dusk Till Dawn and dancing on the TV set in Four Rooms), made this whole episode something unexpectedly special.

8Molly Ringwald in Malicious

Molly Ringwald in Malicious

In the mid-1980s, Molly Ringwald was box office royalty. By 1995, she was a long way from films like Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club. Which is why her showing her off her goodies in this straight-to-video title makes her big reveal even more surprising.

9 Heather Matarazzo in Hostel: Part II

Heather Matarazzo in Hostel 2

Okay, in the first Hostel every girl that was killed was a 10. That movie was a statement on American's traveling to, and humping their way through, foreign lands. Hostel: Part II tried to expand on this. Sure, Heather Matarazzo might seem like the logical choice. Hostel: Part II was trying to be quirky and little bit different from its predecessor. It isn't that we don't want to see Dawn Weiner naked. But... This just clearly wasn't the role for her. Unexpected? Clearly.

10Goldie Hawn in Wildcats

Goldie Hawn in Wildcats

Goldie Hawn is another actress whose work in the 1970s and early 1980s made her something of an icon. There was The Sugarland Express, Shampoo and Foul Play, just to name a few coming off her star making turn in the comedy series Laugh-In. So when she got nude in Wildcats, this garden variety fish out of water tale that sees a woman coach a high school football team, it kinda didn't matter. By that I mean, you take the nude scene out of this movie and you essentially have the same movie. Somehow, that made it unexpected.

11 Ann-Margret in Carnal Knowledge

Ann-Margret in Carnal Knowledge

Ann-Margret had become something of an icon before doing Carnal Knowledge. She had been in Bye Bye Birdie, Viva Las Vegas and other bubblegum-beach blanket flicks. However, Carnal Knowledge was a cool film, with a cool cast (Jack Nicholson and Art Garfunkle) and a cool director named Mike Nichols. Make no mistake, she had been in other good films, but there was something that made this movie special. So when Ann-Margret picked this one to show it all off, it was both surprising, expected and graciously appreciated. And...Quite special indeed.

12Julie Andrews in S.O.B.

Julie Andrews in Sound of Music

This might be the most surprising nude scene on this list. We're talking about Mary Poppins for crying out loud! Julie Andrews is an actress from another place, another time. She isn't supposed to show her boobs even if the person directing her to do so is her husband!

13 /person/kathy-bates/Kathy Bates in About Schmidt

Kathy Bates

There are some actresses we expect to do nude scenes. There are many we want to do nude scenes (if I acted, I would certainly be in this camp). Then there are those that we would never expect that from. Okay, I will admit that the advent of the internet has practically killed all surprises. We go to the theater generally knowing who is going to show what when. However, even knowing that, very little can prepare you for the scene where Kathy Bates takes it off.

There you have it. Those are certainly some of the most shocking and surprising nude scenes to ever come out of Hollywood. What makes an actress decide to go nude? A lot factors into it, we're sure. Do you feel we missed anyone? And who were you most shocked to see bare all in the long history of nude scenes in movies?

Evan Jacobs at Movieweb
Evan Jacobs