Mahershala Ali Explains Why He Doesn't Take Roles That Include Sex Scenes
Photo Credit: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 19: Actor Mahershala Ali attends the 26th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images)
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Mahershala Ali Explains Why He Doesn't Take Roles That Include Sex Scenes

Mahershala Ali revealed that one thing he won’t do as an actor is simulated sex scenes out of respect of his religion.

Ali, who is an Ahmadi Muslim, talked about his personal standards on Common’s podcast Mind Power Mixtape. One anecdote he described was when he acted opposite Taraji P. Henson in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

My old agent called me and said, ‘Mahershala, you got the part,” he said. “And I said, There’s just one thing…There is that one sex scene where they kiss…If there’s a sex scene, I can’t do it…I don’t do simulated sex.”

Ali said that what helped him complete the role was talking with director David Fincher, who altered the scene enough to allow Ali to be comfortable.

Taraji and I begin to kiss, and we fall out of frame,” he said. It wasn’t clear if [Fincher] was trying to have like some bumping and grinding…which I doubt he was…But for me even…at that time, 15 years ago, I was still like, ‘OK, I can only go up to this point,’ just because of–trying to hold a space of respect for my religion.”

The film was Ali’s first major movie role. He would go on to land his breakthrough role on television in House of Cards. 



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Photo: Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images

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