Jack Reynor strips down and bares it all for a sizable chunk of Ari Aster’s new horror movie “Midsommar.” The 27-year-old actor tells The Wrap he wasn’t nervous about the film’s male full frontal nudity. Quite the contrary, as Reynor says he was eager to go nude in the film in order to flip the script on outdated horror movie traditions in which women and female bodies are often the victims of abuse and torture.
“There are so many films in the history of cinema, particularly in the horror genre — I watch a lot of this stuff, and I notice there’s a pervasive culture of really difficult and humiliating and expositional scenes of murder and sexual violence towards women and you don’t really see that kind of stuff in films where it happens to men,” Reynor said. “I think it’s an interesting kind of flipping on its head of this is a male character suffering through a very kind of humiliating sequence of his fate.”
Reynor admits nothing his character has to go through in “Midsommar” physically compares to such violence-against-women horror films like “The Last House on the Left,” but going nude for Aster’s film was flipping the trope in the right direction. “And it’s very expositional,” Reynor added, “and that’s why I wanted to make sure there was as much full frontal as we could go for.”
The film’s “graphic nudity” is one reason the MPAA gave “Midsommar” an R rating, along with “disturbing ritualistic violence, grisly images, strong sexual content, drug use, and language.” When it comes to Reynor’s full frontal scene, the sequence includes more than one of those descriptors.
“Midsommar” marks Ari Aster’s follow-up to horror sensation “Hereditary.” The latter marked his feature directorial debut, with “Midsommar” reuniting him with cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski. Critics have mostly praised “Midsommar,” with IndieWire’s chief critic Eric Kohn calling it a “sprawling and perverse cult thriller with an underlying vision that’s hard to shake.”
A24 is opening “Midsommar” in theaters nationwide July 3. Visit The Wrap to read more from Reynor’s interview.