Andrew Davies and Sanditon star praise “effective” male nudity in ITV Jane Austen adaptation

Sanditon screenwriter Davies admits he won't dwell on an actor's 'sensitivities' when writing a scene that includes male nudity

Sanditon

Screenwriter Andrew Davies and Sanditon star Leo Suter have both defended the “beautiful” male nudity included in ITV’s upcoming adaptation of Jane Austen’s final and unfinished novel.

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Speaking at a press event following a screening of episode one, master adaptor Davies and Suter (who plays ‘Young Stringer’ in the series) both spoke about the weighting towards more male (rather than female) nudity in the eight-part show.

Asked about the increase in male nudity in shows like Sanditon and Beecham House, Suter responded: “Rightly — it’s been the wrong way around for a very long time. I also think you’re comparing apples and pears. I don’t think it’s the same thing when a man gets naked and a woman gets naked.”

“For me, I don’t mind it because it’s a question of objectification,” he added. “I put my face out on telly so I’ve already lost anonymity so if somebody sees my arse it doesn’t bother me that much, but a woman’s arse and a woman’s breast has far different cultural meaning than a man’s does so it’s hard to say.”


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Referring to a scene in which male characters strip off, Davies said: “As my wife has been saying, something she constantly says is that she has no objection to female nudity but she’d like to see a great deal more male nudity on the screen so I try to please her.

“And I never think of the sensitivities of the poor guy. I thought it looked so beautiful, particularly Arthur [Parker, played by Turlough Convery] scrambling out of his clothes.”

Suter added: “It’s so effective and emotive it would be wrong to say there should be no naked bodies. Because a naked body tells so much it’s very compelling to watch, the question is whether the writing makes it legitimate, because if it’s not it’s so obvious, very distracting when you go, ‘ah this is for numbers’, but I think in that scene it’s good and it really, really works. Done right, I think that’s the important point…if you’re going to include it you need to include it well and smartly.”

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Sanditon will air in eight parts on ITV in autumn 2019