‘That HAD to be prosthetic, right?’ The White Lotus star Theo James sends fans into meltdown over THAT full frontal nude moment in season two premiere
- The 37-year-old actor stars in the new season of the hit HBO Max series as Cameron Babcock, who is described as ‘a wildly successful businessman’
- In the first episode of season two, James’ character strips down in front of his friend’s wife – a moment that sparked a frenzy among viewers on social media
- The brief moment of full frontal nudity left many viewers questioning whether James wore a prosthetic penis
- Although the actor has yet to address those questions, he did reveal that the scene was originally supposed to be much more graphic
- ‘The initial version we shot was way too much. So, we did a more subtle version. They toned it [down],’ he told Entertainment Tonight
HBO’s hit show The White Lotus came back with a bang for its season two premiere on Sunday night – with viewers left up in arms over a particularly risque scene starring Theo James.
The 37-year-old British actor – who is one of many new characters to join the cast – appears completely naked in a full-frontal scene during the first episode of the second season.
James’ full-frontal exposure quickly sparked a firestorm of excitement on social media, while also leaving some fans questioning whether he wore a prosthetic penis for the appearance.
James opened up about the nude scene in a new interview with Entertainment Tonight and while he failed to address speculation about any Hollywood enhancements, he did admit that the moment was originally supposed to be even more graphic.
Nude Theo: HBO debuted the Season 2 premiere of The White Lotus on Sunday evening, where fans got a full frontal nude glimpse at new cast member Theo James
New character: The 37-year-old British actor is one of the many new characters who visit the Sicily resort in the fictional luxury chain called The White Lotus
‘The initial version we shot was way too much,’ he explained. ‘So, we did a more subtle version. They toned it [down].’
Season two of The White Lotus takes place at a luxury resort in Sicily, and sees a bevvy of new characters taking center stage – with just two of the original cast returning from season one: socialite Tanya McQuoid, played by Jennifer Coolidge, and her now-husband Greg, played by Jon Gries.
Meanwhile James plays Cameron Babcock, described as, ‘a wildly successful businessman from a wealthy family.’
He heads to The White Lotus in Sicily with his wife Daphne (Meghann Fahy), his college roommate, Ethan (Will Sharpe), and Ethan’s wife, Harper (Aubrey Plaza).
While the debut episode of the new season was full of interesting twists and turns, one moment in particular struck quite the chord with viewers – when James’ character strips down in front of his friend Ethan’s wife.
The scene in question happens when Cameron heads up to Harper and Ethan’s room with Harper so he can borrow some swim trunks.
Harper is in the bathroom with the door open when Cameron decides to strip naked right behind her – with the bored housewife taking the opportunity to sneak a peek at her husband’s friend in the mirror.
Borrow: The scene in question on Sunday night’s premiere happens when Cameron heads up with Harper to their room so he can borrow some swim trunks
According to James, the awkward interaction between the two characters will all become clear in the upcoming episodes, with the actor telling ET: ‘At first… we don’t know whether [Harper’s decision to look at Cameron] is deliberate or [if] it’s accidental. But it reveals itself.’
He added that, in the fifth episode of the show, audiences will realize, ‘there’s a purpose to it.’
‘It’s never arbitrary. It’s always character-driven. It’s always, you know, moving the [story] forward,’ added James’ on-screen wife Meghann Fahy.
However the scene still caused an incredible stir on Twitter, where viewers were quick to question whether James had used a body double, worn a prosthetic – or whether he went all natural for the full-frontal appearance.
‘Ok so I need the truth y’all,’ one person wrote. ‘Is that really Theo James’ d**k swinging or is it a prosthetic? This is important.’
Another chimed in: ‘Theo James… that HAD to have been a prosthetic right?’
Writer Evan Ross Katz also joined the debate, jokingly tweeting: ‘Enough with the prosthetic d**ks on television.’
Although James’ nudity may have sparked a flurry of speculation and inquiry – it is by no means the first time that the actor has stripped down to his birthday suit for a role.
Buff: James is no stranger to acting in the buff, going nude for his HBO series The Time Traveler’s Wife and PBS’ Sandition
Contract: ‘It is in my contract that I’m not allowed to do anything without being completely naked,’ James joked, adding that it ‘felt natural’ in the moment
Although James did not address the speculation about his full-frontal scene, the moment sparked a firestorm on Twitter, where many users questioned whether he’d worn a prosthetic
James has previously appeared naked on camera for his HBO series The Time Traveler’s Wife and for his role in PBS’ Sandition.
‘It is in my contract that I’m not allowed to do anything without being completely naked,’ James joked to Entertainment Tonight, adding that it ‘felt natural’ in the moment.
James’ admission that producers ‘toned down’ the on-screen nudity comes just days after a fellow British actor – Outlander star Sam Heughan – took aim at the show’s creators for filming an ‘unnecessary’ nude shot at the end of a particularly graphic rape scene in which his character is tortured by another man.
The 42-year-old Scottish actor stars alongside Caitríona Balfe, 43, in the time-bending series about a nurse in World War II, who goes back in time to Scotland in 1743 where she meets a dashing Highland warrior.
When he signed up for the show – which is broadcast by Starz – in 2014 the star agreed to nudity in his contract but said he felt ‘betrayed’ when producers wanted to showcase his genitals after his character suffered a ‘horrific’ sexual assault.
Writing in his memoir, Waypoints: My Scottish Journey, Sam recalled filming the final episodes of season one in which his character, 18th-century Highland warrior Jamie Fraser, is tortured and repeatedly raped by his nemesis, Captain Jonathan ‘Black Jack’ Randall, played by Game of Thrones star Tobias Menzies.
Purpose: He added that, in the fifth episode of The White Lotus Season 2, audiences will realize, ‘there’s a purpose to it’
He said he told show runners that he believed using a shot of his genitals in such a harrowing scene would ‘sexualize’ the horrific assault that his character had just endured – insisting that the nude imagery wasn’t going to ‘add’ anything to the moment.
He explained: ‘This wasn’t a moment where I felt that being naked would add to the horror of what Jamie undergoes in that castle dungeon as a form of punishment, subjugation and humiliation.
‘I pushed back, reasoning that nudity sexualized a horrific experience for my character, and it sparked quite a debate.
‘Creative conversations are a feature of all productions, good art is made by questioning the truth and we all want to get it right.’
Eventually, Outlander bosses agreed that his character Jamie would be seen nude but ‘sprawled on the dungeon stones’ after he’d been assaulted, with Sam confessing: ‘Those closing scenes were incredibility challenging to film.’
He added: ‘Even though, thankfully the nude shots ended on the cutting room floor. It was a harrowing, exhausting experience.’
But while his genitals did not make it into the final episode, Sam admitted that the debate about whether or not those shots should be featured ‘betrayed his trust’ in the show’s creative team – adding that he does not believe such scenes would ever be filmed today.
James’ admission that HBO producers ‘toned down’ his nude scene comes after actor Sam Heughan slammed Outlander bosses for filming an ‘unnecessary’ naked shot in his show
According to Sam, 42, the show’s ‘creative team’ wanted to show him naked after his character had suffered a ‘horrific’ assault at the hands of his nemesis, played by Tobias Menzies (seen)
‘Times have changed,’ Sam wrote. ‘The c**k shot was unnecessary and did betray my trust in the creative team a bit.
‘We don’t need to see the horror to imagine what the characters go through. Imagination is way more powerful.’
Outlander’s first season debuted eight years ago, in August 2014, and season six – the most recent – aired earlier this year, with the next episodes expected to premiere next year.
This is not the first time that Sam has opened up about the difficulties he faced while filming season one’s final episodes, with the actor admitting to Vulture in May 2015, that he nearly reached his limit when the production team asked him to film to torturous scenes another time.
‘They said, “We’d love one more wide shot of it, the whole thing,”‘ he recalled. ‘And I was like… [groans], “Oh God.” I thought I’d gotten it all out of the way. And they said, “We’ll only do it up to a certain point, just before it happens.’
However, according to Sam, the director and production team never called ‘cut’, forcing him to once again act out the moments in which his character is brutally raped – an experience that he admitted ‘broke his trust’.
‘It got up to that point, and they didn’t call cut, so we had to carry on,’ he explained. ‘I remember feeling so scared, and actually feeling slightly like my trust had been broken a bit, because it was horrific. Great to play, but horrific. But that’s what it was for [my character] Jamie — he’s beaten and tortured and broken down, completely!’
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