Mahershala Ali Doesn’t Do Sex Scenes For Religious Reasons
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. A movie I’ve never seen, but continue to joke about on a near-weekly basis. Apparently, double Oscar winner Mahershala Ali co-starred in the film as old-man-baby Brad Pitt’s adoptive father, with Taraji P. Henson playing his wife. Recently, on Common’s podcast, Mind Power Mixtape, Mahershala explained that he originally had a sex scene with Taraji in the script. But, because the actor is an Ahmadi Muslim, he told his agent, “I don’t do simulated sex.”
Mahershala tells Common (via People):
“So my old agent called me and said, ‘Mahershala, you got the part.’ ” Ali recalled, according to Page Six. “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.’ “
That’s a pretty ballsy move when you’re still a relative unknown who just got cast in his first major film. Luckily, director David Fincher agreed to alter the scene so it didn’t involve sex:
“Taraji and I begin to kiss, and we fall out of the frame … It wasn’t clear if [Fincher] was trying to have like some bumping and grinding … which I doubt he was,” Ali said. “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 — just trying to hold a space of respect for my religion.”
Mahershala is married to artist Amatus Sami-Karim, who is probably thanking her lucky stars that her husband didn’t have to tongue co-stars like Taraji (who he was also coupled up with in Hidden Figures) or Janelle Monáe (Moonlight). However, this is a cruel blow to all the people heavily attracted to Mahershala. The human mind can only take one so far… gimme something to work with here!