Aubrey Plaza Claims Director Told Her to Masturbate on Camera

Aubrey Plaza Claims Director Told Her to Masturbate on Camera

BYPaper MagazineApr 07, 2023

Aubrey Plaza said she was told to actually masturbate on camera while filming The To Do List.

In a newly resurfaced interview from 2013, the White Lotus star told Tonight Show host Conan O'Brien about filming a self-pleasure scene for director Maggie Carey's R-rated comedy, in which she plays a high schooler who wants to become more sexually experienced before heading off to college.

“In my head, I envisioned a nice scene where you just see my hand slowly go out of frame. That's what I thought I was going into. But then when I showed up, the camera was mounted on the ceiling," Plaza said. “I was in my underwear and a Clinton t-shirt."

The actress then snuck in a quick joke about there being "a bunch of old men smoking" in the room, who she later clarified were crew members. However, things took a more serious turn when she began to describe her confusion, saying that she "thought I was doing one thing and then when I showed up, it was a whole different thing."

"It was a full body shot. And I asked the director, ‘What should I do?,'" she recalled before Carey instructed her to "'masturbate — like it says in the script.'"

Plaza continued, “And then I did that.”

Additionally, the Parks and Recreation star also talked about the experience in an interview with The Oregonian, in which she called it the "most nerve-wracking" part of the movie. Reiterating that she believed that Carey was planning on a cutaway scene, she remembered thinking they would "'probably shoot this in a way where I don’t really have to really do it.’"

"But then when we did it and I was like, ‘Oh no, we’re going to shoot it where I do it,'” she said.

Granted, Carey previously claimed that Plaza came up with the idea to hump a pillow during the scene in an interview with Vulture from 2013. Describing it as "a lot different" than Natalie Portman's masturbation scene in Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, the filmmaker also went on to praise Plaza's willingness to be "game for anything," adding that "she’s not afraid to be vulnerable or put herself in awkward positions.”

Carey has yet to comment on the resurfaced interview. In the meantime though, you can hear what Plaza said about the masturbation scene for yourself below.

Photo via Getty / Amy Sussman