WOMEN
12/03/2014 03:35 pm ET Updated Dec 03, 2014

Cheryl Strayed, Laura Dern Discuss Supporting Reese Witherspoon Through Her 'Wild' Nude Scenes

Reese Witherspoon bares her soul and her body in her new film "Wild," and she did it with the help and guidance of author Cheryl Strayed.

Strayed and actress Laura Dern spoke with HuffPost Live on Tuesday about the journey of making "Wild," which is based on Strayed's memoir of the same name. Strayed discussed the conversations she had with Witherspoon about the film's toughest scenes with host Ricky Camilleri.

Witherspoon described to Harper's Bazaar U.K. the "panic" she felt about performing on-screen sex, and Strayed told HuffPost Live that her advice boiled down to one thing: "Be as honest as you can bear to be, and good things always come from that."

"[Reese] asked me about my grief, she asked me about my promiscuity, she asked me what I was thinking when I was walking along hiking. And of course, some of those scenes were harder than others to act out," Strayed said. "She was really brave and raw and both emotionally naked and physically naked in ways that she'd never quite been before, and I did have to say to her at one point, 'Look, I'm so sorry I was such a slut in the '90s.'"

Dern said that "Wild" director Jean-Marc Vallée made the nudity easier for Witherspoon because of the way he framed those scenes.

"Jean-Marc had every scene -- particularly, I felt, the sex scenes -- handled with such dignity and grace and loneliness that it's your emotion that we're left with, not the image," Dern said.

But that doesn't mean there isn't something to enjoy in the image, too. "I'm just happy we finally got to see Reese's boobs," Strayed added with a grin.

"Wild" hits theaters on Dec. 5.

Click here to catch the full HuffPost Live conversation with Laura Dern and Cheryl Strayed here.

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