"'There is that one sex scene where they kiss. If there's a sex scene, I can't do it,'" he recalled telling his agent.
Mahershala Ali revealed why he almost wasn't a part of 2008's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."
During a guest appearance on Common's podcast "Mind Power Mixtape," the 46-year-old Oscar winner said he took the role of Tizzy Weathers only on the condition that he did not have to shoot a sex scene, as it is against his religion of Islam.
"So my old agent called me and said, 'Mahershala, you got the part,'" he recalled. "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.’'"
Mahershala said he added, "I don't do simulated sex."
He accepted the part and director David Fincher appeared to keep the scene between Mahershala and co-star Taraji P. Henson more PG-rated.
"Taraji and I begin to kiss, and we fall out of the frame," he explained. "It wasn't clear if [Fincher] was trying to have like some bumping and grinding -- which I doubt he was. 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."