Daryl Hannah says she was 'incredibly anxious' about “Splash” nude scenes, was 'very sheltered'

"I hadn't really had a boyfriend yet."

Daryl Hannah wasn’t exactly flipping her fins at the idea of getting naked for Splash.

The actress, who starred as its lovable mermaid Madison, told PEOPLE that while she "loved filming the whole thing," she was actually “really anxious” about showing skin in the 1984 rom-com.

“I was very world-traveled, but very sheltered at the same time,” Hannah said. “I hadn't really had a boyfriend yet… So I was incredibly anxious about any nudity.”

<p>Buena Vista Pictures/ Everett Collection</p> Daryl Hannah in 'Splash'

Buena Vista Pictures/ Everett Collection

Daryl Hannah in 'Splash'

Directed by Ron Howard, Splash follows Allen Bauer (Tom Hanks), a man who was rescued as a boy by a mermaid (Hannah) while on a trip to Cape Cod. When he returns to the sea as an adult, the mermaid saves him once again, and then decides to follow him to New York City and, under her new name Madison, strike up a romance with him.

In her mermaid form, Madison appears topless with her long blonde hair acting as a cover. Hannah explained that Howard and the crew “came up with my hair covering my boobs, because they didn't want me to have any kind of, I don't know, shell bathing suit top or anything — which I understood.”

Speaking to PEOPLE, Howard recalled that Hannah was “very relaxed" about the nudity” because she “understood it was just something we needed to do for the movie.”

He added, “She understood her character as a creature — a very natural, organic, free-spirited creature. And she made so much possible. It was amazing.”

The director said they used a “a bandage or kind of pasty or something that was glued onto her breast” while shooting Hannah's scenes. “Then her hair was glued to that. So wherever she would swim, the hair would always be there, but she wasn't terribly concerned about that.”

Hannah also reflected on the scene in which her character travels to New York and excitedly engages with a group of tourists. “When I'm at the Statue of Liberty, you see my butt,” she recalled. “But then, everybody's got a butt! So I guess it's not that bad.”

When Splash washed ashore on Disney+ in 2020, it edited out Hannah’s butt in a scene by giving her character longer hair. After it made waves online, the streamer walked back the decision in 2022.

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