The actress is currently starring in U.S. series Ray Donovan and in Sunday night's (31Jul16) episode bared all for a sex scene with its star Liev Schreiber.

In the scene Embeth, 50, who plays Hollywood fixer Ray's art dealer love interest Sonia Kovitzky in the Showtime drama, showed off the scar from the mastectomy she had in 2013 after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Speaking to America's Vulture magazine, she revealed it was her idea to use her real-life experience to add power to a storyline created by executive producer David Hollander, against the advice of her representatives.

"I’d read the third script and saw there was this breast-cancer theme running through it," Embeth explains. "I went to David on a whim, and my heart was in my throat because it was the first time I jumped off the cliff. I said, 'I don’t have a nipple on my right side. If you want to use this in some way…'"

The Matilda star adds, "My reps were all like, 'Why would you do this? You don’t want to be thought of as some sort of freak.' I just said, 'Look, I don’t see myself that way.' This is a town where almost everybody’s breasts have been sliced, diced, manipulated, and put back together. Mine haven’t been, but this is part of my journey.

Embeth was offered the opportunity to use prosthetics to disguise her lack of a nipple, but instead used make-up to make her scar look worse than it actually was to add power to the scene.

"We emphasized the scar and made it look a lot angrier," she explains. "Right now it’s invisible - there’s just a white line. But we put a lot of makeup on it because we wanted the shock effect."

The actress was preparing to play Peter Parker's mother Mary in the 2012 film The Amazing Spider-Man when she found out about her diagnosis after a check-up.

She reveals that after her initial shock and fear of dying she resolved to beat the disease, saying, "My world fell apart. Then I went into warrior mode...I was so angry that my kids could potentially be without me, or that my great life was going to be cut short.

"I thought, “This is not my f**kin’ (sic) story.” People have different responses. Mine was never feeling sorry for myself. I was just really fueled by, “I’m going to fight this."

The actress has since been given the all clear and now says she's looking forward to the future, adding, "I’m happy. It was good to work again."