Michael Fassbender's nudity in 'Shame' would not be commented on if it was played by a woman, the film's director claims.

Steve McQueen, who has previously worked with the Irish-German actor on film 'Hunger', does not believe the short shot of him completely naked is a big deal, and thinks too much pressure is placed on men in modern society.

He said: "Just having Michael walk naked round a corner onscreen causes a stir. If it had been a woman, no one would say anything.

"I think 'Shame' is about what it is to be a man now. It's about all of us. I want the cinema to be like a mirror that reflects us. So people see this guy isn't a freak. He's One Of Us. It's difficult, being a bloke."

He also believes Michael - who won Best Actor prize at the Venice Film Festival for his portrayal of sex addict Brandon in the movie - was perfect for the role because he combines both the masculine and feminine.

Steve added to Esquire magazine: "He's a man's man, but there's a vulnerability to him, a femininity, that can be very beautiful. I don't think a lot of actors could have played Brandon."