The actor appears fully nude in one scene in Outlaw King, in which he plays the Scottish king Robert the Bruce, but a slew of headlines have made reference to the brief moment.
He told the Press Association: “Firstly in exploring this kind of man who is to be called king and treated like a king, I thought it was important to see the king and the animal, the man and the animal, that his feet are in the mud.
“That he is both violent and primitive and bestial, but also something else. So I thought to see the human de-clothed, and his animal self is really important.”
He added: “Florence (Pugh, his co-star) shows her entire body in this film, and no-one is talking about that.
“And people want to talk about my penis like we’re a bunch of teenagers playing spin the bottle.
“I’d love to have an interesting conversation about why is it funny or pithy or a conversation to be had about that, whereas Florence is not.
“Is she expected to do that because she is a woman and I’m not expected to do that because I’m a man? What is it really? I don’t know, totally.
“But certainly there’s a lot of violence in this film and people get de-bowelled and stuff like that, and no-one wants to talk about that.
“And I think it’s certainly a marker of our puritanical culture where if people make love, or show what god gave us, it’s somehow NC-17 (a US film rating, where nobody under 17 will be admitted) and you can de-bowel, behead, you can do all sorts of crazy shit like that and people are like ‘yeah that seems right’.
“Let’s put a big mirror up to us and say ‘Why? What’s going on guys?’”
Scottish director David Mackenzie, with whom Pine previously worked on Hell And High Water, added: “I think it’s the social media age. This is the fifth film I’ve had full frontal male nudity, no-one’s ever had such a fuss about it.
“And it’s far less than I’ve ever had before, and it’s totally motivated.
“The guy is washing himself in a loch in the Highlands, and just pops out - I don’t know what the fuss is about.
“And it says something about our times and I wish people would get over it.”
Pine said he knew nothing about the Scottish king before Mackenzie discussed the idea with him while they were promoting their last project.
He said: “It was David, first and foremost (that was the attraction), because I’d had such a wonderful experience working with him last time.
“It was the fact that it was swords and horses and mud and that appealed to my eight-year-old self.
“And it was the fact that it was a big budget hero journey kind of David and Goliath story, but through the lens of David’s eye, which made it incredibly interesting to me.
“I think what I liked about Robert the Bruce is that he was not William Wallace, he wasn’t served on a platter in terms of his heroism. He was a man complicated by his own weaknesses and simultaneously strong and vulnerable, and Machiavellian and selfless, and all these great things that I felt made him tremendously human.”
- Outlaw King will be released in cinemas and on Netflix on November 9.