Nureyev plays Daniel Jelline, a violinist who seduces Nastassia Kinsky, waitress turned ultra-famous top model, in order to expose terrorists led by Harvey Keitel. Filmed in Paris and New York, this spy film, much to Nureyev's great displeasure, focused more on Nastassia Kinsky than himself, and was not a big success.
Nureyev explained why he had accepted an acting role without even the smallest of dance scenes:
"Acting is complimentary to dancing. Ballet is essential, the cinema is a pleasure. In Exposed, I play the violin. I have a lot of respect for violinists, as I had to learn how to hold a violin in front of a real symphony orchestra. I had lessons from Auguste Dumay, a magnificent teacher with enormous patience, as I didn't want to look ridiculous or give any offence to the musicians. Just moving the bow over the strings is a terrifying experience."
The only, somewhat original, scene in the film is the seduction scene between the violinist and Nastassia Kinsky, where Nureyev uses his violin bow in a highly erotic and suggestive manner.
This was Nureyev's second and last appearance as a screen actor.