To make an audience believe what they’re seeing on-screen, actors have to fully buy into their characters and their roles. This requires them to physically alter their look, like changing their hair and their bodies, perform stunts, and sometimes, make-out with their co-stars. The very first on-screen kisses were super weird. Thomas Edison filmed actress Mary Irwin kissing another gentleman in 1896 in The Kiss. The strange 23-second film has Irwin and her co-star sort of kissing and talking at the same time—kiss-talking; it’s all very odd. Then, in 1900, Edison filmed another couple kissing, then hugging, and then kind of gyrating in Kissing: rinse and repeat. Once again, this one is really weird. I believe the point was just to capture the moment on film. I just don’t know why they did it over and over again. While those kisses were shocking to audiences—in fact, Kissing was banned in most places—today, kisses are in almost every movie.
To show that a couple is a couple in a movie, they can kiss, a simple device. It’s all really easy. But we’ve heard of co-stars who hate each other. We’ve read about the stars who fought on set, bickered and said nasty things about their co-stars, so it makes sense that kissing scenes might get a bit awkward from time to time. Not every on-screen couple can have brilliant chemistry. There’s bound to be issues. Well, I’m here to tell you that there have been some major issues in the past with movie stars kissing each other. It’s interesting looking back at a film in which two stars hated each other and had to act like they enjoyed kissing. It’s also funny to think that during these most passionate of scenes, the actors were in a state of complete disgust. Some would get over their problems, either during the shoot or after, while others have held grudges against each other ever since. Let’s start the countdown of 15 stars that hated kissing their co-stars.
15. Reese Witherspoon & Robert Pattinson – Water for Elephants
Reese Witherspoon had a lot to say about kissing her co-star Robert Pattinson in the film Water for Elephants. Apparently, Pattinson was sick during many of their kissing scenes, so he was sniffling and nose-drooling all over Witherspoon’s face, which sounds gross. It is gross. I guess the one saving grace for Witherspoon is that no one was paying attention to that movie anyways, so many of the kisses went through unnoticed. Though Pattinson did say he had a cold, it’s possible he is allergic to massive egos and the one and only Witherspoon and her insanely massive ego set off his symptoms. That’s just a theory I’m working through right now though.
14. Helena Bonham Carter & Woody Allen – Aphrodite
If you believe what Helena Bonham Carter has to say, kissing Woody Allen in Aphrodite was like “kissing the Berlin Wall,” which is a pretty funny thing to say about someone. She also said that “he tells you up front certain ways of kissing he does not want. No exchange of liquid is permitted. It can be a bit offensive because he makes no effort at all.” It sounds like Woody Allen is exactly the kind of person Woody Allen looks like he is. I don’t know, maybe Allen has a crazy wild side behind closed doors, but the Woody Allen I see is the kind of guy who collects pocket protectors but never wears them. Woody’s kissing being criticized is no surprise though, since Woody and relationships with women has always been a really sore spot for the public. This is, after all, the guy who left 55-year-old Mia Farrow for her adopted 19-year-old daughter, Soon-Yi, who many called Allen’s own stepdaughter… I’ll just leave that one alone.
13. Vanessa Hudgens & James Franco – Spring Breakers
Vanessa Hudgens, one of the stars of Spring Breakers, revealed that she wasn’t too keen on the idea of kissing her co-star James Franco. She said in an interview, “I’d rather kiss Ashley than kiss James to be honest – because she’s a girl and I was close to her and I felt comfortable. So I was like ‘Yeah, I’ll kiss Ashley!’” Well I would rather kiss Ashley Benson too, that’s really not all that crazy of a stance. Hudgens should have felt a little more comfortable with kissing Franco if only for how experienced the man is with kissing men on camera. Heck, Franco has had numerous passionate moments, maybe Hudgens should have asked him for advice. He could give tips from his experience kissing Zachary Quinto, kissing Sean Penn, kissing Will Forte, sharing a sexual encounter on a motorcycle with Seth Rogen and marrying and kissing Akiva Schaffer from Lonely Island. Franco knows a thing or two about kissing.
12. Nick Nolte & Julia Roberts – I Love Trouble
Poor Nick Nolte. When Julia Roberts, nearing the peak of her fame, calls you “disgusting,” people are certainly going to hear it. While filming the terrible movie I Love Trouble, the two co-stars hated each other so badly that they needed to shoot their scenes separately and use stand-ins to complete the scenes. Rumor has it that the stand-in was so convincing that Roberts thought he was disgusting, too. The hatred between the stars runs pretty deep and Nolte wasn’t afraid to pull out the big insults afterward: “It’s not nice to call someone ‘disgusting,’” he said. “But she’s not a nice person. Everyone knows that.” Burn.
11. Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper had enough on-screen chemistry to get the Academy’s recognition for Silver Lining’s Playbook, but there were some sacrifices made to get there. According to Lawrence, Cooper has a bad case of slop-kiss, a condition that makes all kisses come out wet and nasty. Lawrence wasn’t afraid to tell Cooper of his issues on set after their first kisses. It’s unclear if Cooper found a way to dry those kisses out or if Lawrence simply took one for the team, but the two have remained close ever since. It might be that these two jokesters were just having a laugh, but we’re in the business of sensationalism here, so let’s pretend this all happened in anger.
10. Shailene Woodley & Miles Teller – The Spectacular Now
Rumor has it that Shailene Woodley likes to eat Chinese supplements everyday, which, according to Miles Teller, is “like a dirt pouch, and it smells like crap.” Teller explained how the smell and taste of dirt-flavored Chinese supplements made the kissing scenes in The Spectacular Now unbearable: “Before our first kissing scene, Shailene took these Chinese dirt supplements and shoved them in her mouth… 100% of the time it smells like crap,” which is practically all the time if my math is correct. Speaking of percentages, there’s about a 95% chance that this is all said in jest because Teller is a jester, but I’m going to interpret this as they hate each other because I can’t detect sarcasm.
9. Dakota Johnson & Jamie Dornan – 50 Shades of Grey
The two stars, Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan have admitted that shooting their intimate scenes in 50 Shades of Grey were really awkward. Frankly, I’m not surprised. To me, Johnson looks awkward doing anything in front of a camera. Like how in the world did she become an actress? Pardon? Who are her parents? Oh, Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson. Ah, OK, now I understand how she became an actress. Well, I’ve got a tip for these two budding stars, who I’m sure will go on to have remarkable and memorable careers. If you are awkward in front of a camera in general, kissing is going to be worse. If kissing is going to be worse, avoid filming softcore p*rnography. Also, if you get awkward in front of cameras, choose a profession that doesn’t involve cameras.
8. Tony Curtis & Marilyn Monroe – Some Like It Hot
There’s an urban legend that says Tony Curtis claimed kissing Marilyn Monroe was “like kissing Hitler.” Monroe, at the time of filming Some Like It Hot, was beginning to be known as a bit of a problem on set. She was late, troublesome, argumentative and, apparently, she was a brutal kisser. Curtis said that Monroe would jam her tongue down his throat when they kissed. He would later deny that he made the statement and then, even later on, confirm it. While it seems true that Curtis did say the Hitler thing, it’s unclear whether Monroe was really a bad kisser. It’s possible that the two co-stars’ personal history may have clouded his judgement because they did apparently date in the early 50s, just another notch in her bedpost beside that of Marlon Brando, JFK, RFK, Frank Sinatra, Arthur Miller, Robert Mitchum, Joan Crawford, Joe DiMaggio, Howard Hughes and so on. You know the drill. Marilyn Monroe was popular.
7. Tobey Maguire & Kirsten Dunst – Spider-Man
The famous upside-down kiss between Spidey (Tobey Maguire) and Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) may seem super awkward but it was actually insanely awkward. Maybe it’s just me, but that kiss is ridiculous. When Mary Jane pulls down Spidey’s mask over his chin, he looks like one of those talking chins. You know the ones? I actually thought she was going to draw eyes on his chin and make him say something, but, to my surprise, she kissed him instead. Maguire has since said that he couldn’t breathe during that kiss, plus it was late and rain was dripping up his nose. They both claim that the entire experience was totally unpleasant. Well, it looked it too.
6. Amanda Seyfried & Megan Fox – Jennifer’s Body
I can’t quite grasp this one. It’s been said that Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried didn’t necessarily enjoy kissing each other in Jennifer’s Body, which is weird because I really enjoyed it. There were other things that we do have in common though. Fox said in an interview after the kiss that her and Seyfried were giggling the whole time they were filming it, which is exactly what I was doing when I was watching it. She also said that she feels safer kissing girls, which is the same for me as well. Despite the two women feeling weird filming the famous scene, it doesn’t look weird, not one bit. It looks like something that should be painted on the ceiling of a church somewhere. Actually, maybe not. That might not go over all that well.
5. Steve Carell & Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – Get Smart
Dwayne “Do you smell what The Rock is cooking” Johnson had some pretty descriptive things to say about the experience of kissing Steve Carell at the end of Get Smart. He felt that for us to best understand what he went through that he would describe the intimate details: “So the bottom of a cat’s paw – the soft supple part underneath – that’s what Steve Carell’s lips are like. But his tongue is like kitty cat litter. That’s the physical experience.” While it would make sense to describe Carell’s tongue as a cat’s tongue, the rough, sandpaper type tongues that little sweet kittens have, Johnson took a different angle and said the tongue was like kitty litter, like little grainy pebbles.
4. Tom Cruise & Thandie Newton – Mission Impossible 2
When Thandie Newton described kissing Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 2 as “icky and sort of wet,” it dawned on me. Maybe underneath Tom Cruise’s human skin, his alien form is all icky and wet. But then I got to thinking, wait a minute, even human’s mouths are wet, so that’s not actually any proof of Cruise being an alien. Newton’s quote got a lot of air time, but she has since changed her views, saying that Tom Cruise actually taught her how to kiss, avoiding noses and not burrowing, so then I started thinking again. Did Thandie Newton ever actually kiss anyone before Mission Impossible 2? First, she described the kisses as “Icky and sort of wet,” which is pretty much exactly what a kiss is, and then she clearly didn’t know what she was doing. Avoiding noses? Burrowing? Is she seven?
3. Emma Watson & Rupert Grint – Harry Potter
Story goes that Rupert Grint and Emma Watson’s kiss as Ron and Hermione in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was awkward because of their “brother-sister relationship.” Well, Grint said it was awkward. Watson said that it was weird kissing both Grint and Daniel Radcliffe, but at least her and Radcliffe laughed about it. Grint, meanwhile, was all quiet and weird, so Watson was nervous because she didn’t know what he was thinking. I know exactly what he was thinking. He was wondering how in the world he’s going to tell the world that he didn’t enjoy that kiss while keeping a straight face. Awkward… sure it was, Ron. Sure it was.
2. Jennifer Lawrence & Hutcherson/Hemsworth – Hunger Games
The three Hunger Games friends like to joke around with each other and about each other whenever they get in front of a camera, so it’s no surprise that they would mock each other’s kissing skills. Both Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth said kissing Jennifer Lawrence was gross, which I’m pretty sure they’re lying about, though I’ve only kissed her once. Hemsworth, for example, said that “she would make a point of eating garlic or tuna fish or something that was disgusting” right before smashing their mouths together. Both Lawrence and Hutcherson laughed about the slobber and snot that was mingling in one of their disgusting kisses on camera. Personally, I think they’re all acting, but I can’t be sure.
1. Ryan Gosling & Rachel McAdams – The Notebook
Fellow Canadians Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams are often thought of as having the best on-screen chemistry ever (like, ever). In The Notebook, the two seem to go together like hamburgers and aioli sauce, but, word is, that wasn’t the case at all. Early on in the shoot, the two would bicker and argue constantly, finally coming to a head when Gosling wanted McAdams kicked off the set because she wouldn’t read lines with him. I guess the love-hate relationship they have in the film, all that angry kissing, was legit. Once they got over their hatred of each other, things went a bit smoother. Eventually, the two actually dated for about four years. True love’s kiss.