In 1997’s Kickboxing Academy (a movie curiously ignored by the Oscars, but I digress) characters Danny and Cindy fall in love, and there are several passionate kissing scenes between the two.
Except for the fact that Cindy is played by the winsome Chyler Leigh, and Danny by the handsome Christopher Khayman Lee. Despite the difference is the spelling of their names, the two are brother and sister.
Now, of course I get that acting smoochies are not the same thing as real smoochies, and actors must be able to sell a role, kissing someone they have no real desire for.
But am I crazy in thinking this must have been crazy uncomfortable?
Or am I a hopeless rube, and any two professionals could handle this and hit the craft service table with aplomb the moment the director yells cut?
I’d like to think I could be professional and mature, and do the scene … wait a minute, no. I do not think that AT ALL. In reality, I’m okay with the fact that I wouldn’t French my brother, even if I was getting paid for it. There’s acting, and then there’s obeying the natural order of the universe.
I do remember reading an interview with Micheal Madsen where he commented that some producer had suggested he do a nude love scene with Virginia, his sister.
He regarded this suggestion as an insulting abomination of perverse hellishness and threatened to hit the guy if it was ever mentioned again. On being told about it, Virginia felt he’d underreacted and should have just hit the guy immediately.
A nude love scene is qualitatively different from a kiss, but the above is one actor’s reaction to a suggestion of feigning romance with a sibling.
Back when Arrested Development was still on the air, Jason Bateman (though clearly joking) told Conan O’Brien he’d be willing to kiss his sister Justine (who had been cast as Nellie Bluth). Sadly, the interview clip’s no longer on YouTube.
I doubt it is any more difficult for actors as when they are called upon to kiss someone they dislike personally. There was Tony Curtis’s famous description about kissing Marilyn Monroe was like kissing Hitler, and there are many times where the leads didn’t want to kiss (for instance when Peter Finch had to kiss Murray Head in Sunday Bloody Sunday).
But they are actors and if the script calls for a kiss, then they kiss. It might be weird to contemplate, but no weirder than any other screen kiss.
Wasn’t there a movie in the late '60s or early '70s (French or Italian, I believe, and an historical drama), that had Jane and Peter Fonda playing a romantic couple? I’ll go have a look in IMDB and see if anything rings that somewhat icky bell…
Histoires extraordinaires, a compilation of three distinct stories. Jane Fonda played a decadent, bored countess who moves to an estate adjacent to her cousin, a baron played by Peter. The countess falls in lust with the baron, but he doesn’t reciprocate. Tragedy and hauntings ensue.
I’m currently in rehearsal for a play that will open in September. My character is engaged to another character, who’s being played by a woman I hadn’t met before this show. There is, as you’d expect, a fair amount of kissin’. It definitely is a little bit strange to come to the first rehearsal, shake hands with somebody, say, “Hi, I’m so-and-so, nice to meet you,” and then start making out with them.
But, speaking from experience, that’s definitely nowhere near as strange as to have to make out with a good friend after many years of strictly platonic association simply due to an accident of casting. It’s much easier when your onstage kissing partner is a stranger.
But hey, these are the sacrifices we make for our art…