Many films go down in history not for their plotlines, but for their steamy make-out sessions between some of Hollywood’s best actors. Y’know, when the music is gently playing in the background, the lights are dim, and it’s raining outside … and two subjects with amazing chemistry come together to seal their feelings for one another with a tender kiss.
When done correctly, those kinds of passionate movie moments produce some of the most intense emotions known to man — whether it’s lust, love, envy, or joy — and help set the precedent for universal ideas of romance and intimacy. However, there are many magical movie scenes that took much more determination, dedication, and patience to complete than most theater-goers could have probably imagined. Get ready to feel like your entire existence was a lie as we go through 17 actors who hated kissing their co-stars, including everyone from Will Smith to Kirsten Dunst.
Will Smith and Eva Mendes
The thought of a truly intimate, movie-style kiss with a strikingly handsome hunk has the power to make anyone weak in the knees, including Eva Mendes. Such was the case when she had to shoot love scenes with Will Smith for the 2005 romantic comedy Hitch, and the only way Mendes could quell the butterflies in her stomach was by indulging in her favorite comfort food: a tuna fish sandwich with crushed Doritos and extra onions. The dish made her breath smell extra bad, which turned the Independence Day actor off completely.
Luckily for Smith, Mendes swallowed an entire box of Altoids to help get rid of the stench left behind from the "stank breath special," and they went on to shoot the scene successfully. When reflecting on their experience during an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2005, Smith told Mendes that the kiss "was absolutely wonderful." Still, we think he was probably just being polite.
Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe
Although Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe allegedly had an affair before filming their 1959 flick Some Like It Hot, when he was asked what it was like to kiss the blonde bombshell in the film, he reportedly said it was like "kissing Hitler."
Curtis backpedaled on the comment in a 2008 interview with the Daily Mail, telling the publication, "I said it as a joke. I mean, it was such a darn stupid question, so I gave a stupid answer." But his justification apparently only applied to the "Hitler" comparison itself, not about how much he actually despised kissing his co-star.
When talking about the film’s infamous yacht scene, where the two romance each other on a sofa, Curtis told the outlet that Monroe was way too aggressive for his liking. "[The kiss] was awful," he said. "She nearly choked me to death by deliberately sticking her tongue down my throat into my windpipe."
Joanna Lumley and Leonardo DiCaprio
Women everywhere probably would have done anything to be in Joanna Lumley’s shoes when she kissed Leonardo DiCaprio in 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street, but the actress reportedly hated it. Apparently all the takes they had to do in order to get the shot right just weren’t worth it.
"I did kiss Leonardo DiCaprio, about 15 times in fact," Lumley dished at a charity event back in 2017 (via The Telegraph). "But I’ll let you into a secret. It’s actually no fun kissing actors, no fun at all. There are so many takes and you both have to chew so much chewing gum. It’s like kissing someone in a dentist’s waiting room."
Be that as it may, Lumley’s feelings were seemingly one-sided, as DiCaprio went on to praise his co-star in a 2014 interview with the Evening Standard. He called Lumley "an incredibly beautiful, charming woman" whom he loved flirting with in the scene.
Alec Baldwin is many things: suave, witty, creative. But one thing he isn’t is soft-spoken — which is likely why he had no problem letting his feelings loose about his on-screen kiss with Jennifer Aniston for the hit show 30 Rock. When Baldwin was asked about the experience during a 2008 interview with New York Magazine, he told the publication, "It was painful. I mean, every man who’s had to make out with her in TV and movies — I don’t know how they do it."
We’re sure there’s a chance his comments were said jokingly, but, if they weren’t, they’re a major contrast to previous remarks he made about kissing the Friends alum. During a gala in 2008, Baldwin told People the experience "was the greatest day of [his] life." He said, "Whenever you do that with someone, it’s so fake. They’re getting paid to kiss you and I’m getting paid to kiss her. But she’s a doll."
Rupert Grint and Emma Watson
Considering Rupert Grint and Emma Watson had literally watched each other grow up during the filming of the Harry Potter series, it’s not too surprising Grint had a tough time coming to grips with their scripted kiss in the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. "I never look back at that scene," Grint told People when asked about the romantic moment in a 2016 interview. "I’ve known Emma since she was literally 9 years old and we had this very brother-sister relationship." Noting that it felt "very surreal," he added, "I have a memory of her face getting closer and closer. Like, ‘Oh my God.’ I can’t really remember anything apart from that."
Their history wasn’t the only factor that made the kiss awkward, though. In 2009, Watson told MTV News that, in desperation to get the kiss over with, she "ended up pouncing on Rupert."
Thankfully, however, she quickly pulled herself together and the smooch was captured perfectly.
Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie
Who would have guessed that anyone in the world would ever complain about locking lips with actress Angelina Jolie, right? Despite our sentiments, though, Matt Damon encountered quite a pickle when it came down to kissing the actress in their 2006 flick The Good Shepherd.
"We’re old friends so it was like kissing my sister: really awkward, and generally awful," the actor explained to Reveal magazine (via Metro).
However, the encounter didn’t seem to bother the Salt actress one bit. She told Now magazine, "A physical thing is, for some people, like me, very easy. You’re two adults and you enjoy each other and you know that it doesn’t mean anything. Whatever it was is left there."
Dane Cook and Kate Hudson
Despite appearing all loved-up on screen with Kate Hudson in the 2008 film My Best Friend’s Girl, Dane Cook absolutely hated making out with her. In an appearance on Watch What Happens Live in 2014, the comedian was treated to a game of "Plead the Fifth," where he opened up about the uncomfortable experience.
When host Andy Cohen asked who Cook’s worst on-screen kiss was, he quickly name-dropped Hudson, adding, according to ABC News, "I did a movie with her, My Best Friend’s Girl, and I think she purposely ate like a feast of onions before our scene. I had to burn her on that one!"
There’s no way to tell if Cook truly meant what he said. But considering that Hudson is one of the hottest women in film and we just simply can’t imagine her having bad breath, we’re just gonna say his remarks were all in good fun. Sound good?
Helena Bonham Carter and Woody Allen
There’s an infinite amount of factors that can make a movie’s production process a complete disaster, whether it’s due to delays in filming, mechanical problems, or massive amounts of re-shoots and rewrites. But for Helena Bonham Carter, the hardest part about filming Mighty Aphrodite (1995) was having to kiss Woody Allen. He was apparently such a control freak on set that his behavior repulsed her to the max.
"He tells you up front certain ways of kissing he does not want," she explained (via Elle). "No exchange of liquid is permitted. It can be a bit offensive because he makes no effort at all. It’s like kissing the Berlin Wall."
The Harry Potter actress later offered up some thoughts about Allen’s behavior, which could tie in to the experience she had with the director. "I think he has great trouble talking to women," she said (via The Independent).
Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio
In 2009, Kate Winslet revealed that she couldn’t stand having to kiss Leonardo DiCaprio in the 2008 film Revolutionary Road. We know, we know — you’re absolutely befuddled and appalled at this, especially because they had already done it for the 1997 flick Titanic. But in Winslet’s defense, her husband was actually the director of the film, which (understandably) made the exchange pretty awkward.
Winslet opened up about her embarrassment in an interview with Elle, saying (via Mirror), "It was more that neither Sam nor Leo seemed the slightest bit bothered. I was like, ‘Is it just me who feels a bit weird about this? You know. My friend. My husband."
"But it was just me," she continued. "There’s this amazing still that was taken on set of Leo and me kissing, and Sam is in the background … You can see this look of absolute intensity on his face and I knew all he was thinking about at that moment was the frame of the shot."
Despite Winslet’s reservations, she and DiCaprio proved to have amazing chemistry on screen, and she even won a Golden Globe award for best actress in 2009.
Thandie Newton and Tom Cruise
It’s no secret that actors have to step outside of their comfort zones for the sake of a good film, but Thandie Newton’s kiss with Tom Cruise for the 2000 film Mission Impossible 2 took a lot more dedication than any of us could have probably fathomed. According to reports, the actress wasn’t a fan of how sloppily the Hollywood hunk kissed, saying (via Elle), "It was slightly icky and sort of wet."
Additionally, Newton reportedly said she was also bothered by the amount of effort that went into perfecting the shot. "Well, to take away the mystery and magic of what you see in the movie: you’re lying there, you’ve got 30 people around you, prodding all bits of you to make sure that certain things aren’t being seen and others look good. Even when you’re kissing, you can’t kiss too hard because then your face sort of spreads across the other person and it looks terrible," she told The Guardian. "It’s so clinical, you’re thinking more about whether or not you’re squashing him than kissing him."
Boy, that movie title couldn’t be more on the nose!
Alyson Hannigan and Jason Segel
Ever wonder about the apparent lack of PDA between characters Lily and Marshall on How I Met Your Mother? Well, the reason for the two rarely getting intimate was simple: Alyson Hannigan couldn’t stomach Jason Segel’s smoker’s breath. According to her, it was like "kissing an ashtray."
But for the sake of fulfilling their roles on the show, the American Pie actress temporarily tried to help her co-star kick his habit. Unfortunately, she soon discovered even money couldn’t stop him from giving up cigarettes. "When we started the pilot [for the show] he was like, ‘Get me to stop smoking, I’ll be your best friend,’" she explained, per Digital Spy. "So we did this bet where he would owe me $10 every time he had a cigarette. After the first day, he owed me $200."
She continued, "So he said, ‘I’m just quitting,’ and he quit cold turkey for about a year. It was fantastic but then … he got stressed out and he started smoking again."
Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt
Jennifer Lawrence was reportedly so nervous to strip down with a then-married Chris Pratt for their make-out sessions in the 2016 sci-fi film Passengers that she needed some liquid courage to go through with it. But unfortunately for her, getting "really, really drunk" only made her more anxious.
"It led to more anxiety when I got home because I was like, ‘What have I done? I don’t know,’" she told The Hollywood Reporter. "He was married, and it was going to be my first time kissing a married man and guilt is the worst feeling in your stomach."
She continued, "I knew it was my job, but I couldn’t tell my stomach that. So I called my mom, and I was like, ‘Will you just tell me it’s OK?’ It was just very vulnerable. And you don’t know what’s too much. You want to do it real, you want everything to be real, but then … That was the most vulnerable I’ve ever been."
Orlando Bloom and Zoe Saldana
Zoe Saldana might be viewed as one of the luckiest women in the world for getting to kiss Orlando Bloom in the 2004 flick Haven, but Bloom himself didn’t feel so fortunate. In 2006, he told People the fact that Saldana had a real-life boyfriend, who would often visit the set to watch them shoot, just made the entire thing way too weird for his taste. (No pun intended.)
"I hated kissing Zoe!" he exclaimed to the outlet. "I was like, ‘Take your tongue out of my mouth, please. Your boyfriend is standing right there.’ Most people think kissing beautiful co-stars must be great. But it’s always awkward, man."
The Guardians of the Galaxy actress also reportedly complained about the love scene, saying that her exchange with Bloom was "gross." When you consider the lack of chemistry between the two, it makes sense that the film only has average reviews.
Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst
Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst may have shared some amazing chemistry on the big screen in the 2002 hit Spiderman, but their iconic, upside-down kiss literally took the actor’s breath away — and not in a good way.
"There was rain pouring up or down my nose. I couldn’t breathe and I was gasping for breath out of the corner of Kirsten’s mouth," the Great Gatsby actor told reporters in 2002, according to Deseret News. "Poor girl. I was giving her mouth to mouth rather than kissing her."
But the rain wasn’t the only thing that made the kiss so bad. In an interview with Parade magazine, Maguire added (via TMZ), "When Kirsten rolled back the wet mask, she cut off the air completely."
Even so, the sizzling smooch has been lauded as one of the best movie kisses of all time, and the actors even won an MTV award for it in 2003.
Kirsten Dunst and Brad Pitt
Kirsten Dunst is a seasoned actress who has long been viewed as one of Hollywood’s sweethearts — which is why it was so heartbreaking to hear her comments on the effects of having to kiss Brad Pitt in the 1994 drama horror film Interview with a Vampire. (She was only 11 years old during the film’s production while Pitt was 30.) In 2013, she told Bullett Magazine that — even though it was "just a peck" — she was so spooked after the experience, she didn’t kiss anyone else for five whole years.
When reflecting on the encounter with the Ocean’s Eleven actor, Dunst said, "He had this long hair. He was just a hippie-ish cool dude. Everyone at the time was like, ‘You’re so lucky you kissed Brad Pitt,’ but I thought it was disgusting. I didn’t kiss anyone else until I was 16, I think. I was a late bloomer."
Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson
Millions of women would die for a make-out session with Robert Pattinson, but Reese Witherspoon apparently wasn’t one of them. In fact, she couldn’t have been more turned off from kissing him in the 2011 film Water for Elephants. She did have a pretty good reason, though: The Twilight actor had a "disgusting" cold and couldn’t stop dripping snot.
"Rob possibly had the most hideous horrible cold of any co-star I’ve ever had to do a love scene with ever in my entire life," she explained to In Touch Weekly. "He was literally snorting and snotting through every second of it, and it was not appealing. I’m talking green, infectious, disgusting. I’m not kidding!"
In case you weren’t already grossed out enough, Pattinson divulged even nastier details about the kiss to MTV News. He told the outlet his nose was dripping so much that he had to wipe it on Witherspoon’s wig in order to pull off the scene. Ew.
Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams
This last one is going to break your heart. Not only did actors Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams hate kissing each other in the 2004 romantic drama The Notebook, but they also allegedly hated filming together period. According to reports, their ill feelings for one another even got so bad that Gosling demanded his co-star be removed from the film and replaced with another actress. Director Nick Cassavetes opened up about Gosling’s request in a 2014 interview with VH1, stating, "He says, ‘Would you take her out of here and bring in another actress to read off camera with me?’ I said, ‘What?’ He says, ‘I can’t. I can’t do it with her. I’m just not getting anything from this.’"
Obviously, Cassavetes kept the two on the film, which is arguably the biggest movie of both Gosling and McAdams’ careers, and one of the best romantic dramas of all time. Good call, man.