It’s hard to picture your favorite shows or romcoms without any onscreen lip-locking. According to The New York Times, smooching on the big screen for the world to see got its start early on when the movie industry began. In a 25-second short film by none other than Thomas Edison in 1896, audiences witnessed the very first onscreen kiss. It was awkward, as most first kisses are, but started a trend that’s still prevalent today. Thankfully, Hollywood these days has made sure the scenes aren’t uncomfortable to watch.
Kissing scenes may very well be commonplace in the 21st century, but that doesn’t mean actors feel all that comfortable doing them. Some stars, like Selena Gomez and Dakota Fanning, experienced their first ever kisses while on camera. As you can imagine, these young pros were nervous, but remained committed to their craft — even if that craft meant swapping spit. Sometimes, though, actors have flat-out refused to do a kissing scene with a costar. Here are some surprising celebs who just wouldn’t purse those lips.
Kirk Cameron saves the smooches for his spouse
In the 2008 film Fireproof, actor Kirk Cameron was slated to share an onscreen kiss with the actress who was playing the role of his wife — but Cameron wouldn’t do it. Although the kiss — and the film itself — was very PG, Cameron revealed in an interview with Today why he refused to lock lips with his costar. "I have a commitment not to kiss any other woman," the evangelical Christian actor stated.
But, wait. If you’ve watched Fireproof, then you know Cameron does kiss his onscreen wife. While it may seem like the Growing Pains actor had a change of heart, it was actually some fancy footwork on the part of the filmmakers. Cameron’s wife, actress Chelsea Noble, stepped in for the kissing scene. Since it was shot in silhouette and Noble was dressed the same as Cameron’s female costar, no one was the wiser. "So when I’m kissing my wife, we’re actually husband and wife honoring marriage behind the scenes," Cameron dished.
Janet Jackson’s kissing conditions
If you saw the 1993 film Poetic Justice, you know that Janet Jackson and her costar Q-Tip share a kissing scene. Although the scene had to be shot around 11 times, Q-Tip told Revolt it was enjoyable to film. Tupac Shakur was also cast to play opposite Jackson as her character’s love interest. Although the two were required to share a kissing scene, Jackson made it clear that she would not be kissing Shakur unless he got a blood test.
"I don’t know what that decision was on her part to be like, ‘He has to get a AIDS test,’" Q-Tip explained. "But she was definitely, ‘Well, if I’m going to kiss with him, he definitely has to.’" Although Q-Tip revealed that the late hip-hop phenom was miffed by Jackson’s ultimatum, it seems he did subject himself to a test as the make-out sesh made it into the film.
Lindsay Lohan would rather use a body double
According to TMZ, Lindsay Lohan once refused to kiss Charlie Sheen. Citing sources close to the actress, the publication said she wouldn’t kiss the actor based on his "spotty history." If true, Lohan was supposed to share three onscreen kisses with Sheen for Scary Movie 5. Instead, TMZ revealed that the costars used a body double for some scenes, while changing the script to write out the rest of the smooches.
Although neither actor has spoken publicly about the matter, Lohan and Sheen did work together again for Sheen’s short-lived show Anger Management in 2013 and it seems Lohan had a change of heart when it came to smooching her costar. The two actually share a kiss in one episode (and there doesn’t appear to be a body double). In a radio interview with KIIS 1065, Sheen said he invited the actress over to his house after they finished filming. "Either I outdrank her, or she outdrank me, and all I know is, she tucked me into bed and said, ‘Sleep well, sweet prince." The interaction was strange, yes, but Sheen claimed nothing happened between the two.
Neal McDonough is all about killing, not kissing
Although Neal McDonough has starred in notable films like Minority Report and Captain America: The First Avenger among others, you’ll never, ever see him kiss a costar on screen. "Life is about honoring God and being the best human being you can be and giving praise to God in everything you do," the devout catholic actor revealed to Christian Examiner. While he says "killing people on screen" is "fake," he opined, "when you’re in bed with another woman on screen — guess what? That’s real. I don’t like that kind of stuff."
As a husband and father of five, he says he doesn’t want his kids to question his onscreen actions, at least when it comes to kissing and "[using] the Lord’s name in vain" — both of which he is adamantly against. Violence, however, is another matter. McDonough revealed that there’s really only two roles to choose from in Hollywood: the leading man who kisses girls or the bad guy who kills people. He admits he’s chosen the latter, but hopes to see more faith-based films in the future.
Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev will never do this again
After Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev shared a steamy kiss in the rain as Damon and Elena on The Vampire Diaries, fans were left wanting more rainy smooches from the stars — but both Somerhalder and Dobrev refused.
"First of all, it’s really cold in Georgia, so I don’t think that’s such a good idea," Somerhalder said at the PaleyFest panel for The Vampire Diaries (via United Press International). The actor revealed that it was below 30 degrees at the time, causing his jaw muscles to freeze up. Dobrev revealed that she had icicles in her hair at the time and later became ill. "You write another rain kiss and I quit," Ian joked to the series’ co-executive producer Julie Plec.
Although fans didn’t get another drenched Damon and Elena kiss, Somerhalder starred in an epic recreation of the kiss in a video shared at Comic-Con in 2015. Only, instead of kissing Dobrev, Somerhalder locked lips with costar Chris Wood.
Tisha Campbell requested to stop doing love scenes
Although audiences fell in love with onscreen couple Martin and Gina in the ’90s television series Martin, what was happening behind the scenes was a different matter altogether. Los Angeles Times reported that court documents filed by Tisha Campbell, the actress who played Gina, accused her onscreen husband, Martin Lawrence, of humiliating and abusing Campbell to "the point where she needed to be hospitalized due to the stress he caused her."
Campbell alleged that Lawrence would also forcefully kiss her when they were not in rehearsal or filming. By the show’s fifth season, she went to the writers petitioning them to cease writing any romantic bedroom scenes. After the writers continued to write the love scenes, and after another one of Martin’s "hysterical outburst[s]", the actress informed the show’s producers that she was done and not coming back.
Denzel Washington didn’t want to cause offense
Although Denzel Washington has kissed plenty of times on screen, things were different during the 1993 film The Pelican Brief. Julia Roberts revealed that she wanted Washington to be the leading man. "I had suggested him from the beginning, and he did amazing things with a character that didn’t look like much on paper," she is quoted as saying in Newsweek. However, the star also admitted that she has "taken so much s*** over the years about not kissing Denzel in that film."
As it turns out, though, it wasn’t her decision. "Don’t I have a pulse? Of course I wanted to kiss Denzel," she revealed. "It was his idea to take the damn scenes out." Washington said he feared the audience’s reactions to the kiss, which is why it didn’t happen. During a test screening of The Mighty Quinn in 1989, a similar scene — a kiss with Mimi Rogers — elicited disapproving boos from the black female viewers and he didn’t want to cause offense a second time.