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No Love Lost: Co-Stars Who Did Not Want To Kiss Each Other

Photo Credit: Great American Films / MovieStillsDB
Photo Credit: Great American Films / MovieStillsDB

For some, a dream come true would be a job that required kissing some of the hottest movies stars of all time. Although movies are great at portraying romance and passion on the big screen, these feelings don’t always translate over to real life. Here are 10 actors and actresses who absolutely did not want to kiss their co-stars.

1. Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe

Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot
Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot, 1959. (Photo Credit: United Artists/ MovieStillsDB)

Although Marilyn Monroe was one of the most gorgeous movie stars of her time, actor Tony Curtis didn’t love kissing her while the two starred together in the 1959 comedy Some Like It Hot. In fact, he once uttered the words “kissing Marilyn was like kissing Hitler.” Curtis told the Daily Mail in 2008 that during one scene, Marilyn “nearly choked me to death by deliberately sticking her tongue down my throat into my windpipe.”

He has since claimed that this statement was a joke, and was a “stupid answer” to a stupid question. However, Curtis and Monroe had dated in the past, and didn’t end on the best of terms.

2. Debbie Reynolds and Gene Kelly

Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds kissing
Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds kissing in Singin’ In The Rain (1952). Actor Donald O’Connor is on the left. (Photo Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/ MovieStillsDB)

Singin’ In The Rain (1952) is considered to be one of Hollywood’s most successful musical films of all time. However, not all those involved had a great experience while working on the classic. Debbie Reynolds, who was only 19 at the time, played the onscreen girlfriend of Gene Kelly, who was 39 years old.

According to Reynolds’ memoir, Kelly was not happy to be starring alongside her. However, it was the onscreen kiss with Kelly that really ruined her experience in Singin’ In The Rain. Per Reynolds, “the camera closed in. Gene took me tightly in his arms… and shoved his tongue down my throat. ‘Eeew! What was that?’, I screeched, breaking free of his grasp and spitting.” After this kiss, Debbie ran around trying to find some Coca-Cola to wash out her mouth. She was just an innocent kid who had never been French-kissed. Although Kelly was shaken up from this outburst, the co-stars would move on from this and remain lifelong friends.

3. Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable

Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in Gone With The Wind
Clark gable and Vivien Leigh in Gone With The Wind (1939). (Photo Credit: Warner Bros. / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/ MovieStillsDB)

Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable certainly heated up the big screen with their chemistry in Gone With The Wind (1939), but Leigh deserved another Best Actress Oscar because she has since publicly stated that she did not enjoy kissing Gable one bit.

One would think that Gable would be a good kisser as he had a reputation as a Hollywood playboy. However, when he was 32 he contracted a gum disease. As a result, he needed to wear false teeth for the rest of his life and they left him with a case of halitosis. Leigh said, “[k]issing Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind was not that exciting. His dentures smelled something awful.”

4. Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing
Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in a scene in Dirty Dancing (1987). (Photo Credit: Great American Films / MovieStillsDB)

Although Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze have great on-screen chemistry in Dirty Dancing (1987), their off-screen chemistry was essentially nonexistent. In fact, the tension that appears in the movie between the two actors isn’t acting- it’s real irritation.

The two had different acting styles, which led to both stars being annoyed with one another. In his memoir, Swayze said he felt that Grey was overly emotional and would purposely ruin scenes so they would have to reshoot them.

5. Julia Roberts and Nick Nolte

Julia Roberts and Nick Nolte in I Love Trouble
Julia Roberts and Nick Nolte in the 1994 movie I Love Trouble. (Photo Credit: Touchstone Pictures / MovieStillsDB)

Sometimes movie relationships mimic real-world dynamics, and such was the case with Julia Roberts and Nick Nolte in the 1994 flick I Love Trouble. Supposedly, the two actors despised one another so much that they had to film their scenes separately and use stand-in actors to create on-screen chemistry.

Roberts would later go on to tell the New York Times that although Nick Nolte could be “charming and nice, he is also completely disgusting.” Nolte retaliated with this comment of his own, stating that “it’s not nice to call someone disgusting, but she’s not a nice person. Everyone knows that.” Ouch. No wonder their on-screen kissed looked so forced and awkward.

6. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams

Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams in The Notebook
Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams in The Notebook (2004). (Photo Credit: New Line Cinema / MovieStillsDB)

Although actors Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams would win an MTV Movie Award for “Best Movie Kiss” in 2005 and went on to date each other for a considerable amount of time, the two stars did not want to kiss each other during the filming of The Notebook (2004) – mainly because they hated each other.

In a 2014 interview with Vh1, director Nick Cassavetes recalled a time during filming when Rachel and Ryan were not getting along. According to Cassavettes, “Ryan came to me, and there’s 150 people standing in this big scene and he says ‘Nick come here.’ And he’s doing a scene with Rachel and 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.'”

7. Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington

Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington in The Pelican Brief
Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington in The Pelican Brief (1993). (Photo Credit: Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

This is the second time Julia Roberts – who has been dubbed “the most beautiful woman in the world” – had a costar who doesn’t want to kiss her. Denzel Washington outrightly refused to include a romantic scene with Roberts in the 1993 film The Pelican Brief even though the actress personally requested Washington as her co-star.

Initially, people believed that it was Roberts who didn’t want to kiss Washington but it was actually the other way around. In fact, it was Washington’s choice to not kiss his co-star in the movie because, as he has noted in the past, “Black women are not often seen as objects of desire on film. They have always been my core audience.” So the reason behind skipping a kiss in The Pelican Brief was not because of a feud, but because Denzel Washington wanted to see better representation of people of color in his films.

8. Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford

The Mosquito Coast
Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford in The Mosquito Coast (1986). (Photo Credit: The Saul Zaentz Company / MovieStillsDB)

Sometimes you can be the best of friends with someone and still not want to kiss them. Such is the case with Helen Mirren when she co-starred with Harrison Ford in the 1986 film The Mosquito Coast. During a BBC radio interview in 1997, Mirren said that Harrison was “the nicest, sweetest guy you could want to meet.”

However, when it came to filming romantic scenes with Harrison, Mirren stated, “he can’t kiss- he finds it impossible to kiss on screen. He’s probably not very good off screen either.” Mirren also claimed that other actresses felt the same way about kissing Ford, although the actor has never commented on these claims.

9. Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom

Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom in Pirates of the Caribbean
Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003). (Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures / MovieStillsDB)

For us, this one hurt – a lot. But really, this is just speculation because Keira Knightley never has said outright that she hated kissing Orlando Bloom. Instead, she has just implied it. During her time as Elizabeth Swann in The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Knightley kissed both Bloom and Johnny Depp.

She was once asked who she preferred kissing, to which she responded “Johnny Depp certainly wasn’t bad.” Does this mean that Orlando Bloom was a bad kisser, or that she just preferred kissing Johnny Depp? Some things are certainly better left unsaid, and that’s clearly the case here.

10. Emma Watson and Rupert Grint

Rupert Grint and Emma Watson in Harry Potter
Rupert Grint and Emma Watson in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (2011). (Photo Credit: Warner Bros./ MovieStillsDB)

This one was another one that hurt because we so desperately wish that the world of Harry Potter – including Ron and Hermione ending up together- was real. Interestingly, it wasn’t just Emma Watson and Rupert Grint who felt weird about their kiss, but so did Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) himself. The reason everyone felt so strange about it was because, according to Grint, it was like kissing a sister.

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Watson has echoed this sentiment, stating that she thinks of Grint as a brother. This makes sense as the entire cast grew up together, which would certainly make the kiss a very awkward event for everyone involved.

Madeline Hiltz

Maddy Hiltz is someone who loves all things history. She received her Bachelors of Arts in history and her Master’s of Arts degree in history both from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. Her thesis examined menstrual education in Victorian England. She is passionate about Princess Diana, the Titanic, the Romanovs, and Egypt amongst other things.

In her spare time, Maddy loves playing volleyball, running, walking, and biking, although when she wants to be lazy she loves to read a good thriller. She loves spending quality time with her friends, family, and puppy Luna!