Being paid to kiss. This requires two actors to have read the script and agreed to the job, often before they have met each other and sometimes before they know who has been cast. Since the actors are in character when they kiss, it could be said that they are not actually kissing each other. However, in the Real World, where one pair of lips is engaged with another, they are. The possible exchange of bodily fluids may be negotiated by the actors with one another but is only verified by highly trained crew members in what is known as the 'tongue' bet. There is no closed set for kissing scenes.
Kissing on film is rarely choreographed or even rehearsed. Etiquette maintains that actors will rehearse the scene right up to the kiss and then mime contact. The use of breath fresheners is a bit of a minefield, if used too obviously by another actor they might indicate either a) too much enthusiasm a la John Van Horn in 'Tootsie' or b) that your own breath is less than fresh.
There is an element of chance in the performance of a kiss that is unusual in what will be an important close-up. The chemistry between the actors and the atmosphere on set will influence the kiss as much as the writing and directing. Not that writers or directors are exactly shy when it comes to describing physical contact, even if they are they will overcome their hesitance when approaching more explicit scenes. It is more that everyone falls under the spell of the 'Hollywood' kiss, and wants to give that mythical creature a chance to happen of its own accord. Actors cannot help but be aware of this unspoken pressure and the vulnerability and expectation can be a lethal combination when added to the levels of neurosis, paranoia, ego and adrenalin already circulating through the actor's system. If a great kiss emerges from the debris then it is either the result of natural talent on the part of the actors, the camera operator and, most particularly, the focus puller, or the actors aren't acting.
Once the kiss has been established, if it is not a miracle of cinematic magic, the director will step in and start to fine tune the action. At this point, everyone will be aware that the kiss has to be staged and the crew ennui resumes.
After thirty years of professional kissing, I have a few notches on my perspective designed, artificially aged, hollow bed posts. It has never been very difficult, in the sense of unpleasant, kissing my co-stars as I am nearly always in temporary love with them. I start my crush when I read the script and it develops rapidly from that point. Actually meeting and working with the actor rarely interrupts my rosy view of their qualities. The scales don't begin to fall from my eyes until, roughly, the night of the wrap party. With my own rings back on my fingers, and the set packed for storage, it can be hard to see the man/woman/dinosaur who so captured my heart, across the tequila sodden dance floor. We all look the same with our own clothes on.
Yes, every kiss has been splendid. And if some were a little less than magnificent, I would never kiss-and-tell. We were only acting, after all.
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