20 Times Actors Went Off-Script To Kiss Their Co-Stars

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Improvisation is usually associated with the comedy world but some actors use their ability to think on the spot in more romantic circumstances. Indeed, a whole host of TV shows and films have featured kisses that weren’t actually in the original script. From quick pecks on the cheek to passionate smooches, here’s a look at 20 of them.

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20. Neil Patrick Harris and Burt Reynolds in B.L. Stryker

In Choose Your Own Autobiography, Harris recalls, “As a joke at the end of one take, Burt leans over and kisses you square on the mouth. The crew thinks this is very funny, but it makes you uncomfortable. Uncomfortable and, it will ultimately turn out, gay. Burt Reynolds’ kiss makes you gay.”

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19. Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth in The Last Song

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth had one of the most high-profile on/off relationships in recent Hollywood history. And it certainly began in unusual circumstances. In fact, they shared their very first kiss for the cameras on the day they met. The pair were filming the 2010 Nicholas Sparks adaptation The Last Song.

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In an interview with Collider, Hemsworth revealed that this intimate moment was a last-minute instruction from the movie’s director Julie Anne Robinson. The Australian actor and former Hannah Montana star were initially only supposed to frolic in the sea for a montage scene. Hemsworth said, “It was kinda good, because I hadn’t had any time to think about or get nervous about, you know, the kiss.”

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18. Tommy Davidson and Jada Pinkett Smith in Woo

You wouldn’t necessarily imagine Will Smith to be the kind of guy to start a fight. But the A-lister very nearly came to blows with Tommy Davidson following an improvised scene with his wife in Woo. Jada Pinkett Smith and Davidson had agreed to mix things up during the finale of the 1998 romantic comedy by busting some moves together. However, things went a little too off-script with an impromptu kiss.

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In his autobiography, Davidson recalled how he leaned in for a smooch much to Jada — and her real-life husband’s — surprise. He admitted “I didn’t know this: You have to rehearse a kiss. You can’t just spring it on your co-star… And I didn’t think it was all that big of a deal.” Will Smith certainly felt different, however, and “went all gangsta” on Davidson. Thankfully, the situation never turned physical and, happily, all three parties are now good friends.

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17. Jillian Bell and Jonah Hill

As a veteran of Judd Apatow comedies, Jonah Hill no doubt has plenty of experience of improvising. Likewise former Saturday Night Live writer and Eastbound and Down star Jillian Bell. And the pair put their skills to hilarious use for a memorable scene in 22 Jump Street which went from confrontational to passionate and back again within seconds.

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In the hit sequel, Hill’s hapless policeman, Schmidt, and Bell’s college student, Mercedes, are constantly warring. But when they get into a physical fight, their relationship takes a turn for the unexpected. Both actors had agreed before the cameras started rolling that their characters should share a kiss in between hitting each other.

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16. Roger Moore and Valerie Leon in The Persuaders

Valerie Leon has worked with several iconic British actors including Richard Harris, Richard Burton and Roger Moore. In fact, she shared the screen with the latter no fewer than four times. And on several occasions, Leon had to get up close and personal with the suave James Bond star.

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Leon filmed a three-in-a-bed scene with Moore for The Saint which she describes as “terribly innocent.” And the actress also told London’s West End Extra about another amorous encounter with the former 007. She said, “I was also in The Persuaders, and Roger gave me an unscripted kiss. I just closed my eyes and enjoyed it. They kept it in.”

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15. Jim Caviezel and Taraji P. Henson in Person of Interest

The kiss that Joss Carter shares with her fellow detective John Reese just before she dies is an unforgettable Person of Interest moment. But in a 2013 interview with TV Line site, showrunner Jonah Nolan revealed that actors Taraji P. Henson and Jim Caviezel actually smooched on the fly. And he also admitted that he wasn’t initially interested in watching it unfold.

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Nolan said, “I’ll be honest, Greg [Plageman, executive producer] and I were not terribly interested in seeing that take because the moment on the page was about the enduring friendship between these characters. Yet from the beginning, I was kind of always rooting for that connection, that spark, so finally we sat down and looked at the take like, ‘Aww…’ It’s very earned. It’s very real.”

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14. K.J. Apa and Casey Cott in Riverdale

One of the most memorable Riverdale episodes is when the gang tackle Hedwig and the Angry Inch. And two of the teen drama’s stars certainly got into the spirit. In the cult musical, Hedwig typically wades into the audience to give one lucky spectator a smooch. And so Casey Cott and K.J. Apa decided to uphold the tradition completely off their own bat.

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Cott recalled how the scene came about while speaking to TV Insider. He said, “So, halfway through shooting that number, I was like, ‘I should just go kiss K.J.’ So I planted one on his cheek, and then the next take I went in to do the same thing and he turned his face and we just kind of laid a big one on each other. And then after that, we were like ‘This is exactly what it should be.’”

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13. Camilla Luddington, Justin Chambers and Jessica Capshaw in Grey’s Anatomy

In the finale of Grey’s Anatomy’s 14th season, Camilla Luddington’s Dr. Jo plants a kiss firmly on Alex’s lips before doing exactly the same to Arizona. It’s a move which appears to catch both recipients, Justin Chambers and Jessica Capshaw, entirely off guard. And with good reason, too. For Luddington’s smooching session was entirely unscripted.

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Luddington confessed all when she retweeted a clip of the three-way kiss on Twitter that was captioned “Are we gonna talk about this.” The actress responded, “Ha!!! It was unscripted but I thought hello?!!! Who wouldn’t want to also smooch Arizona Robbins.” Luddington’s admission was met with nothing but admiration by fans of the long-running medical drama.

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12. Helena Bonham Carter and Julian Sands in A Room with a View

Helena Bonham Carter admits that she didn’t have much kissing experience at all, let alone on camera, when she was cast as Lucy Honeychurch in period drama A Room with a View. Then just 18 years old, the actress kept everyone waiting to cement her character’s romance with Julian Sands’ George Emerson. But she eventually plucked up the courage on the spur of the moment, as she recalled in an interview with Criterion.

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Carter revealed that she had other things on her mind when the “magic moment” finally occurred. She said, “It’s very hard to walk across a plowed field in high heels. I just knew I had to get to him without falling down. And then not laugh when he kissed me.”

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11. Jake Johnson and Max Greenfield in New Girl

Although their friendship was never anything more than a platonic bromance, New Girl’s Nick and Schmidt couldn’t stop kissing each other in the quirky sitcom. In fact, during an On Air with Ryan Seacrest interview, Jake Johnson joked that he’d locked lips with Max Greenfield more than any of his girlfriends. However, he took some time getting used to his co-star’s amorous ways.

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Greenfield told Seacrest, “We’ll do a lot of improv on the show and I’ll just go in and kiss [Johnson] sometimes. They [the show’s producers] usually don’t put it in. And finally they put it in after about the seventh time I’d done it.” The actor added that Johnson initially responded aggressively to being kissed without warning but that over time he became more relaxed about it.

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10. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard in Jurassic World

You may be surprised to learn that Jurassic World’s two main heroes Claire and Owen were never meant to kiss in the long-awaited reboot of the dinosaur franchise. Bryce Dallas Howard told Out magazine that her on-screen smooch with Chris Pratt was never in the original script. She added, “And then on the last day, that happened…”

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Howard was left just as surprised by the kiss as the rest of the crew. Colin Treverrow, the director, had secretly discussed with his leading man about the prospect of a spontaneous smooch but kept his leading lady in the dark. In a DVD feature, Treverrow admitted, “The idea was we’re just going to have Chris Pratt surprise [Howard] in front of 200 people. And that’s the take that’s in the movie.”

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9. Steve Carell and Oscar Nuñez in The Office

After learning that one of his employees is gay, The Office’s Michael Scott does everything he can to prove that he’s not homophobic. And that includes kissing said employee squarely on the lips. However, Steve Carell’s hilariously awkward kiss with Oscar Nuñez only occurred on the spur of the moment, as the latter explained to IGN.

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Nuñez told The A.V. Club, “We were just supposed to hug and he kept hugging me. And that particular take he came in really close, and I’m like, ‘Where is he going with this?’ Oh, dear, yes, here we go.” The actor revealed he was concerned that the moment would be ruined by a guffawing cast or crew member. But luckily everyone on set managed to stifle their laughs long enough for the shot to survive.

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8. Gemma Whelan and Indira Varma in Game of Thrones

One of the most eagerly-awaited moments of “Stormborn,” Game of Thrones’ seventh season episode, was the kiss between Indira Varma’s Ellaria Sand and Gemma Whelan’s Yara Greyjoy. But the pair weren’t supposed to lock lips at all. Whelan told Entertainment Weekly, “It just seemed like something we should do. It was meant to be a suggestion [of flirting] and then it became more sexual than we expected because it seemed right.”

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However, the pair’s spontaneity also affected an unsuspecting stunt double. Whelan injured her back during the scene’s filming. And so her stuntwoman also had to share an on-screen kiss, something she appeared to find terrifying according to Varma. The actress said, “I don’t think she’d ever been put in that situation before. She’s used to falling over and being attacked and all the stunts, but to be kissed by an actress was a bit beyond her.”

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7. Dylan O’Brien and Holland Roden in Teen Wolf

While appearing at Madrid’s Showtime Con 2 event in 2017, Holland Roden revealed a secret that shocked Teen Wolf fans to their core. The kiss that started everything between her character, Lydia, and Dylan O’Brien’s Stiles hadn’t been scripted. In fact, she had no idea that her co-star was going to plant a kiss on her cheek.

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And that one innocent peck ended up snowballing into one of the show’s key romances. Yes, as audiences started to “ship” the couple online through various fan fictions imagining the pair’s relationship, producers realized that there could be something in the idea. And much to fans’ delight, “Stydia” soon became a genuine storyline in the hit teen drama.

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6. Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

Woody Harrelson certainly wasn’t afraid to reveal his true feelings for one of his Hunger Games co-stars in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. The star admitted, “I have a crush on Elizabeth Banks. I’m not going to lie. I think she’s a beautiful woman, I think she’s a marvelous actress, and I just love her as a person.” Little surprise, then, that Harrelson decided to steal a kiss from the actress in the sequel.

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Harrelson said, “She didn’t know I was even going to do it. I just kissed her.” And apparently Banks had few qualms about the actor’s opportunism. According to a reporter from the Associated Press, Banks deliberately kept forgetting her lines during the scene in question so that she got to enjoy even more kissing time with her co-star.

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5. Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher in The Last Jedi

Of course, not all spontaneous on-screen kisses are moments of pure passion. In The Last Jedi, Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker tenderly kisses his sister, Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia, on her forehead after telling her, “No one’s ever really gone.” It was an improvised scene which packed an even bigger emotional punch coming as it did after Fisher’s untimely death.

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Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Hamill revealed that he felt the unscripted kiss was the right thing to do at the time He also added that the scene would always be “really momentous… because Luke was saying goodbye to his sister forever.” However, because of Fisher’s death, Hamill has never been able to bring himself to watch this farewell.

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4. Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams in American Hustle

In American Hustle, Jennifer Lawrence’s Rosalyn Rosenfeld starts arguing with Amy Adams’ Sydney, the mistress of her conman husband. But their bathroom altercation takes a turn for the unexpected when Rosalyn kisses Sydney wildly before laughing cruelly. And no one was more surprised than the film’s director, David O. Russell.

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Russell told Vanity Fair that he’d been pitched about the idea of a kiss but that he had no idea exactly when it would occur. Adams explained in a press conference that she’d been behind the spontaneous act but was keen to praise Lawrence for her commitment. She said the smooch “didn’t just feel like a moment where two girls are going to kiss onscreen – it felt emotional.”


3. Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie told the Film School Rejects site that he found it difficult to find a natural place for the movie’s two leads to kiss. He said, “[It] always felt false. It always felt like they weren’t focused on what was really important.” In fact, they were all set to give up on the idea until Emily Blunt stepped in.

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Just as her character, Rita, is about to bid farewell to Tom Cruise’s Cage, Blunt plants a kiss on the A-lister’s lips. McQuarrie said, “And it was not in the script. It was not even discussed.” The screenwriter then asked Blunt why she’d chosen such a moment and she replied, “It just felt right. It felt right and I did it.”

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2. Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis in Top Gun

Tom Cruise has a reputation for being such an utmost professional that it’s hard to imagine him ever forgetting a line. But the star had a novel method for disguising his sudden memory loss while filming a scene for 1986 classic Top Gun. He simply kissed his co-star instead.

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Yes, the first kiss between Cruise’s Maverick and Kelly McGillis’ Charlie was never in the original script. But when Cruise failed to remember his next line during their streetside showdown, he decided to turn their argument into something more passionate. And the rest is blockbuster history.

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1. Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation

It’s one of the most talked-about movie moments of the 2000s. Bill Murray’s Bob whispers into the ears of Scarlett Johansson’s Charlotte in the final scene of 2003 rom-com Lost in Translation before the pair share a kiss. We never learn the words he uttered but we do now know that their smooch was entirely unscripted.

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In a chat with The Daily Beast, director Sofia Coppola said, “I remember sometimes [Murray] would spring things on [Johansson], and it was fun to get her reaction.” And that’s not the only time Murray used his improv skills in the acclaimed movie. He came up with all the dialog in the sushi bar scene where his only direction was to make Johansson laugh.