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Movie Scenes That Captured An Actor's First Kiss

A person's first kiss tends to invite all kinds of emotions. On the one hand, it can be accompanied by an excruciating amount of anxiety and self-doubt; on the other, it can also be a total rush. It is that rare occasion in life that actually feels like a major milestone while it's happening, and whether it turns out to be good or bad or downright embarrassing, people usually don't forget the first time they lock lips with another.

For some young actors, the experience can be made even more memorable than most thanks to their first kisses taking place on a film set and thus being committed to celluloid. In the case of these Hollywood stars, they not only had to share their first smooch with a co-worker and in front of a production crew, but all the world got to see it unfold onscreen. Here's a look at some movie scenes that captured an actor's first kiss.

Sweet Home Alabama

Dakota Fanning might not have been the top billed member of the cast for the 2002 rom-com Sweet Home Alabama, but the film probably ranks among the most personally significant parts of her filmography because it just so happened to feature her first real-life kiss. Fanning, who was still working her way to childhood stardom at the time, appeared in the film's opening scene alongside another young thespian named Thomas Curtis, and the two played the younger versions of the central southern sweethearts Melanie Smooter (Reese Witherspoon) and Jake Perry (Josh Lucas). Prancing around the beach during a thunderstorm, Jake pesters young Melanie to marry him, as he would so often do during their youth. She declines, saying she has a lot of life to lead yet (smart girl), but she does cave to a kiss, although their lip lock is quickly interrupted by Mother Nature making a rare second lightning strike in the same spot.

Fanning would later call the scene "hot stuff for a seven and a 10-year-old." Even so, she also admitted that she "wasn't really into it" and would wipe her mouth off between takes. Considering she was so young, and it was so forced, Fanning doesn't actually consider the captured kiss to count as her "real first kiss" and insists the real deal came along several years later under very different circumstances.

Interview with the Vampire

There are probably millions of women who wish they could say their first kiss (or any kiss, for that matter) was shared with Brad Pitt, especially in his prime Sexiest Man Alive-winning days. For Kirsten Dunst, that was indeed a reality on the set of the 1994 thriller Interview with the Vampire. Unfortunately for her, she was just 11 years old at the time, while he was already 30, so it was hardly a romantic experience for either actor. 

She later remembered on Conan, "I thought it was disgusting. I was 11. It would've been weird if I was like, 'This is amazing. I'm kissing Brad Pitt.'" Mercifully, Dunst added that there was "no tongue" involved, and it was "PC" enough so that the screen kiss didn't intimidate the next fella to plant one on her offscreen — a fellow eighth grader on a field trip. Even so, the movie world will always know that when the childlike vampress Claudia plants one on a lying Louis, it also immortalized Dunst's awkward first bit of lip-to-lip contact. Hey, there are worse first kiss stories, to be sure.

Little Manhattan

Chances are, Josh Hutcherson is better known for his onscreen spit-swaps with Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games films, but long before he ever made way to the Capitol arena, the then-child actor shared his first kiss in a scene for the 2005 romantic film Little Manhattan. Opposite Charlotte Ray Rosenberg, Hutcherson starred as a kid named Gabe who goes in for a kiss on the girl he likes and then proceeds to torture himself with a very relatable inner monologue: "Did I do it right? I don't know. I have absolutely nothing to compare it to. Was I even close?"

As conflicted as his character was, Hutcherson has admitted to being even more distressed by the experience of having an audience for the shot. He told Seventeen Magazine that not one but both of his parents were on-set for the scene to help calm his nerves (his father even flew into town specifically to watch the scene being shot), in addition to the stacked production crew. "It was a horrible first kiss because I had a crew of like 50 people standing around watching me," he explained. "It was the most non-real, non-intimate moment that I could possibly have for my first kiss, I think." Lucky guy!

I Could Never Be Your Woman

Saoirse Ronan might be an accomplished actress now, but long before she would become a household (albeit oft-mispronounced) name, she made her feature film debut in the little-seen 2007 Amy Heckerling dramedy I Could Never Be Your Woman. Not only did it mark her first silver screen role, but it also featured her first kiss. Opposite Michelle Pfeiffer, the then-pre-teen starred as a kid who is full of the usual social fears and anxieties and is not sure if the boy she likes shares her interest. Lo and behold, he (played by Rory Copus) does apparently share her crush, and the two decide to lean in for a kiss after bonding over the video game Ape Escape, of all things. Kids.

Ronan later told W Magazine that she had to do eight takes of the scene and felt that she really "suffered for her art" because she spent the whole time counting out the requisite three seconds her smooches were supposed to last in her head. "I was [a] proper prude, as well; I was not ready to kiss a boy myself," she explained. Even so, there was one unexpected benefit. Ronan revealed, "I was a phenomenal kisser by the end." As they say, practice makes perfect!

Tom and Huck

In the mid-'90s, almost no one was hotter than teen dream Jonathan Taylor Thomas (better known to Bop Magazine readers as simply "JTT"). The Home Improvement star was already a fixture of the small screen and attempted to translate that young fame to silver screen prominence as well. 1995's Tom and Huck, an adaptation of Mark Twain's book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, gave him a chance to star in a leading film role — and his first kiss, with co-star Rachael Leigh Cook.

In the scene, Taylor's Tom Sawyer asks Cook's Becky Thatcher to marry him and seals their "engagement" with a kiss. Although Becky will later find out with some chagrin that this is not Tom's first such courtship with a girl, it was Thomas' first smooch in real life. He told All-Stars Magazine, though, that he didn't think it counted as such, saying, "It went well, but it's difficult being in front of 250 people who simultaneously break out in, 'Oooh!'"

Roger Dodger

In the 2002 dramedy Roger Dodger, Jesse Eisenberg made his movie debut as a teen whose uncle decides to take him out on the town to meet women, and they do indeed accomplish their mission. They eventually link up with two women, and one of them, played by Jennifer Beals, decides to give him his first kiss after finding out he's never had one before. Unlike others on this list, it's hardly some small peck, and it certainly didn't seem to leave a bad taste for the actor.

He told WNYC, "I was 18 or 19 years old. It was the first movie I got to be in, and I got to kiss her. That was before I even had a girlfriend or a date, so it was a great experience. I don't know if she agrees, but for me it was life-changing." Based on what Beals would later say of the experience, she wasn't quite as personally affected by the scene, but at least he can press "play" any time he likes if he wants to reminisce.  

My Girl

When it comes to kids kissing onscreen, it doesn't get much more authentic than 1991's My Girl. The now-classic tearjerker featured Anna Chlumsky and Macaulay Culkin, who were each barely into double-digit age when they filmed the scene, sharing a smooch just to find out what all the fuss is about. Like their characters, they were each novices to the practice and didn't seem to be overly impressed with the kissing after it was done (Chlumsky was even quoted as saying "yuck" in between takes).

The pair went on to win the 1992 MTV Movie Award for "Best Kiss" for this screen moment — with Chlumsky accepting solo and quipping, "Gee, my first kiss, and I get an award" — and, of course, they captured the hearts of millions. It may not have been impactful enough to keep the actors in touch later on in life, but it did give generations of other kids a pro tip on what to do if it a first kiss doesn't quite live up to the hype: Stand up and start reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, because it sure beats saying the wrong thing in such a situation.