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Love Scenes We Never Got To See

Love scenes have been a part of movies since the very beginning of the medium, but they weren't always as accepted as they are now. Even after the Hays Code was lifted in 1968, after decades of impassioned canoodling and flirty innuendo, newly-freed filmmakers exploring sexual taboos in films like Andy Warhol's 1969 erotica "Blue Movie" still had to grapple with fallout like the arrest of Warhol's employees at his personal theater in Greenwich Village; John Schlesinger still had to contend with the "X" rating slapped onto his 1969 masterpiece "Midnight Cowboy."

Nowadays, love scenes are a commonplace — and often, illuminating — way to demonstrate the emotional connection, or lack thereof, between two characters. Still, they remain a subject in the industry that is (sometimes, quite literally) too touchy.

To some, the '70s were a time of experimentation (Bernardo Bertolucci's "Last Tango in Paris," Radley Metzger's "Score"), the '80s a golden age for artistically sexy movies ("Body Heat," "Fatal Attraction"), and the '90s a time of sex as an act of aggression ("The Last Seduction," "Basic Instinct"). As the so-called golden age of television emerged, and prestige channels like HBO began running loops around the competition by going places the networks would never dare, shows like "Game of Thrones," "Hung" and "Boardwalk Empire" went even further.  

Today, especially on television, some audiences have complained about sex scenes being overly gratuitous, not safe for certain audiences, and even triggering for those who have been through traumatic sexual experiences. For these reasons and others, sometimes a movie or TV show intends to get down-and-dirty, but instead leaves the lust on the cutting room floor. Below, a brief compendium of love scenes that were planned for a film or TV show, but didn't quite make it into the final product.

Alien (1979)

Considered among the most influential sci-fi films of all time, Ridley Scott's "Alien" centers on a crew of astronauts whose ship is attacked by a violent, predatory extraterrestrial, leaving it up to Sigourney Weaver's Ellen Ripley to save the day as the lone survivor. The character of Ellen Ripley would become a pop culture icon, as a surprising heroine who drives the most badass moments in the entire film.

One thing viewers (including IndieWire) loved about Ripley was that the film didn't "shy away from the characteristics that keep her human and relatable." But one moment that would've shown Ripley's vulnerability — and possibly watered down her lasting image as a strong, no-nonsense woman — never made it past the script. 

In an early version of the screenplay, there was a love scene between Ripley and another crew member. When Weaver objected to its inclusion upon signing on for the film by asking Scott, "Would you really get it on while this thing is running around?" — the point was taken and it was excised. 

In a way, Weaver's question is amusing because of all the sci-fi and horror films that have come along since 1979 that do pause the action for actors to "get it on" gratuitously. The lesson those filmmakers haven't learned is that the lack of a love scene kept the movie's tone intact and minted Ripley as a female icon who didn't have to rely on sexiness or nudity to appeal to audiences.

Gossip Girl (2007 - 2012)

A cultural touchstone of the late 2000s and early 2010s, this CW series centered on a cast of New York City socialites, including Blake Lively's Serena van der Woodsen and her best friend Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester). It was controversial from the jump, a frequent target of conservative groups for content perceived as inappropriate; as often happens, the series leaned into the controversy, embracing its risqué nature for marketing purposes. 

There were moments throughout the show's six-season run that tested even The CW's willingness to push sexual boundaries. Some had the characters interacting with sex toys, others more overtly sexual. One such moment involved a tryst between Blair and Chuck, played by Ed Westwick.

"[We had] a story about Chuck taking care of Blair under a table at Xan's," executive producer Joshua Safran would later recall. "I don't think we were able to do it, but we hinted at it." 

Wild Things (1998)

This John McNaughton-directed thriller became a surprise hit by mixing an old-fashioned noir mystery with very adult, steamy subject matter, boasting one of Bill Murray's most off-the-wall performances and career-making work from breakout Denise Richards. 

Ostensibly the story of a Miami detective (Kevin Bacon) investigating the sexual assault of a high schooler by her guidance counselor (Matt Dillon), the film is filled with so many twists and turns, double-crosses, and underhanded dealings, that by the end you'll need a notepad and pen to track all the shifting alliances. 

One key relationship, however, didn't make the final cut: A romance between Dillon and Bacon. In some ways, the subplot would have been fairly revolutionary for its time period; in others, this is a film where characters are constantly revealed to be in bed together, so it would make a lot of sense. This was to be shown during a memorable "Wild Things" moment where Bacon's character emerges from a shower, displaying full-frontal nudity. While that scene did make it into the film, it was originally going to be much more eye-opening. 

"The movie almost came with another surprise for people to talk about, because Matt was gonna climb in the shower with me," Bacon later divulged. "I thought it was great because the whole movie is about secrets coming out, right? As reveals go, that one was just huge. Unfortunately, the financiers didn't like the idea of men making out. They felt it went too far. They felt it wasn't right." 

Dillon, however, was happy to see the subplot dropped. "I was relieved when they got rid of that scene," he explained in 2005. "Kevin seemed pretty attached to it, though."

"In the original version of the scene, Matt walks into his bathroom to take a shower and there's Kevin," he recalled in 2023, saying that the scene never even got filmed. "They were supposed to look each other up and down and then wham — go at it." 

According to the filmmaker, one of the actors — he won't say which — put the kibosh on it.  

"I love surprise, and I love stuff that I don't see coming," he said of that particular day of filming. "But in that moment it was like 'You win some, you lose some; we're moving on.'"

Game of Thrones (2011 - 2019)

Arguably the TV series with the most headline-grabbing nudity and sex scenes throughout its eight seasons (particularly the early ones), this HBO epic based on the tales of George R.R. Martin followed dozens of storylines, including one that had Emilia Clarke's Daenerys Targaryen married to the Dothraki king Khal Drogo, played by Jason Momoa.

The Season 1 subplot offered up risqué moments between the two actors that ran the gamut from horrific to romantic. In Martin's  original "A Song of Ice & Fire" book series, however, these weren't the only early sexual moments involving the Mother of Dragons.

In the books, Daenerys has two sexual encounters with Irri, one of her Dothraki handmaidens. Ultimately, the series omitted the subplot, ultimately killing off Irri (Amrita Acharia) towards the end of the Season 2. Instead, it seems to have been transposed to the first season, as Daenerys is seen instructing another one of her handmaidens, Doreah (Roxanne McKee), to teach her how to satisfy her new Dothraki husband in the bedroom.

Spider-Man (2002)

Sam Raimi's eagerly-anticipated debut of the Friendly Neighborhood Webslinger contained one of the most iconic kissing scenes of its era; before Raimi was involved, however, James Cameron intended something far naughtier than kissing in the rain.

When Cameron was attached in the early '90s, his "Spider-Man" got far enough that the future "Titanic" and  "Avatar" auteur submitted a 47-page "scriptment" that told the story of the origin of Spider-Man, using variations on Electro and Sandman as the baddies. Even after Cameron left the project, some elements were retained by eventual screenwriter David Koepp. 

Years later, Cameron's scriptment leaked online, and readers were intrigued to learn of one parallel that included a somewhat graphic sex scene. 

As Cameron described it, Spider-Man takes M.J. to the top of the Brooklyn Bridge, tying her down with his webbing. Cameron intended for their sex to resemble actual biological spider mating rituals. 

"Courtship among the spiders is highly ritualized. It varies from species to species. The male spider may circle the female, or wave his front legs... to signal that he is not prey," Peter Parker says in the script, raising his hands in what is described as a dance-like movement. "In certain crab spiders, such as Xysticus, the male will attach strands of silk to the female... tying her limbs."

Girls (2012 - 2017)

Another HBO series that made its name with edgy content and risqué moments of intimacy, this Lena Dunham series wasn't set in a medieval fantasy world, but instead the realities of young people living in Brooklyn. One moment that was apparently too potentially controversial, even for "Girls," involved characters played by Allison Williams and Andrew Rannells. 

In the Season 2 premiere, Marnie and Elijah — an ex-boyfriend of Hannah's who came out as gay — unexpectedly hook up after an apartment party gone wrong. In the actual episode, the awkward encounter ends abruptly; in the original version, Elijah was intended to "finish" on-screen. The president of HBO's programming at the time, Mike Lombardo, objected to the money shot.

Nevertheless, the creators of "Girls" eventually got their "conclusion" shot by the end of that season. In what became a controversial scene (due to its depiction of non-consensual sex), Adam Driver's character has rough sex with his girlfriend, Natalia, and he is similarly depicted as climaxing. Lena Dunham defended the scene, and Driver's character, though many viewers felt Natalia's clear discomfort was a boundary crossed.

Team America: World Police (2004)

A raunchy one-off from the minds of "South Park" co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, this "Thunderbirds"-influenced parody centers on a team of jingoistic counter-terrorists who recruit a theatre actor to help them take on the nefarious forces of North Korea. This being a Parker/Stone production, fans can expect three things: lots of bad words, a take-no-prisoners attitude, and a willingness to go to some deep, raunchy places.

Sure enough, "Team America" made headlines with a prolonged sex scene between two of the puppets, featuring so many ridiculous sex positions that it briefly earned the film an NC-17 rating from the Motion Picture Association of America. 

Parker and Stone ultimately cut the film's original sex scene down. Since the MPAA doesn't tell filmmakers what needs to be cut, this resulted in the inevitable guessing game, resulting in a reported 9 cuts before the film was finally approved to be rated R. This ultimately meant that for the film's theatrical release, they had to lose some seriously sick moments.

Reportedly, these scenes involved urination, defecation and other such acts. In subsequent uncut and international releases of the movie, some of these graphic moments were added back in; some still reportedly remain on the cutting room floor, perhaps never to be seen.

"The sex scene was basically more than twice as long," Parker would explain in 2004, adding that it would likely be easier to release the footage in a foreign cut than a domestic one. "That would just point something out — that America is the only country that can't see the whole puppet sex scene [on the big screen.]"

The Crown (2016 - 2023)

The first two seasons of "The Crown" were a significant hit on Netflix, dramatizing the young adulthood of Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh. It brought with it acclaimed performances from Claire Foy and Matt Smith, who originated the lead roles in the series. Although Foy and Smith were recast in later seasons to portray older versions of the characters, they've remained beloved by fans of the series for their portrayals. 

That love may have been soured, however, if original plans for Season 1 had gone forward. According to Vanessa Kirby, who portrayed Elizabeth's sister, Princess Margaret, there was initially going to be a sex scene between Elizabeth and Philip. It was ultimately cut before filming because the creators deemed that audiences were likely not interested in seeing the then-still-living Queen having sex.

Other love scenes from "The Crown" have also never seen the light of day, including a Season 2 romp in the hay between Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones, played by Matthew Goode. Even though that scene was actually filmed, it never made it to the final cut of the episode.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1 (2011)

The first "Twilight" film, based on a series of novels by Stephenie Meyer, was a box office smash when it was first released in 2008, and it would become a huge cultural influence for years to come. Surprisingly, the titillating romance between Robert Pattinson's vampire Edward and Kristen Stewart's teenage Bella was quite tame, however, even for a PG-13 movie. As the series continued adapting Meyer's books, they eventually began to mature alongside the characters — and the romantic interactions escalated with the fourth film: "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1." 

Following the marriage of Edward and Bella, the two consummate their relationship, despite Bella being a human. After kissing nude in a lake, the two take it to the bedroom, where Edward proceeds to (quite literally) destroy their bed in the midst of love-making. While it's  a lot steamier than anything fans had previously seen in the film franchise, it was actually toned down quite a bit from the filmmakers' original intent.

Certain elements needed to be excised, and the scene had to be re-filmed due to guidelines from the MPAA about what constitutes as PG-13; it was a tough line to walk for the actors.

"It had to be transcendent and otherworldly, inhuman," Stewart said of the scene. "Better sex than you can possibly ever imagine." 

Euphoria (2019 - Present)

Never shying away from adult situations or graphic sex, HBO's "Euphoria" debuted with a first episode that had numerous instances of male and female nudity, love scenes, clips from pornography, and sexual assault — and then went from there. One frequent subject of such scenes is Sydney Sweeney's Cassie, but she has said that the show works closely with actors to allay any concerns. 

"There [have been] moments where Cassie was supposed to be shirtless and I would tell [showrunner] Sam [Levinson], 'I don't really think that's necessary here,'" Sweeney said in 2022. "He was like, 'Okay, we don't need it.' I've never felt like Sam has pushed it on me or was trying to get a nude scene into an HBO show. When I didn't want to do it, he didn't make me."

Other actresses have echoed this response from Levinson, including second season newcomer Minka Kelly, who was meant to appear nude during her introduction scene. After Kelly expressed discomfort to Levinson, he adjusted the scene to her liking. 

Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

There's no shortage of steamy love scenes in "Fifty Shades of Grey," the film adaptation of E.L. James' volcanic novel. The film launched the careers of Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, playing sexually inexperienced graduate student Anastasia Steele, who starts a romantic relationship with billionaire Christian Grey, who introduces her to the world of BDSM. Throughout this film and the two sequels that would follow, the pair engage in sexual activities that range from romantic to beyond the imagination of many.

Some of the more infamous moments from the original book, however, didn't even make it to the film. One of the more infamous of these involves the removal of a tampon; although a memorable moment from E.L. James' novel, it wasn't even a question that it would be cut from the film. Speaking to Variety in 2015, director Sam Taylor-Johnson admitted: "It was never even discussed."

Hollywood (2020)

A Ryan Murphy Netflix series that aired for one season, this mixed-reception show featured an assemblage of screen and stage stars both young and old, telling stories of post World War II Hollywood.

Among the stars were Samara Weaving, Laura Harrier, and Jeremy Pope, as well as Murphy regulars Darren Criss, Dylan McDermott, and Patti LuPone. The latter portrayed Avis, wife of Rob Reiner's Ace Amberg, a studio executive. A regular of McDermott's character's pimp business, she could be seen hiring young men to satisfy her while Ace was away. One cut scene from the miniseries, surprisingly, would have seen LuPone and Dylan McDermott's characters get together. 

The romance between LuPone and McDermott ultimately never saw the light of day; McDermott claimed their on-screen tryst was too steamy for viewers' eyes, while the Broadway legend praised her opportunity to do raunchy sex scenes elsewhere in the show. As she told Extra in reaction to filming love scenes with McDermott and other male actors, "Finally! What took them so long?!" 

Horrible Bosses 2 (2014)

Few movie characters are as despicably inappropriate as Jennifer Aniston's character from the "Horrible Bosses" films; the fact that she's a woman only makes it even more off-the-wall. 

In 2011's "Horrible Bosses," she was cast as a dentist making relentless, unwanted sexual advances towards her hygienist Dale, played by Charlie Day. In response, Dale and his friends (played by Jason Sudeikis and Jason Bateman) conspire to kill each others' bosses and free themselves of their misery.

Aniston reprised the role in "Horrible Bosses 2," escalating the action significantly and finally getting her man — somewhat. In the film's final act, Dale wakes up from a coma after having been shot. He learns that his former boss has become a helpful, almost familial presence while he was out. This is explained in a quiet moment between the two, as Julia reveals to Dale that she sexually assaulted him while he was in his coma, and is making plans to next seduce his wife. It's a crazy reveal, and according to Aniston, the filmmakers originally planned to not just tell it, but show it.

"It was kind of, not even mutual," she stuttered when Conan O'Brien asked her about the deleted sex scene. "Charlie Day's character is in a coma, and I exploit him whilst he is in a coma. So, it was a sex scene that was [vile]; they removed it. But I bet it will be on the DVD extras."

As it turns out, the scene was not restored for the DVD, and in the years since has not surfaced publicly in any way. Most likely, Aniston is breathing a sigh of relief.

Bridgerton (2020)

A runaway hit for Netflix when the first season premiered in December 2020, "Bridgerton" follows the romantic lives of the titular noble family in London in the early 1800s, based on a series of novels by Julia Quinn. Fans of the show were particularly swept off their feet by Phoebe Dynevor and Regé-Jean Page's performances as Daphne and Simon, the Duchess and Duke of Hastings, whose passionate romantic and sexual chemistry charge the show's first season. 

The show also received notoriety for the use of intimacy coordinators for its extensive sex scenes, which took pains to view these activities from the female gaze. While the first season inevitably focused on Daphne and Simon's romance, there are many other romantic plotlines throughout the season, though not everyone who filmed steamy scenes ended up having them used in the final show. According to Lizzy Talbot, the show's intimacy coordinator, "There were more characters that had intimate scenes that you didn't see," (via Glamour). 

At the end of it all, however, the showrunners decided to prioritize the moments of passion, not necessarily the steamiest. Some shots from these omitted scenes can be glimpsed in the official trailer for the Netflix series, including one where Simon leaves a prostitute in his bed, or another where he's involved in a threesome. Further love scenes were removed from the second season for purposes of keeping the narrative flowing, including romantic scenes between Kate and Anthony. 

Loki (2021 - Present)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has long been conservative when it comes to love scenes; that tradition was broken somewhat with 2021's "Eternals," when Richard Madden and Gemma Chan's characters shared the first on-screen sex scene in an MCU movie. But that barrier was nearly broken in a much more profound way, if the Disney+ series "Loki" had played out as originally envisioned. 

In the documentary "Assembled: The Making of Loki" on Disney+, head writer Michael Waldron can be seen standing in front of a whiteboard filled with potential series ideas. A pause and a zoom reveals to eagle-eyed viewers that some potential ideas included a montage where Tom Hiddleston's God of Mischief travels through various time periods, collects the Infinity Stones — and "doing crazy mischief, AKA sex."

Another bullet point reads: "Has the Gauntlet, holds [p]ower, more sex, bi, alien, etc.," leading some to believe that this sequence would have included him having relations with aliens. Although "Loki" ultimately didn't go down this particular road, the series did take the opportunity to explore the character's sexuality in its third episode, where it was revealed that Loki is bisexual.

The Mandalorian

If the Marvel Cinematic Universe is lacking in acknowledging the existence of sex, the "Star Wars" universe is downright Puritan. The sci-fi franchise has famously remained kid-friendly throughout its existence, from when the original George Lucas film premiered in theaters in 1977 all the way through the immaculate conception of Anakin Skywalker and various family-friendly prequels, sequels and spin-offs. The trend would continue into the franchise's Disney+ shows, including "The Mandalorian," "Obi-Wan Kenobi," "The Book of Boba Fett," and even "Andor," though the latter is the most mature the franchise has ever been. 

That hasn't stopped the actors, however, from dreaming up their own scenarios of getting it on with other characters. Katee Sackhoff,  originally the voice of Bo-Katan Kryze in "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" and "Star Wars Rebels" and now playing the role in live-action for "The Mandalorian," has gone on record saying she's down to have fun in a galaxy far, far away.

On the podcast "The Big Thing," Sackhoff conceded that a romance between Bo-Katan and Pedro Pascal's Din Djarin (who, famously, is opposed to ever removing his helmet) was discussed behind-the-scenes, albeit jokingly. 

"I thought the most amazing part about that episode was when they had sex," she joked, referencing how the two characters had grown closer together, neighboring on intimacy. "It was a conversation, for sure. There was this scene of [Pascal stunt double] Brendan [Wayne] grabbing Bo's face and kissing me, in an off take. It was so funny, because it was right there the entire time. We were joking about it the whole time. And then I was like 'Could you imagine having sex?' and he was like 'I can't take my helmet off.'"