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Three Cut Star Trek Moments Made Patrick Stewart Question His Kissing Skills

Kiss him once, kiss him twice, kiss his way ... out of the movie? Sir Patrick Stewart might have a whole lot of folks walking the planet who think he's handsome, but three of his "Star Trek" universe kissing scenes were removed from their final products, leaving him wondering if perhaps there's something wrong with the way he smooches.

According to interviews published in "The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years," an oral history of the "Star Trek" franchise, a deleted scene from the Jonathan Frakes-directed "Star Trek: First Contact" has Stewart's Jean-Luc Picard kiss Alfre Woodward's Lily Sloane on the cheek. On top of that, while in the throes of a romantic relationship with Donna Murphy's Anij in "Star Trek: Insurrection," he kisses her passionately on the mouth twice. Both busses were axed from the final product, to the actor's bemusement. 

"There must be something they don't like about my kissing," Stewart said. "It's the oddest thing. With the kiss with Alfre, it was on the cheek, but they took it out. So when it came to Donna and something a little more intense ... it's gone and it's very irritating." It turns out that Donna Murphy was also initially disappointed by the cut.

Donna Murphy wasn't happy with the kiss being cut

Donna Murphy reported in "The Fifty Year Mission" that she, too, was disappointed that Anij and Picard's romantic moment was deleted. Describing it as part of a long fantasy sequence that ended with the pair kissing, she said, "It was more kind of a sensual exploration, a heightened sensory response to different ways of touching each other, and that led into this kiss." She initially thought the kiss had been cut to add more of a lead-in and build-up to the buss, but the entire liplock was removed from the film.

"I initially had a negative response to that, because you shape performance thinking that there are certain pieces of the puzzle that are a given, and if you take those pieces out you might have chosen to shape the performance differently if you knew that those pieces were not going to be there," she confessed. Feeling that she and Stewart were crafting a relationship that was leading to a physically passionate connection, Murphy added, "Patrick and I played that relationship as if there was an intimacy that had taken place at a certain point." What happened? She says that it was an executive decision. Speaking of which, "Star Trek" executive producer Rick Berman maintains he had his reasons.

Rick Berman says the kisses were cut for tone's sake

Rick Berman — a long-time producer and writer for the "Star Trek" franchise, who worked as an executive producer on "Star Trek: Insurrection" and also provided the film's story — has his own reasons for the kisses not making it into the movie. 

Apparently there was some executive dissent about whether the smooches were appropriately placed in the narrative, with those who disliked the kisses feeling that they threw off the film's pacing. "The first one was during an altered reality sequence where the water slows down and the hummingbird slows down," Berman said in "The Fifty Year Mission." "There were those among us who believed that we were right in the middle of this exodus, there was a lot of action going on, and for those two characters to start making out seemed to not necessarily be appropriate at that moment."

Berman determined that the second kiss — which comes after Picard informs Anij that he has shore leave coming up, hinting at a possible long-term relationship — need not exist if it couldn't be placed in context: "Without the first kiss, the second kiss seemed very odd and out of place." Berman also noted that Picard's romance does not propel the film, making the pecks unnecessary. Since the movie ranks as the second worst "Star Trek" film, it's hard to disagree. And since Stewart wants a Picard-centered movie, perhaps he'll get to kiss someone in that production.