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Actors Who Refused To Kiss Their Co-Stars On-Screen

It happens from time to time. During the occasional thriller, drama, or incredibly, romantic big-screen entry, the two leads who have been through thick and thin together finally give into their feelings and lean in for a cinematic smooch. Sometimes, though, things don't go according to plan and one or more of the parties involved aren't down for getting hot and heavy on camera. In fact, in some cases, some stars have flat out refused to swap saliva, and creative flair needs to be applied to overcome this little hurdle. From matters of principle to going just a little slobbery, scenes that could've come with a little bit of love ended up severely lacking instead.

Some of the biggest stars in Hollywood have deemed kissing a no-go for some of their most memorable movies, and while it might not have impacted the film as a whole, it is a noticeable detail that's omitted. Here are just a handful of instances where passion levels weren't as high as they could've been and the totally reasonable reasons behind them all. So pucker up — or not — it's totally your choice, of course.

Neal McDonough refuses to kiss anyone but his wife

Over the past few years, Neal McDonough has been routinely picked out as a brilliant bad guy, appearing in the likes of "Yellowstone," "The Flash," and "Justified," but it turns out he's a sweetheart in real life, specifically when it comes to his wife, Ruvé McDonough. In an interview with Closer, he said that he refuses to do love scenes and that he "won't kiss any other woman because these lips are meant for one woman."

While McDonough might have become a regular pick for causing problems for a variety of television heroes, it was when he played one himself that he met his wife. McDonough recalled how, during his time as Lynn D. "Buck" Compton in the critically acclaimed limited series "Band of Brothers," he met the love of his life on what might be the luckiest day of the year. "It was St. Patrick's Day, and we literally bumped into each other on the street, locked eyes and that was it," McDonough recalled of his love-at-first-sight experience. "The next morning, I called the woman I was dating at the time and said, 'I'm sorry, it's not going to work out with us anymore — I just met the woman I'm going to marry.'"

Denzel Washington asked for no kissing scenes in The Pelican Brief

Sometimes, past experiences are enough to lead an actor to change tactics, and that includes kissing scenes. In the case of 1993's "The Pelican Brief," Denzel Washington requested that any moments of passion with his co-star, Julia Roberts, were removed from the script following a previous reaction he'd received from audiences in another role.

In 1989, Washington had an interracial kiss with then co-star Mimi Rogers and heard firsthand loud boos from Black women in the audience, which the actor acknowledged when working with Roberts. "Black women are not often seen as objects of desire on film. They have always been my core audience," Washington told Newsweek in 2002. As a result, any steamy scenes were removed from "The Pelican Brief," even though his co-star was open to being part of them.

Julia Roberts revealed that she had been asked on plenty of occasions after the film's release why she didn't kiss Washington. She responded saying, "Don't I have a pulse? Of course I wanted to kiss Denzel. It was his idea to take the damn scenes out."

Cate Blanchett and the curious case of not kissing Brad Pitt

In David Fincher's 2008 romance "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," it turns out the matter of poor timing happened both in front of and behind the camera. The film that's loosely based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald short story saw Cate Blanchett's ballet dancer falling in love with Pitt's titular character, who has the minor issue of ageing backwards, causing understandable issues. If that weren't enough, it turns out Pitt's real-life romances created a bump in the road for the project overall.

Reportedly, Pitt initially refused to kiss Cate Blanchett on screen because he was far too loved up with his then partner, Angelina Jolie. The issue didn't go unnoticed by Blanchett, who joked about the problem in 2009 with The Telegraph: "Honestly, to see how in love with Angelina he is, it was really quite disgusting. Awful in fact." Thankfully, the issue was addressed eventually, and Fincher managed to make his leading pair kiss and make up, but it wasn't something that Blanchett forgot. The star joked, "It's in my contract now: I won't ever work with him again." Given that Pitt and Jolie are no longer together, things could've been different had Benjamin Button arrived years later. Ah well, another time, maybe?

Will Smith skipped a kiss with Anthony Michael Hall in Six Degrees of Separation

Mega movie stars have to start somewhere, and after making a name for himself in "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," Will Smith tried his hand at the big screen with "Six Degrees of Separation," opposite "The Hunger Games" and "M*A*S*H*" star Donald Sutherland. Smith plays a young con man who winds up at the door of a rich family, stealing their hearts and a little extra. During the film, a scene demanded that Smith share a kiss with Anthony Michael Hall, but at the last minute, he requested a stand-in take his place.

Smith regretted not taking part in the scene. Deeming it a valuable lesson, the then young star told Entertainment Weekly, "It was very immature on my part. I was thinking, 'How are my friends in Philly going to think about this?' I wasn't emotionally stable enough to artistically commit to that aspect of the film. In a movie with actors and a director and writer of this caliber, for me to be the one bringing something cheesy to it ..." It may still stand as one of Will Smith's best movies to date, but for the actor, it contained a scene he regretted not following through with for what could've been an empowering moment in the film.

Jennifer Lawrence needed to get drunk to kiss Chris Pratt

Jennifer Lawrence has an interesting and slightly unfortunate history with on-screen kisses. Josh Hutcherson described a kiss in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" as a mess, but it was during her time on screen with Chris Pratt in "Passengers" that a bit of Dutch courage needed to be applied. The film saw the two as star-crossed lovers on a lengthy mission through space, but while dangers were rife for their characters, Lawrence's biggest fear was kissing a married man.

During a roundtable interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Lawrence recalled how rattled she was in the lead-up to the scene and after it: "I got really, really drunk. But then that led to more anxiety when I got home because I was like, 'What have I done? I don't know.' And he was married. And it was going to be my first time kissing a married man, and guilt is the worst feeling in your stomach."

Ultimately, it's something that comes with the territory, which the Oscar winner took a while to accept. Lawrence continued, "I knew it was my job, but I couldn't tell my stomach that. So I called my mom, and I was like, 'Will you just tell me it's OK?'" The issue clearly left her a little distressed. "It was just very vulnerable," she said. "And you don't know what's too much. You want to do it real, you want everything to be real, but then ... That was the most vulnerable I've ever been."