Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Uncomfortable Actor Kisses That Happened On Live TV

Kisses in movies and TV shows are often powerful expressions of love. Audiences enjoy seeing their favorite characters find romance, especially if it's between a couple they've been rooting for, like Han Solo and Princess Leia in Star Wars or Jim and Pam from The Office.  

Kisses between actors on live TV, on the other hand, tend to be memorable for all the wrong reasons. These kisses are usually impromptu, but even when they're planned, they can be a bit off-putting when we see them where we don't expect them. They're often uncomfortable, making viewers wonder, "Why am I watching this?" Still, these cringe-worthy moments are usually the highlights of whatever events they take place at, especially if those events are as long and tedious as award shows. After all, bad publicity is still publicity. 

Forced, abrupt, startling, or too passionate for a public setting, each bad kiss is like a snowflake: weird in its own unique way. Here's a breakdown of many uncomfortable kisses on live TV.

Eddie Izzard and Rebel Wilson

Out of all the memorable moments from the 2016 British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTAs) ceremony, comedian Eddie Izzard sharing a prolonged smooch with actor Rebel Wilson was definitely one of the least expected. 

The bit came at the end of a Valentine's Day-themed kiss cam segment that kicked off the show. The camera would focus on two people sitting next to or behind each other, and the audience would encourage each randomly chosen couple to kiss. Although BAFTA's kiss cam had other memorable moments, such as Leonardo DiCaprio kissing Dame Maggie Smith on the cheek, none of them came close to Izzard and Wilson's surprisingly intense tongue tango. Wilson looked outright dumbfounded afterward. 

At least their kiss wasn't cut from the broadcast, which was the case with married couple Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander, who refused to kiss during this segment (perhaps more out of privacy or principle than a lover's spat). 

Larry King and Marlon Brando

The quick lip-lock between famed actor Marlon Brando and acclaimed talk show host Larry King was a shocking sight to Larry King Live viewers in October 1994, when same-sex kisses were not as accepted as they are now. 

Brando was notoriously reclusive in the final years of his life. He allowed King to come to his Los Angeles home and interview him about his autobiography Songs My Mother Taught Me on one condition: that they eat lunch beforehand. The actor and the talk show host were playful with each other for most of their 90-minute interview. When King wasn't talking to Brando about his book or his career, he was whacking him on the head with blue cards and telling him, "Time goes so fast with you." Their chemistry peaked when the two started singing "Got a Date With an Angel" near the end of the interview. The duet concluded with Brando turning to King, saying, "Darling, goodbye," and pecking him on the lips.

The unexpected kiss didn't seem particularly sexual, but it drew attention partly because Brando's sexuality has been the subject of considerable interest. King has said in interviews that he loved spending time with Brando and that he "didn't see [the kiss] coming."

Charlize Theron and Dane Cook

Dane Cook kissed Charlize Theron on her cheeks, in a sense. The American actor and comedian joined the South African actor and model on an episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on October 4, 2005. As a "massive fan" of Theron, Cook told her that she is "beautiful" and "talented" before finally saying, "I know I'm kissing your ass here." Theron stood up and bent over so Cook could literally kiss her butt. The audience cheered, and Theron looked like she was having fun.

Funnily (or fannily?) enough, Theron kissed the backside of another celebrity two weeks prior. USA Today reported that Theron and acting icon Shirley MacLaine went up on stage as honorees at Premiere magazine's Women in Hollywood gala. "I'm going to kiss your [butt] too," Theron told MacLaine. "But literally." And that's exactly what happened. Fortunately, MacLaine seemed to enjoy this odd gesture, saying, "I love having my butt kissed by you. That's the best I've had in 10 years!" Maybe Theron wanted to be on the receiving end this time around?

Although some viewers may find the intimate exchange between Theron and Cook uncomfortable, Cook seems to have fond memories. In fact, he tweeted a YouTube clip of the bit in 2012 with the caption, "In celebration of my lady friend Charlize Theron @CharlizeAfrica here's me kissing, literally, her ass."  

Stephen Colbert and Helen Mirren

Stephen Colbert had the honor of kissing Dame Helen Mirren on an episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on March 8, 2016. The acclaimed talk show host was greeting the British thespian when she kissed him on the lips and left him frozen in disbelief. Mirren even crooked her finger at Colbert in a seductive "come hither" gesture as he walked back to his desk.

Mirren subsequently explained to Colbert that osculating him had been a longtime goal for her. "If I didn't do it then, I'd never get to do it," she said. "So, you know. I have been dreaming about doing that for 15 years so I just grabbed my chance, I'm sorry." After admitting that he suddenly forgot his questions, Colbert called her gesture "one of the nicest greetings a guest has ever given me." Other celebrities, including Sally Field and Andrew Garfield, have kissed Colbert, but none left him as speechless as Mirren.

Colbert fondly remembered the kiss while on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen in 2018. "Helen Mirren came out and without any warning kissed me on the lips, passionately with her hand on the back of my head," said Colbert. "And everything has been downhill from then." At least Colbert was probably more prepared for the second kiss. Seriously, Colbert and Mirren kissed again at the end of the interview, and he looked much more confident that time around. 

Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep

The only thing most people remember from the 2010 Critics' Choice Awards was the unexpected lip-lock between Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep, who tied for the Best Actress award that night. As the second person to accept her award, Bullock became fixated on Streep, who was still on stage, until Bradley Cooper, who presented the award to both actors, broke them up. "This is b*******," yelled Bullock before she went in for the kiss. She then proceeded to give her speech, which she ended with the pronouncement, "Meryl is a good kisser."

Bullock commented on the kiss to MTV reporters: "No one expects Meryl to roll with the flow like that. Nobody knows how much fun she is," said Bullock. "That's why it made the headlines. She's an awesome broad. She's an extraordinary actress, but she's also a fun human being."

Bullock offered even more detail about the kiss with Streep on a 2013 episode of The Graham Norton Show. She told the Irish talk show host that Streep "asked for it" by "egging her on" beforehand. There was a good-natured rivalry between the two actors at the time since both were receiving attention during awards season (Bullock for The Blind Side; Streep for Julie & Julia).  

Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams

Winners of the MTV Movie & TV Awards' Best Kiss accolade are expected to recreate their kiss during the ceremony, and the steamy smooch between Canadian actors Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams during the 2005 show was no exception. 

As the real-life couple went up to accept their award, they walked in opposite directions before McAdams took off her sweater to reveal a black strapless top. Gosling then seductively signaled to McAdams with his finger, and they slowly walked towards each other; McAdams finally jumped into Gosling's arm and they recreated their kiss from The Notebook. Maroon 5's "She Will Be Loved" played in the background, and the camera cut to the stunned reaction of Lindsey Lohan while the kiss occurred. After they finished, Gosling carried McAdams to the podium and dropped her off so that they could give their acceptance speech. The kiss was so sultry that it was a little uncomfortable. Get a room, guys. 

This kiss became an iconic moment in MTV Movie & TV Awards history. When McAdams and Channing Tatum were nominated for Best Kiss in another Nicholas Spark adaptation from 2012 called The Vow, the latter actor admitted that he was unsure if the kiss from his movie could compete with the kiss from Gosling's movie. Tatum and McAdams ultimately lost to Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1, but Pattinson was, unfortunately, a no-show and couldn't recreate the scene with Stewart. 

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Bryan Cranston

Most award shows intercut audience reactions in between surprise kisses, but that wasn't the case when Bryan Cranston and Julia Louis-Dreyfus made out at the 2014 Emmy Awards. The Veep actor walked to receive her third consecutive Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series statue for the show when the Breaking Bad actor, who would win an Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series award later that night, ran up to her and kissed her on the lips for 11 seconds — and she was into it. The camera never cut away from the action, which made it feel longer and more uncomfortable. Even talk show host Jimmy Fallon, who presented Louis-Dreyfus' award, looked visibly irritated. 

The actors had kissed before in a scene on Seinfeld. As Dreyfus discussed with Elle after the ceremony, she wanted to recreate that moment during the Emmys. "I asked my husband if he was okay with that, he said, 'Sure,' and Bryan checked with his wife and she said, 'Sure,' and we said we would go for it," said Dreyfus. "But we wanted to really make sure the presenting stuff worked in and of itself. And obviously I might not have won. That was very stiff competition." The original kiss on Seinfeld got a laugh track, but most viewers of the second smooch were more confused than amused.  

Diane Keaton and Jessica Chastain (among others)

Jessica Chastain was only one of the celebrities who Diane Keaton, the acting veteran who starred in such classics as The Godfather and Annie Hall, kissed on the lips during a 2017 episode of The Graham Norton Show

For context, the Irish talk show host asked Keaton if she "liked the on-screen romance" and she responded, "It's the best. I mean quite frankly, it doesn't get better than on-screen romance because frankly, you know, think of all the men you get to kiss and you don't pay the price." Keaton elaborated that people think kissing a man in a movie is difficult and that they're wrong. To prove her point, she offered to kiss Norton, who happily accepted. Keaton then asked if she could kiss fellow guest Kevin Bacon, and he also happily accepted. Keaton finally said, "Now I want kiss Jessica, too," and Chastain stood up looking all giddy before she was kissed. It was meant to be silly and fun, but it seemed a bit awkward and forced in its goofiness (That Keaton punctuated the kiss with a loud "Mwah!" didn't help). 

Some viewers may want to forget seeing that kiss, but Chastain actually wishes that more people would remember it. On February 16, 2020, Keaton posted an Instagram montage featuring several of her on-screen and on-air kisses. Chastain noticed that her shared kiss was missing, however, so she posted it on Twitter with the caption "Hey @diane_keaton saw the kissing montage on your page — nice edit but I think you left some great footage on the cutting room floor..." At least Chastain has a sense of humor.

Adrien Brody and Halle Berry

Adrien Brody generated controversy after he forcibly kissed Halle Berry during the 2003 Academy Awards. Berry, who became the first woman of color to win the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role one year prior for Monster's Ball, presented the Best Actor in a Leading Role award to Brody for The Pianist. The actor walked on stage and kissed Berry on the lips. Berry just laughed it off. "I bet they didn't tell you that was in the gift bag," Brody quipped.

Although several publications initially praised this kiss, it has received a critical re-examination in recent years. USA Today originally quoted the positive response of romance novelist Susan Elizabeth Phillips to support Brody ("Women want a man to sweep them off their feet, and isn't it wonderful that PC notions can't change that universal feeling," Phillips said). That sentiment hasn't aged well, and the publication later backtracked their stance in 2017 with an article noting that the kiss has "become even more cringe-worthy to watch" in light of the sexual harassment allegations that inspired the #MeToo movement.

How did the two actors reflect on this kiss? Brody said in a 2015 interview with Vanity Fair that it was one of the most memorable moments of his life. Berry seemed less thrilled about it when asked about it during an Andy Cohen interview in 2017. Needless to say, an on-air smooch like this would not fly today.

Will and Jaden Smith

Most parents kiss their children on the cheek or the forehead. Actor Will Smith instead smooched his son Jaden on the lips — and during a live TV interview, no less. The two appeared on a Thai talk show called The Woody Show in 2013 to promote their new movie After Earth when their interviewer, Vuthithorn "Woody" Milintachinda, asked if there was "a distance in terms of affection" between them at home similar to their characters in the movie. 

Will responded that they are "very affectionate" and Jaden chimed in that his dad tried to kiss him once, to which Woody replied, "Have you ever kissed your son on Thai television before?" Will then kissed Jaden, who physically resisted. Although it was probably just a weird joke, it definitely grossed Jaden out — and he probably wasn't the only one. Will had previously tried and failed to kiss Jaden on Ellen one month prior.

Speaking with HipHollywood not long after, Jaden told that kisses such as the one on The Woody Show are commonplace in the Smith house. He explained that it happens "all the time," and that while wouldn't kiss his father on set, he would kiss him off set "or anywhere else." The Smiths may think kissing each on the lips is normal, but everyone else may not feel the same way.