The best kiss scenes that were completely unscripted
There are plenty of secrets involved in the making of Hollywood movies, especially when it comes to kiss scenes. Some of the best kept ones involve moments that were never actually meant to happen. When those occur as the cameras are rolling, it can be truly magical — making the film more romantic, dramatic, or, in some cases, comedic.
We imagine that the actors and actresses thrown into creating romantic or emotional onscreen connections between their characters by building to a kiss may struggle. After all, all eyes are on them when they perform these on-camera smooches on set. However, when they are so in character, sometimes they let their actions speak for them with a kiss that can surprise castmembers and viewers alike, leading to some amazing, memorable scenes. Read on to learn about all the best kiss scenes that were unscripted. Did the kissing in your favorite movie or TV series make the cut?
Bill Murray shared a secret whisper and a kiss with Scarlett Johansson
Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson starred together in director Sofia Coppola’s hit movie Lost in Translation, and they had surprisingly good chemistry, given their age difference. The two co-stars presented a lovely relationship throughout the film, with their connection being more emotional than physical. Murray’s onscreen goodbye to Johansson can bring a tear to the eye, as it’s filled with tender moments like a whisper into her ear that can’t even be heard by audiences. Whatever he whispered is only known between the two actors, and they’ve both refused to reveal his words ever since it was filmed.
However, what we do know about their farewell scene is that his kiss was a surprise to everyone. Murray and Johansson provided an extra special onscreen moment when he gave her a sweet kiss, and it sealed the vision that Coppola was trying to bring to life. “It was always meant to be this tender goodbye where they both knew that they had touched each other in some way,” Coppola told The Daily Beast.
Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams decided to kiss in American Hustle
These two powerhouse actresses surprised everyone on set and in theaters when they briefly locked lips while filming American Hustle. Although Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams played the wife and the mistress, respectively, of Christian Bale’s character, the two did not share much screen time together, but they sure made a big impact ina scene that they did share.
The two women carried forth the surprise kiss, and they were adamant about making the moment genuine to the characters and to the script, which called for a confrontation between the characters. “I came up with the idea, but she executed it in a way that felt driven purely from character,” Adams said of the unscripted moment at a press conference for the film, as reported by Entertainmentwise. “It didn’t just feel like a moment where two girls are going to kiss onscreen — it felt emotional. And the laugh [Lawrence] gives after? That was genius.”
The Office's Steve Carell planted a very awkward improvised kiss on Oscar Nunez
As an adaptation of a British television comedy, The Office became enormously popular in its own right when it premiered in the United States. There are plenty of memorable moments that stand out throughout the show’s nine-season run, and some of them were the result of improvisation on set. One example of this occurred in the episode “Gay Witch Hunt,” when Steve Carell’s character, Michael Scott, kissed Oscar Nuñez’s character, Oscar Martinez, unexpectedly.
The script called for the two to simply hug, but when it came time to film, Carell went above and beyond during one of several takes. Nuñez told The A.V. Club, “And that particular take he came in really close, and I’m like, ‘Where is he going with this?’ Oh, dear, yes here we go.” He added, “And then I’m just thinking, ‘Oh God, nobody laugh so we can use it.’ And they didn’t, and it worked perfectly. It was a lot of fun.” Luckily, Nuñez went along with Carell’s unscripted kiss, and the two were able to create one of the funniest moments of The Office.
Chris Pratt shocked Bryce Dallas Howard with a smooch while filming Jurassic World
As the resurgent film of the Jurassic Park franchise, there were a lot of expectations about what would appear in Jurassic World. Big dinosaurs were a given, as well as a lot of running and screaming. However, what people didn’t expect was a kiss between the two lead actors. Apparently Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard were on their last day of filming when their spontaneous on-screen kiss happened and Pratt pulled Howard toward him, giving her a surprise smooch.
Turns out they had quite the audience for their kiss, too. “It was funny because that day we were shooting there were 800 background artists. We had shot the scene in the way that it was written — there was no kiss,” Howard said in an interview with Out. “And then on the last day, that happened — what you see in the movie. After [director] Colin [Trevorrow] yells cut, there was mountainous applause. Everyone was cheering. It was great!” The unscripted moment was certainly a crowd-pleaser, and it did, of course, make it into the final cut of the movie.
Indira Varma and Gemma Whelan's unscripted kiss on Game of Thrones got heated
While Indira Varma and Gemma Whelan’s characters brought sexual tension to their scenes on hit television drama Game of Thrones, they never planned to act on it. Since Varma’s character, Ellaria Sand, was known for delivering lethal kisses with poison on her lips, fans were especially surprised to see her kiss Whelan’s character, Yara Greyjoy. The two women were simply acting on their feelings, however, with no ill intent behind their kiss. “It just seemed like something we should do. We led it, very much so. It was meant to be a suggestion [of flirting], and then it became more sexual than we expected because it seemed right,” Whelan told Entertainment Weekly.
Because the scene led right into an action sequence and Whelan had previously hurt her back, Varma had to then replicate her kiss with Whelan’s stunt double. “I don’t think she’d ever been put in that situation before. She’s used to falling over and being attacked and all the stunts, but to be kissed by an actress was a bit beyond her,” Varma told EW. Luckily, Whelan’s stunt double rolled with the punches, both literally and figuratively, so the unscripted kiss could be included in the episode.
Woody Harrelson fulfilled a dream by kissing Elizabeth Banks in The Hunger Games
There were plenty of shocks and surprises throughout The Hunger Games trilogy, and the final film was no exception. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 featured a sweet moment between Woody Harrelson’s character, Haymitch, and Effie, Elizabeth Bank’s character. While the two say their goodbyes to each other, they share a brief kiss.
This wasn’t called for in the script, but the actors decided to go for it. “We planned that moment. Woody [Harrelson] and I went into that moment, that wasn’t written, we improv’d that,” Banks told HuffPost. “We decided to do it, and the director was like, ‘I love it. Let’s try it again.’ We also did it without a kiss, and we let him decide in the editing room, and we love that he kept it.” Book-to-film adaptations often face a lot of criticism for not adhering to the source material, but this time, it seemed that fans were accepting of this surprising moment. And we think Harrelson was happy with the decision, as he told Entertainment Tonight, “I have a crush on Elizabeth Banks, I’m not going to lie.” Lucky him!
KJ Apa and Casey Cott's kiss on Riverdale was out of the blue
The teen television drama Riverdale has featured several musical episodes during its run, and there was an extra special moment in an episode that featured music from Broadway’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Casey Cott, who plays Kevin, took on a leading role for the episode, singing and dancing in character as Hedwig. During the “Tear Me Down” musical number, Cott comes out into the crowd and lays a kiss on KJ Apa, who plays Archie. Apa was obviously surprised, but he went with the improvised moment. And the fun, unscripted kiss obviously made it into the episode.
“I planted one on his cheek, and then the next take, I went in to do the same thing and he turned his face and we just kind of laid a big one on each other,” Cott said in an interview with TV Insider. “And then after that, we were like ‘This is exactly what it should be. This is, like, perfect for this number’ and I’m really glad it made the cut.”
Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt's kiss in Edge of Tomorrow came as a surprise
While filming Edge of Tomorrow, Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt knew a kiss was scripted. However, both the actors and the director, Christopher McQuarrie, struggled to make a kiss work. It was important that it not be a moment of romance but rather one of emotion for the two characters, Cage and Rita, who were literally fighting for their lives throughout the action movie. McQuarrie, along with Cruise and Blunt, had given up on the idea of it happening, saying in an interview with Film School Rejects that “it always felt false.”
However, Blunt surprised them all when she laid one on Cruise as they were shooting one of the final scenes of the film. “We weren’t even trying to find a place for it anymore. And right as Emily was saying goodbye to Tom, she just kissed him goodbye in the moment,” McQuarrie told Film School Rejects. “And it was not in the script. It was not even discussed on the day. Afterwards, she said, ‘It just felt right. It felt right and I did it.” Luckily, her impulsive decision paid off, as the take was included in the final cut of the film.
Jim Caviezel surprised Taraji P. Henson with an onscreen kiss goodbye
Fans were shocked when television drama Person of Interest killed off one of their main characters Joss Carter, played by Taraji P. Henson, during the show’s third season. They were in for another surprise when the episode also featured a kiss between Henson and her co-star Jim Caviezel. Emotions were already running high while filming some of Henson’s final scenes for the TV show, and Caviezel, who played John Reese, surprised everyone when he kissed Henson on screen.
“He came over to me and was like, ‘I want to do something…,’ and I said, ‘Don’t tell me, just do it,'” Henson told TVLine. “And that’s where the kiss came from and that whole look on my face, because I really was like, ‘What the hell did we just do?'” Some takes were filmed with the kiss, and some were filmed without, as Henson told The Hollywood Reporter. However, what ultimately ended up in Henson’s send-off episode was a sweet goodbye between the two co-stars.
An unscripted kiss between Max Greenfield and Jake Johnson became a habit on New Girl
One of the running gags of television comedy New Girl was that Max Greenfield’s character, Schmidt, would grab Jake Johnson’s character, Nick, and lay a big kiss on him. However, what might be surprising to learn is that this was never intended to be a running gag on the show. During the first season, since the show had a lot of improvisation, Greenfield would unexpectedly kiss Johnson during takes. And it apparently happened quite a bit. “I have been kissed the most by Max in two seasons than any girl I’ve ever dated,” Johnson told On Air with Ryan Seacrest.
Eventually, this improvised move was included in the final cut of an episode, and the tradition became established between the two characters. Speaking to Johnson, Greenfield said on their On Air with Ryan Seacrest interview, “At first, the reactions from you were like, really aggressive, where you’d push my face away or you’d hit me. Now, when it happens, and a lot of times it’s in the script, he just kind of goes with it, and he’s accepted that this is now a part of the show.”
Tom Cruise unexpectedly laid a kiss on Kelly McGillis while filming Top Gun
Normally, when actors forget their lines, they freeze up, and they have to film the take again. However, Tom Cruise, though known for his professionalism, decided a different action was called for when he forgot what his character was supposed to say, according to Collider. While filming Top Gun as Maverick, one of his most iconic roles, Cruise had to film a big scene with his co-star and onscreen love interest Kelly McGillis, who played Charlie. Having forgotten his lines, he acted on pure instinct, and Cruise instead kissed McGillis unexpectedly. McGillis stayed in character, and the two created cinematic history. Their heated kiss was one of the most memorable scenes in a film that is filled with quotable lines and iconic characters.
Cruise’s simple goof turned out to be a fortunate incident that further added to the movie. Sometimes unscripted kisses really work out well!
Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus started their relationship with an unscripted kiss on The Last Song
Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus have had quite the on-again, off-again relationship in real life, and they’ve married, separated, and divorced. Their romance has been highly publicized since day one, but what hasn’t always been the subject of focus is the origin of their romance. The two met while filming the book-to-film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ The Last Song, and they reportedly shared their first kiss together on screen.
During their very first day on set, Hemsworth and Cyrus were asked by director Julie Anne Robinson to kiss while frolicking on the beach. It wasn’t quite what they were expecting to shoot the first time that they worked together in front of the camera, and while there wasn’t a kiss in the script, the one that happened worked out well for the movie. “Originally, there was no kiss in that scene,” Hemsworth told PopSugar TV. “Julie Anne, the director, was yelling out things throughout the scene, and halfway through, she yelled out, ‘Kiss!’ and so we kind of just got thrown into it, which was good, because, you know, I had no time to get nervous about it.”
Dylan O'Brien's spur-of-the-moment decision satisfied a massive Teen Wolf fan following
Dylan O’Brien and Holland Roden’s characters on teen drama Teen Wolf had a classic will-they, won’t-they relationship throughout the show’s six-season run. The pairing of a goofy-but-lovable kid with a ditz-turned-genius drew a large online fanbase that rooted for the couple to become a reality on the show. After constantly teasing fans with sweet, tension-filled moments each season, including a shared kiss in the third season, the two characters finally admitted their feelings for each other in the final season.
However, before their big “we’re a couple now” onscreen moment occurred, they had a small moment in the Season 6 premiere when O’Brien gave Roden a quick kiss on the cheek. Although the moment delighted fans everywhere, it was not actually scripted. According to ScreenRant, O’Brien acted on impulse and then immediately rushed off after doing so. Roden’s reaction and look of surprise as he left were genuine. While this may not have been a passionate kiss, it was sweet, and it warmed the hearts of fans everywhere.
An unscripted kiss marked a bittersweet farewell for Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher's Star Wars characters
Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher were reunited as their sibling characters Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia from Star Wars in the film The Last Jedi, and they shared one final scene together. As Hamill’s character begins to exit, he bestows a sweet kiss on Fisher’s forehead. This was apparently a completely unscripted action on Hamill’s part. “I didn’t decide it and say, ‘Can I do this?’ I mean, in the take — I don’t know if we rehearsed it or not, but it just happened,” Hamill told Entertainment Tonight. “I was standing up and they weren’t ready for it. They said, ‘No, do that again.’ And we did it for a second take, and like I said, it was just spontaneous.”
Their scene together took on a deeper meaning after Fisher’s untimely death in 2016. It truly became a goodbye for both the characters and the actors, as they would never again reunite on screen. “I can’t watch that scene. It’s just, you know, takes me out of the movie completely. I’ll get over it, but she’ll be forever missed and she’s irreplaceable,” Hamill shared with ET.
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