Ranking Mzansi Actors with Room for Improvement in Onscreen Kissing
Did you know that actors sometimes engage in real kisses during TV drama shows? While it’s all part of the act, some actors have been singled out for not quite hitting the mark when it comes to onscreen smooching. Let’s take a closer look at two South African actors who have received criticism for their onscreen kissing skills:
1. Rapulana Seiphemo
Best known for his portrayal of ‘Tau Mohale’ on the popular SABC 1 soapie, Generations, Rapulana Seiphemo later joined Mzansi Magic’s telenovela, The Queen, as Hector Sebata. However, it appears that not all the attention he garnered was positive. Even during his Generations days, whispers circulated about Seiphemo’s less-than-ideal kissing abilities.
Recently, while playing opposite Connie Ferguson’s character, Harriet, in The Queen, viewers took to Mzansi Magic’s social media pages to express their discontent. The comments flooded in, labeling Rapulana Seiphemo as “one of the worst kissers on our TV screens.”
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2. Vusi Kunene
Renowned for his role as Jack Mabaso on Generations, Vusi Kunene now graces Etv’s drama series, House of Zwide, as Funani. Fans might recall a previous onscreen kiss between Jack and Tshidi (Letoya Makhene) that caused a stir, with viewers claiming Kunene’s character lacked finesse in the kissing department.
Fast forward to House of Zwide, and the complaints have persisted. Viewers of the show are now pointing fingers at Funani, played by Vusi Kunene, suggesting that he, too, falls into the category of actors who struggle with onscreen kissing.
In the world of television, onscreen chemistry is crucial, and viewers have no qualms about voicing their opinions on actors’ performances. These criticisms, however, serve as a reminder that even the most seasoned actors can find room for improvement, especially when it comes to the delicate art of onscreen kissing.
Lindiwe Speaks On Kissing Nhlamo On #etvScandal Set
“Because Of His Bad Breath, I Always Give Him Breath Mints.” Lindiwe Speaks On Kissing Nhlamo On #etvScandal Set
“Because Of His Bad Breath, I Always Give Him Breath Mints.” Lindiwe Speaks On Kissing Nhlamo On #etvScandal Set
On Scandal!, actress Nomvelo Makhanya (Lindiwe) discusses her on-screen romance with husband Nhlamulo Maseko (Mathews Rantsoma). Lindiwe married a charming boyfriend Nhlamulo, a long-time reformed criminal and forex trader, who lured her into a life of crime. Lindiwe was arrested on her graduation day after cops discovered a card cloning machine in her home.
Because they have known each other since high school, Lindiwe revealed that getting intimate with Nhlamulo has been easy for her. She did say, however, that she had to give him breath mints on a regular basis because of his bad breath.
“Since the first day, I have always been comfortable sharing intimate scenes with Nhlamulo (Mathews) because I have known him offset since our high school days. We agreed to play along with the script and express ourselves in the roles. From day one, we just said, let’s play; whatever comes, comes. I guess one disclaimer I’ve given him was just the breath mints, but that’s just standard.”
Movie stars’ careers are essentially a never-ending game of spin the bottle. With each new role they secure, actors let Hollywood’s top casting directors give them a new love interest to flirt with, fall for, and, eventually, kiss.
And while there are plenty of kisses that really are as intense and romantic as they seem on screen, there are just as many that are uncomfortable and sloppy behind the scenes. After all, not every kiss in the real world goes according to plan. Ahead, celebrities ranging from Kate Hudson to Jennifer Lawrence recount their not-so-great on-screen kisses.
Jennifer Lawrence on Chris Pratt
To prepare to film the first sex scene for their movie Passengers, Jennifer Lawrence revealed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that she turned to drinking to try and avoid the guilt she felt kissing a married man. (He was with Anna Farris at the time if your memory is foggy.)
“I got really, really drunk,” she explained. “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.”
Orlando Bloom on Zoe Saldana
When asked what he thought about his co-star in the 2004 thriller Haven calling their kiss “gross,” Orlando Bloom couldn’t agree more.
“I hated kissing Zoe too! I was like, ‘Take your tongue out of my mouth, please. Your boyfriend is standing right there,'” he told People. “Most people think kissing beautiful costars must be great. But it’s always awkward, man.”
Jennifer Lopez on George Clooney
While promoting her movie, Boy Next Door, Jennifer Lopez wouldn’t spill the beans on who was her least favorite on-screen kiss on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Stewart went ahead and guessed, “I think it’s Clooney,” to which she replied, “He was OK.”
Later on the Wendy Williams Show, she was asked to rank Matthew McConaughey, George Clooney, Josh Lucas, and Ryan Guzman from best to worst kisser. Her response? Josh, Ryan, Matthew, and George.
Zac Efron on Kay Panabaker
The Greatest Showman actor revealed his first on-screen kiss was with his Summerland costar, Kay Panabaker, and it didn’t go as planned.
“At lunch, they served fish,” he explained on the Graham Norton Show. “And next was the kissing scene. I was very nervous. We went in for the kiss. I got up this close. I shut my eyes. I’m ready to go in and nothing happens. I’m going further and nothing’s happening. I’m getting further and further, thinking eventually we’re going to touch. And then I hear, ‘Oh my gosh, did you have salmon for lunch? Seriously?’”
Efron admitted he learned from his mistake.“It ruined my first kiss. I’m sorry. I promise, I brush my teeth,” he said. “I carry a toothbrush everywhere I go now.”
Megan Fox on Amanda Seyfried
Megan Fox admitted that she and Amanda were both “horrified” about having to kiss in Jennifer’s Body.
“I remember Amanda and I were horrified that we had to make out. Her more so than me,” she said to Variety. “I was slightly more comfortable being able to do it. She was not excited about having to film that scene at all.”
Millie Bobby Brown on Finn Wolfhard
Millie Bobby Brown described her first kiss with Finn Wolfhard on the set of Stranger Things as the “most awkward thing in the world,” and for a perfectly good reason.
“My dad was watching. My dad watched the whole thing, my whole family was there, and it was the most awkward thing in the world. It’s awkward,” she said. “It’s awkward, we’re 15 years old. It’s not like, all right, let’s just do it. We’re obviously like, ‘Okay… what do you wanna do now? Shall we hug?’ No idea what to do. There’s not really preparation.”
Eva Mendes on Will Smith
Eva Mendes was so nervous about kissing Will Smith on the set of Hitch that she whipped herself up the “stank breath special.” The tuna fish sandwich crammed with extra onions and Doritos reportedly made Smith do a double-take and proceeded Eva to swallow a box of Altoids. When laughing about the exchange on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Mendes asked Smith how the kiss was, to which he replied, “It was absolutely wonderful.” Talk about a nice guy.
Kristen Stewart on Taylor Lautner
Shockingly enough, Kristen Stewart found it hard to kiss Taylor Lautner while filming Eclipse, the third movie in the Twilight saga.
“One of the most challenging scenes was probably finally kissing Jacob for the first time,” Kristen admitted to Parade. “Bella has got such tunnel vision that Edward is the only thing for her. That’s a strange perspective. So when Taylor Lautner and I kissed, it felt like such a different dynamic. I was nervous as hell.”
Alec Baldwin on Jennifer Aniston
The two famous actors locked lips after Jennifer Aniston appeared on multiple episodes of 30 Rock as someone who was overly obsessed with Baldwin’s character, Jack Donaghy.
Baldwin explained to New York Magazine that he did not enjoy the kissing scenes with the Friends alum. “It was painful. I mean, every man who’s had to make out with her in TV and movies—I don’t know how they do it.”
James Franco on Sienna Miller
While filming Camille, SiennaMiller did not want to kiss James Franco. The actor explained Miller suffered from a major toothache that made the idea of kissing her costar less than ideal.
“I think we kissed once in that film and it wasn’t at all intense—there was no rolling around or anything,” he explained. “Sienna’s molar was giving her pain so she called the dentist!”
Keke Palmer on Corbin Bleu
When filming the Disney Channel film Jump In, Keke Palmer experienced her first kiss on-set with costar Corbin Bleu and described the kiss as “scary.” The Hustlers actress told Access Online, “I was very, very nervous. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is the first person I am kissing outside of my family. It was real scary for me.” Bleu was totally cool about her nervousness, according to Palmer, saying he was “so sweet about it.” Cute!
Colin Farrell on Kate Beckinsale
Locking lips with your costars is totally a normal part of the job, but when the director happens to be married to one of the movie’s stars things can get complicated! Just ask Colin Farrell. Talking to TV host Conan O’Brien, he revealed how weird it was to kiss Beckinsale for Total Recall.
“She’s actually the director’s wife. She’s married to the director. [It was] moderately uncomfortable,” he said. “Kissing her was a little bit dodgy ’cause the director, her husband, wasn’t kind enough to leave the room.”
Hugh Grant on Julia Roberts
On The Oprah Winfrey Show, Hugh Grant said some not-so-nice things about his former Notting Hill costar. When asked about Julia Roberts he said, “Very big-mouthed! Literally, physically, she has a very big mouth. When I was kissing her I was aware of a faint echo.”
Elizabeth Hurley on Jürgen Prochnow
While appearing as a guest on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, Elizabeth Hurley revealed that her worst kiss was “a German actor I did a movie with.” She further explained, “We hated each other. We had to have sort of a sexy scene and we had to do a lot of snogging. I didn’t like it. Horrible.”
People later figured out German actor Jürgen Prochnow was the masked man who she starred alongside in the 1990 film, Der Skipper.
Ashley Tisdale on Zac Efron
In a video with ELLE, AshleyTisdale revealed that kissing her High School Musical costar Efron was like kissing a brother.
“I had to kiss Zac Efron on The Suite Life of Zach and Cody, and it’s the worst because I’m so close to him and he’s like my brother,” she said.
She added, “At the time, he was used to acting on Warner Bros, which is The CW, and we were on Disney Channel, and he tried kissing me with his tongue, and I was like, ‘Get away from me!’ I closed my mouth so fast. I was like, ‘This is Disney Channel! We don’t kiss like that on Disney Channel!’”
Tupac Shakur on Janet Jackson
The 1993 film Poetic Justice is a classic, but the quick peck between the two film stars has quite a backstory. The tale goes that Janet Jackson’s people asked Shakur to take an HIV/AIDS test, and he wasn’t exactly thrilled.
In a TV interview with The Source, he explained why he was upset because she wanted him to test for their fictional sex scene. “I said, ‘If I can make love with Janet Jackson, I’ll take four AIDS tests.’ “But if I’m gonna do a love scene with her just like somebody else did, and they didn’t take a test, I’m not taking a test,” he said in the interview. “Not only am I not taking the test, but get out of my trailer.”
To avoid anymore drama, the love scene was scrapped and they settled for the one on-screen kiss seen in the movie.
Vanessa Hudgens on James Franco
Vanessa Hudgens opened up in an interview and revealed that when it came to filming the steamy scenes for the outlandish film Spring Breakers, she felt more comfortable swapping spit with her costar Ashley Benson than Franco.
“I’d rather kiss Ashley than kiss James to be honest–because she’s a girl and I was close to her and I felt comfortable,” she shared. “So I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll kiss Ashley!’”
AnnaLynne McCord on Matt Lanter
Fans of the 90210 reboot will be shocked to hear that AnnaLynne McCord wasn’t a fan of kissing Matt Lanter on the show. “You know, he actually is a really bad kisser, so it kind of sucks,” she revealed.
Sandra Bullock on Ben Affleck
It’s been reported by more than just Sandra Bullock that Ben Affleck suffers from a serious case of bad breath. (It happens to everyone, okay?!) Starring alongside Affleck in Forces of Nature, she allegedly complained afterward about his bad breath.
Penn Badgley on Blake Lively
As a guest on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, the Gossip Girl star was asked who his best and worst on-screen kiss was from. Shockingly, both were from the same person!
“I’d say best…I’ll say it was [Blake Lively], because we actually had a relationship at the time. And worst? Maybe Blake after we broke up,” Badgley said.
Morena Baccarin on Ryan Reynolds
Morena Baccarin answered the question on everyone’s mind: What is it like to kiss a superhero?
“I keep saying that kissing him in that mask is like kissing a giant latex condom,” she said on kissing Reynolds in Deadpool. “It basically just smells like rubber the entire time.”
Kate Hudson on Matthew McConaughey
On an episode of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop podcast, rom-com queen Kate Hudson opened up about who she shared her worst on-screen kiss with. The answer? Matthew McConaughey!
“The thing is, every time I kiss McConaughey, it’s like, I mean, it’s like there’s just something happening and there’s like snot or wind, or things are just…like when we were kissing in the end of Fool’s Gold, we’re like in the ocean, we like had the plane crash,” she told Paltrow. “He just had snot all over his face.”
Gwyneth Paltrow on Robert Downey Jr.
In the same podcast episode, Gwyneth Paltrow revealed kissing Robert Downey Jr. in the Iron Man and Avengers movies felt like kissing a brother. “Like with Robert, like when I kissed him and I was like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,'” said Paltrow. “This is literally like kissing my brother.”
Liam Hemsworth on Jennifer Lawrence
The Aussie actor got real on macking with his Hunger Games costar Jennifer Lawrence, stating it was “pretty uncomfortable.”
“Anytime I had to kiss [Jennifer Lawrence] was pretty uncomfortable,” he said. “When you look at it on the outside, it looks like a great picture. She’s one of my best friends, I love her, but if we had a kissing scene, she would make a point of eating garlic or tuna fish or something that was disgusting. Right before the scene, she’d be like, ‘Yeah, I ate tuna,’ or ‘I had garlic, and I didn’t brush my teeth.’ And I’d be like, ‘Fantastic, I can’t wait to get in there and taste it!'”
Kirsten Dunst on Tobey Maguire
Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst’s upside-down Spider-Man smooch was the kiss that launched a thousand parodies, from Saturday Night Live to The O.C. But turns out the reality behind the iconic scene was less romantic than it seemed in cinemas.
“I was hanging upside down, it was really late at night, it was raining, and the whole time I had rainwater running up my nose. Then, when Kirsten rolled back the wet mask, she cut off the air completely,” Maguire told Parade in 2007.
Miles Teller on Shailene Woodley
Shailene Woodley’s low-maintenance, earthy tendencies are infamous. And, apparently, they impact her on-screen life as well. Just before an embrace with Miles Teller in The Spectacular Now, Woodley chowed down on Chinese dirt supplements, which Teller calls a pouch of dirt. He says that it “smelled like crap.” Can’t imagine that it tasted much better.
Alyson Hannigan on Jason Segel
Kisses weren’t always sweet for How I Met Your Mother‘s legendary lovebirds Marshall and Lily. Alyson Hannigan originally refused to kiss her on-screen husband, Jason Segel, because he smelled and tasted like smoke. Turned out to be a blessing for Segel (not to mention for Marshall and Lily fans), as Hannigan’s attitude forced him to quit the habit.
Tony Curtis on Marilyn Monroe
Screen siren Marilyn Monroe has sparked many a male fantasy for decades. For her Some Like It Hot costar Tony Curtis, though, the experience wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. He allegedly said that smooching Monroe felt like kissing Hitler. However, the validity of this quote has been called into question—by Curtis himself, calling it nonsense.
Emma Watson on Rupert Grint
Seeing the romance between Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley blossom on screen was a moment anticipated by Harry Potter maniacs ever since things started heating up between the two on page. Emma Watson, on the other hand, was so eager to get the awaited scene over with that she ended up “pouncing” on Rupert Grint, according to an interview with MTV News.
Helen Mirren on Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford has a stacked film pedigree, but that hasn’t made him a master of the silver screen lip lock, according to Helen Mirren. And she has support in that belief, saying that she’s discussed Ford’s faux pas with other actresses, who were similarly unimpressed. She told BBC Radio that Ford is “The nicest, sweetest guy you could want to meet. But he can’t kiss—he finds it impossible to kiss on screen.”
Reese Witherspoon on Robert Pattinson
Just the idea of kissing Robert Pattinson sends millions of tween hearts aflutter. During his on-screen romance with Reese Witherspoon in Water for Elephants, Pattinson developed a nasty cold, complete with a dripping nose. When asked about the snot-filled experience, Reese Witherspoon simply said, “It wasn’t appealing; it wasn’t pleasant.”
Jennifer Lawrence on Bradley Cooper
Jennifer Lawrence’s Oscar win for Silver Linings Playbook didn’t come without sacrifice. Her costar Bradley Cooper revealed that after the two locked lips for the camera, she told him he was a “wet kisser.” Cooper responded to this jab on The Graham Norton Show in 2013: “You don’t want to hear that. It was not a compliment.”
Josh Hutcherson on Jennifer Lawrence
According to Josh Hutcherson, however, J.Law has a dribble problem of her own. During an interview about the then-upcoming release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, he claimed that the tributes locking lips was a little “slobbery.”
Josh Hutcherson on Charlie Ray
A little slobber is nothing for Josh Hutcherson, who mastered the art of the awkward on-screen kiss at an early age. His first (ever!) kiss occurred when he was 11 years old in the film Little Manhattan. “It was horrible,” he told Seventeen magazine. “I had a crew of, like, 50 people standing around watching me and it was the most non-real, non-intimate that I could possibly have for my first kiss I think.”
Hugh Jackman on Nicole Kidman
Aussie actors Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman’s turn in Baz Luhrmann’s epic Australia required a lot of on-screen passion. While the two ended up getting things right eventually, it took some preparation. “It’s never particularly comfortable making out with someone in front of 70 people,” Jackman said. “That’s really not something that turns me on.”
Selena Gomez on Dylan Sprouse
In her early days as a Disney darling, Selena Gomez made a guest appearance on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, where she shared a not-so-suite lip lock with Dylan Sprouse. “I actually leaned in to kiss him and I had my eyes closed a little too early and I ended up missing, like, half of his lips,” she said in an interview with Tiger Beat (RIP.) “It ended up being the most awkward kiss in the world.”
Keira Knightley on Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom
Throughout her tenure in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Keira Knightley locked lips with both Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp. When asked who had the better smooch, Knightley told InStyle, “Johnny Depp certainly wasn’t bad.” No accolades for Orlando’s kisses in sight.
Kirsten Dunst on Brad Pitt
No one blames a woman who goes slack-jawed at the sight of eternal Hollywood hunk Brad Pitt. But Kirsten Dunst’s reaction to kissing Pitt during the 1994 flick Interview With a Vampire strayed from the swoons that typically follow his name due to their almost 20-year age gap on set.
“I hated it so much because Brad was like my older brother on set and it’s kind of like kissing your brother,” she said. “It’s weird because he’s an older guy and I had to kiss him on the lips, so it was gross.”
Dwayne Johnson on Steve Carell
Steve Carrell is better known for his comedy chops than his romantic prowess, and it turns out there’s a reason. When asked about his kiss with Carrell in Get Smart, Dwayne Johnson compared his tongue to cat litter. “I just see Steve Carell’s lips. So the bottom of a cat’s paw—the soft supple part underneath—that’s what Steve Carell’s lips are like. But his tongue is like kitty cat litter. That’s the physical experience.” All in good fun, to be sure, but nevertheless, unappealing.
Dane Cook on Kate Hudson
You’d think rom com queen Kate Hudson would have the art of the rom com kiss down pat. “Did a movie with her—My Best Friend’s Girl—and I think she purposely ate a feast of onions right before the scene,” her former costar Dane Cook told Andy Cohen during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen. “I had to burn her on that one.”