Actors Who Revealed Their Best On-Screen Kissing Partner

Being an actor sounds like the antithesis of a "tough job." First of all, they get paid millions to go off to some far-flung locale where the greatest technicians in the world make them look flawlessly beautiful for when they pretend to fight dinosaurs or pretend to save the world from aliens or pretend to fall madly in love with some kind of fish-man-monster. They also get catered meals every day, and a person drives them to and from the set and their luxury hotel rooms. 

One other perk in this career that is nothing but perks: These movies stars get to — nay, have to — kiss other movie stars, which, by and large, are an aesthetically pleasing and conventionally attractive bunch. On the other hand, it's kind of weird to kiss somebody with whom you're not romantically involved, especially when it's in front of a huge crew ... and you have to do it over and over again at various angles. But hey, it's part of the job, and some actors have admitted in print and on TV that some of their on-screen kissing partners are better than others. Here are the absolute best they've ever had in the business of on-screen kissing.

Ryan Reynolds is gonna miss her smoochy lips when she's gone

Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool himself, met his future wife Blake Lively on the set of that other, far less well-liked superhero movie he did, Green Lantern back in 2010. She played Carol Ferris, Reynolds's romantic interest in the film, and the two later got married and became one of the most adorable couples in Hollywood. So, obviously, when asked to recollect a memorable screen kiss, he, of course, thought only of lip-locks with the former Gossip Girl star. Except he didn't do that at all. 

In 2015, a Twitter user named @duckisgod asked Reynolds, "What is it like kissing the amazing Anna Kendrick??" This guy was referring not to some personal moment caught by paparazzi, but how the two played against one another in the 2014 horror comedy The Voices. Reynolds's reply: "Like taking your face to Awesometown." Sounds awesome! 

Kendrick acknowledged the praise with some of her patented self-deprecating humor. While she said a trip to Awesometown was "the Kendrick-train guarantee," she also made "local stops in Awkwardville and Tolerableshire."

Penn Badgley had a Lively make-out session

Unlike Ryan Reynolds, Penn Badgley knows how to properly answer a question about the merits of on-screen kissing partners so as to pay respect to the other half of an off-screen relationship. When asked by Andy Cohen about his most memorable workplace kisses — both good and bad — Badgley didn't hesitate to give an answer. First of all, his best happened while making Gossip Girl (which is probably the project for which Badgley is best known), and it happened with co-star Blake Lively. The reason: A romantic injection of verisimilitude. "We actually had a relationship at the time," Badgley said.

The worst kissing of Badgley's acting life also came about via Gossip Girl, and it also happened with Blake Lively. The reason: a not so romantic injection of verisimilitude. Badgley's character and Lively's characters had to kiss ... after the couple split up in real life. That, for Badgley, made for a very awkward and uncomfortable moment.

Heath Ledger tops Kate Hudson's kissin' ledger

Hollywood — and the people who go to Hollywood movies — suffered a great loss when Heath Ledger died at the age of 28 in 2008, shortly after completing his Oscar-winning work as the Joker in The Dark Knight. While he's remembered primarily for being a deadly serious and effective dramatic actor, Ledger has remained pretty underrated for his work in other movie genres like romantic epics. One of his first major roles came in the 2002 period war drama The Four Feathers. He played the dashing British officer Harry Faversham, who, after some bumps, winds up with his one true love, Ethne Eustace, portrayed by Kate Hudson. 

That was one of Hudson's first handful of movies, too, but she says it's still the one that gave her the best kiss of her acting career. In July 2014, she told Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live that her top movie kissing partner was Ledger. "I would say my favorite one was Heath," Hudson said. "That was pretty excellent."

Bryce Dallas Howard is a sucker for that ol' Chris Pratt pucker

Bryce Dallas Howard has locked movie star lips with a number of leading men in the pursuit of silver screen magic. When promoting her 2016 movie Gold on PEOPLE Now, host Jeremy Parsons asked Howard to talk about what it was like kissing her co-star in the film, Lincoln enthusiast and The Lincoln Lawyer star Matthew McConaughey. His character had to drink a lot of alcohol, but McConaughey actually drank a non-alcoholic, tea-based concoction that looked like booze on screen. That, Howard recalled, made McConaughey's mouth quite pleasant to kiss. "It was pretty good," Howard said. "It was like some sort of good, healthy aesthetic substitute for alcohol."

But he doesn't take first place in the Bryce Dallas Howard Kissing Competition. That honor goes to her co-star in Jurassic World, Chris Pratt. His breath, she said, reminded her of "Starburst," making for a superior, candy-flavored screen kiss. "He's perfect in every way," Howard added.

Ethan Hawke is definitely Team Angelina

What's the name of that actor? He's got kind of rugged good looks and that unshaven thing going on? He was in Reality Bites and a bunch of Richard Linklater movies? Stephen Dorff? No ... Ethan Hawke! We forgot his name, just for a second, which is exactly what happened to Ethan Hawke himself ... when he kissed Angelina Jolie for a scene in the 2004 film Taking Lives. On a May 2014 installment of Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen asked Hawke to talk about his greatest movie kiss. He didn't hesitate to answer. 

"Angelina Jolie was born to whittle men and to make them weak," Hawke waxed poetically. "When she kisses you, you don't know your name."

However, it would seem that Gerard Butler would not concur with Hawke. He also found himself on an episode of Watch What Happens Live, in 2018. He played a round of "Plead the Fifth," and, as he rejected one question already, he was forced to answer this one: "You have kissed both Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston onscreen: Who is the better kisser?" In choosing between Brad Pitt's first wife and the woman he left his first wife for, Butler demurred for a moment before saying, Aniston, his co-star in The Bounty Hunter. "I'm just going, you know, I'm just taking you by surprise," Butler quipped.

No need for 'Atonement' from James McAvoy

Well, at least there was one bright spot in the bleak, tragic, and infuriating Oscar-nominated 2007 drama Atonement. The movie required star Keira Knightley to smash lips with fellow attractive British actor James McAvoy, which she found to be a sublime experience. She told People that the former goat-man of Narnia "is the best kisser ever" amid a flurry of giggles. 

But then, Keira Knightley just seems like a very game movie kisser. In 2006, she said that all the kissy time on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest was nothing but delightful, particularly her smoochin'-at-sea scene with Johnny Depp (via UPI). "I couldn't ask for a better kissing scene with Johnny Depp actually," Knightley said. "I think my 14-year-old self was yelping with pleasure. It was fantastic! What more can a girl ask for? I've got Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom and I get to kiss both of them. It's wonderful!"

'The Butler' did it for Oprah

Myth: Entering within a five-foot radius of Oprah will cause any mortal human to instantly turn into ash and dissipate forever. Truth: Humans are able to withstand being in the proximity of the mighty O, provided that they are a charming, Oscar-winning actor who know how to bring it, kissing-wise. During a 2012 interview on CBS This Morning, during which we can assume Oprah was speaking with nothing but full candor because one of the hosts is her friend Gayle King, the media titan and actress discussed her work on the 2013 movie Lee Daniels' The Butler. She played the wife of the titular White House butler, portrayed by Forest Whitaker. When the subject of Whitaker's kissing skills came up, Oprah bestowed kindness and mercy across the land. "I felt pretty good about it, let me just say," she said in regards to smooching. "Forest is a good kisser, how about that?"

Gwyneth Paltrow took a Cruise to kissy-town

Paltrow has made a lot of romantic movies featuring memorable kisses. She even kissed Shakespeare in Shakespeare in Love, a movie so charming, romantic, and kiss-rich that it won her an Oscar for Best Actress. But the film that Paltrow did as a lark is the one that produced the conscious uncoupler's most highly regarded personal lip-lock moment.

"I did a little cameo once at the beginning of Austin Powers 3, I think it was, and I got to make out with Tom Cruise, Paltrow said on a 2011 episode of The Rachael Ray Show (via The New York Daily News). In a sequence for what was technically titled Austin Powers in Goldmember, Cruise played Austin Powers for a quick minute (instead of Mike Myers), and Paltrow played a send-up of a Bond Girl named "Dixie Normous." (Say it out loud ... get it?) Then, they kiss, because Austin Powers is irresistible no matter who is playing him. "He was an amazing kisser!" Paltrow proclaimed.

Zendaya is 'The Greatest Kisser' as far as Zac Efron is concerned

Zac Efron has been the hunky romantic lead in so many movies that he's basically a professional kisser-for-hire who does a little acting on the side. He romanced Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens) in three High School Musical movies as Troy Bolton, taught Taylor Schilling how to love again in the Nicholas Sparks flick The Lucky One, and mouth-danced with dance queen Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky) in Hairspray. But the smooch that Efron told People "might be my favorite kiss, I think ever" was the climactic lip-lock with Zendaya in the 2017 musical extravaganza The Greatest Showman. 

It would be awkward it Zendaya didn't agree, but, fortunately, she did. "When you're into a character, the whole time, they're not allowed to as much as touch, talk, speak, have a moment between each other," Zendaya added. "So every moment, even if they're just touching, is really, really, incredibly special. It's not just another kiss. It's different."

Where there's a Will, there's a kissing champion

Some women want a guy with a great sense of humor, but that shouldn't mean they should have to sacrifice other qualities in a potential mate, such as the ability to kiss real good. So, if only those two things — being funny and knowing one's way around a lady's mouth — were relationship criteria, then actor Will Ferrell just might be the world's greatest romantic partner.

In 2007, Amy Adams was a guest on The Rachael Ray Show (via People), and the host asked about the kissing skills of some of the actress' male co-stars. As for Patrick Dempsey from Enchanted, Adams said he was a "lovely" kisser. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, which is what she saved for Ferrell, her leading man in 2006's Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. "He's a fantastic kisser!" Adams emphatically stated. "I was not expecting that."

Ferrell's Land of the Lost cohort Anna Friel later echoed Adams' sentiments almost verbatim. "Will Ferrell is a really fantastic kisser. You wouldn't expect it from him," Friel said, adding, "And he's got twinkly blue eyes and he was gentler than I thought that he perhaps might be. So if anyone needs a good kiss they should just get on the phone and ask Will." (That's not really how phones work, but still, high praise.)