Celebs Whose First Kisses Were On Screen

One of the oddest job requirements of being an actor is the on-screen kiss. Imagine going in for a job interview at, say, a restaurant and being told that you have to lock lips with the guy who scarfs down tuna salad every day for lunch — and that the mortifying moment must be filmed. It totally wouldn't fly, right?

Some actors hated kissing certain co-stars and haven't been shy about saying so, while other celebs enjoyed locking lips with their on-screen love interests a little too much. Kaley Cuoco even kissed a co-star when the cameras weren't rolling. In an interview with W magazine, she revealed that her first kiss was with an unnamed actor who was filming a Disney movie with her. "But then he got fired from the movie," she said. "... So obviously, it did not end well for him. It ended well for me. I had a great kiss." Zendaya is another Disney star who avoided having her first kiss filmed. She told British Vogue that she refused to shoot a snogging scene for her show "Shake It Up" as it was written and recalled saying, "I'm going to kiss him on the cheek because I haven't been kissed yet so I don't want the kiss to be on camera."

But there are a large number of young actors who unfortunately didn't escape the terrible fate of having their first kisses choreographed by a director, and their experiences were as uncomfortable and awkward as you'd imagine.

Two stars' first kisses were on Full House

On "Full House," the show's young characters experienced a lot of firsts, from the appearance of a baby tooth to kissing a boy. But when viewers saw D.J. Tanner do the latter, it wasn't just the character who was nervous. Actor Candace Cameron Bure was actually in a similar position as her character; D.J. didn't want to kiss her crush, Kevin (Scott Curtis), in front of her friends during a game of spin-the-bottle, while Bure was petrified over the prospect of an audience of millions witnessing her first kiss. 

"It's awkward when you've never had a kiss and then have to kiss someone on national television," she said in an interview with Closer Weekly. However, Bure told YourTango that the experience actually ended up being a valuable one, as far as her acting career was concerned. "I had my first kiss on television at 13 years old so it's very easy for me to separate acting, doing my job, and pretending to be romantic or flirting with someone and real life," she explained.

Bure's castmate, Jodie Sweetin, also experienced her first kiss while filming "Full House." In her memoir "UnSweetined," she recalled being envious of Bure's big on-screen smooch until a script called for her own character, Stephanie Tanner, to kiss a boy. "I thought people were going to make fun of me," Sweetin wrote. Of what the kiss itself was like, she recounted, "It was like pecking my grandmother."

Keke Palmer's scary on-screen snog with Corbin Bleu

Before Keke Palmer landed her starring role in the Nickelodeon series "True Jackson, VP," she appeared alongside "High School Musical" star Corbin Bleu in the 2007 Disney Channel original movie "Jump In!" Their characters share a quick kiss in the film, and Palmer told Access that this scene had her grappling with some existential questions about her human experience at just 12 years old. 

"We did [the kiss scene] like 20 times," she recalled. "I became really self-conscious, I was like, 'Should I [be] having my first kiss on a movie? Should I let that happen to me? Maybe this is all a bad thing?'" Palmer also said that she felt a great deal of fear and anxiety before she and Bleu filmed the scene. "I was like, 'Oh my gosh, this is the first person I am kissing outside of my family,'" she recounted.

Luckily, Palmer told Cosmopolitan that the director or another adult involved in the making of the film had a helpful conversation with her, assuring the young actor that only she got to decide whether the on-screen kiss counted as her first. Palmer said this served as a valuable lesson about the importance of separating herself from her characters. She also admitted that she was pretty stoked about who her first smooch was with. "It was cool, because I had a cool person to kiss," Palmer said. "Corbin's pretty good-looking."

The tragic kisses of two stars of tragic films

Sure, they're an important part of a healthy ecosystem, but the 1991 coming-of-age movie "My Girl" made us view bees as cold-blooded killers that hate young love. The death of Macaulay Culkin's character really stung for us viewers, but for the actor himself, another moment was far more traumatic. In 1991, a then-11-year-old Culkin told Interview that he was not a fan of experiencing his first kiss during filming. However, it doesn't sound like it was the presence of a film crew that bothered him. 

"Yeeeccchhk. Double yeeeccchhhk," he said when asked about his kissing scene with co-star Anna Chlumsky. "Yeeeccchhhk. It was like, fifteen takes. All angles. Yeeecchhhkkk." It's safe to say he had no interest in recreating the scene when he and Chlumsky won the award for best kiss at the 1992 MTV Movie Awards. "Gee, I have my first kiss and I get an award," Chlumsky quipped while accepting their trophy.

Like Culkin, Josh Hutcherson starred in a movie about love, loss, and childhood that broke our hearts: "Bridge to Terabithia." However, the actor's first-ever kiss was filmed for the 2005 comedy "Little Manhattan," in which Charlotte Ray Rosenberg played his love interest. Hutcherson was just 11 at the time. "It was a horrible first kiss because I had like a crew of like 50 people standing around and watching me," he told Seventeen. "It was the most non-real, non-intimate moment that I could possibly have my first kiss, I think."

Selena Gomez kissed her crush's doppelganger

Selena Gomez can thank the House of Mouse for making her first kiss a memorable experience in the worst way. One of the "Wizards of Waverly Place" star's early television roles was a one-off appearance on an episode of "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" fittingly titled "A Midsummer's Nightmare." On "The Kelly Clarkson Show," Gomez revealed that she had a crush on one of the show's stars, Cole Sprouse, at the time. "I thought we were going to be together one day," she said of the depth of her feelings for the actor. So, it must have been a surreal experience to lock lips with his twin brother, Dylan Sprouse, when she guest-starred on "Suite Life." Kelly Clarkson was stunned upon learning that the on-screen kiss was Gomez's first. "It was one of the worst days of my life," Gomez said with a laugh.

Gomez spoke to Tiger Beat about the kiss years earlier and explained that it wasn't just the presence of the cameras or her lack of experience beforehand that made it so mortifying. "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 lip," she recalled. "So, it ended up being the most awkward kiss in the world."

For his part, Dylan told Young Hollywood that he thinks Gomez might also be his first kiss but didn't share his own recollection of what it was like.

Three Night Moves co-stars' first kisses were on screen

While Jesse Eisenberg, Alia Shawkat, and Dakota Fanning were filming the 2013 thriller "Night Moves," they could have swapped stories about their first kisses being immortalized on film. Eisenberg's on-screen smooch happened while he was filming the 2002 dramedy "Roger Dodger" with "Flashdance" icon Jennifer Beals. "That was before I ever had a girlfriend or been on a date, so that was a wonderful experience," he deadpanned in an interview with WNYC. "I don't know that she agrees. But for me, it was life-changing."

Shawkat's first kiss occurred while she was filming "Arrested Development," and the actor who played her quasi-incestuous on-screen love interest, Michael Cera, was just as ill at ease as her, albeit for a different reason. Shawkat told A.V. Club that Cera was terrified of her intimidating father, who was watching, and he was likely thankful that he made it through the scene unscathed. Shawkat said of the aftermath of the kiss, "We were good friends, which made it more awkward on the set, but once we were finished, we pretended like it never happened."

Fanning was playing the younger version of Reese Witherspoon's "Sweet Home Alabama" character when she filmed a kissing scene at age seven, and she tried to hide how little she enjoyed the experience from her scene partner. "In between each take we would do the kiss, right, and then I would slowly turn away and wipe my mouth off," she recalled to W magazine.

The Victorious stars whose first smooches were on screen

When Zoey Brooks (Jamie Lynn Spears) walked in on Chase Matthews (Sean Flynn) and Rebecca (Daniella Monet) making out in the "Zoey 101" episode "Surprise," Spears was actually witnessing Monet's first kiss. "This is so embarrassing. My first four kisses were all on TV," Monet confessed in a TeenNick video. She didn't say whether shooting those kissing scenes got easier as time went on but did reveal that the first time was incredibly nerve-racking. "I didn't have my first real kiss until I was almost 18," Monet said, making us wonder if her experiences made her reticent to see if the real deal was more pleasant.

Monet's "Victorious" co-star, Victoria Justice, also kissed a boy for the first time while cameras were rolling, but her snog didn't happen in a Nickelodeon series; she was filming a guest appearance on a rival network's show. In an interview with Popstar!, she revealed that her on-screen kissing partner at the time was Disney Channel star Cole Sprouse. In the 2005 "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" episode "The Fairest of Them All," Justice plays a beauty pageant contestant whom Sprouse's character develops a crush on. She reciprocates his feelings, and the two share a kiss. "It was in front of a live audience, so that was cool," Justice said, possibly with a hint of sarcasm. She also revealed that she and Sprouse became friends after he shared the awkward experience with her.

Mila Kunis' first kiss was with her future husband

No sparks flew when Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher first started playing high school sweethearts on "That '70s Show." On "The Howard Stern Show," Kutcher explained that he didn't view Kunis as a potential romantic partner at the time because of their ages; he was 19, and Kunis was only 14. He recalled his reaction to reading scripts that called for the two to kiss, saying, "It was really weird. I was like, 'Isn't this illegal?' She was like my little sister."

Kissing Kutcher was also awkward for Kunis, but not because she viewed him as a sibling. "I was so nervous and uncomfortable. I had the biggest crush on him," she confessed to People in 2001, three years after "That '70s Show" premiered. During that same interview, Kutcher learned that he was Kunis' first kiss. "I'm so glad I didn't know that or it would've been too much pressure," he said. Kutcher later told Howard Stern that the way Kunis saw him started to mirror his own familial feelings for her after they got to know each other better. "At first I think she thought I was good-looking," he said. "Shortly thereafter, I was just annoying to her because I was like, big brother."

Kutcher would marry and divorce Demi Moore, and Kunis would end a long-term relationship with Macaulay Culkin, before the former co-stars' paths crossed again in 2012. And now, they're hangin' out as a happily married couple with two kids.

Kissing Finn Wolfhard was hard for Millie Bobby Brown

After Millie Bobby Brown learned that her first kiss would take place while filming an episode of her Netflix series "Stranger Things," she and her co-star, Finn Wolfhard, decided that having fresh breath was of utmost importance. "We went through two packs of Tic Tacs," Brown revealed on "The Tonight Show" in 2016. But all that minty flavor and fructose didn't do much to make the moment they locked lips more bearable for Brown. "I got up, and then I said, 'Kissing sucks!'" she recalled. To make matters worse, she revealed that the entire crew was present when the scene was filmed. Her dad was there as well, apparently glaring at her and Wolfhard menacingly with his arms crossed. "My dad watched the whole thing, my whole family was there, and it was the most awkward thing in the world," she told the press during an interview in Tokyo, per GMA News Online.

Brown and Wolfhard also had to deal with their young castmates' incessant teasing, and while taking the Vanity Fair lie-detector test, Brown claimed that Wolfhard simply isn't a good kisser and hasn't gotten better at it since their first on-screen smooch. She's also fairly certain that he lied to her when he claimed that she wasn't his first kiss. "I definitely think I was," she told Variety. "I think he was just trying to be cool." Sounds like someone else needs to take that lie-detector test.

Sadie Sink and Caleb McLaughlin's unscripted kiss

Sadie Sink and Caleb McLaughlin had their first kisses with each other while filming "Stranger Things." In an episode of "Beyond Stranger Things," Sink revealed that the kiss was unscripted, and the show's co-creator, Ross Duffer, admitted that it was added after he played a mean-spirited joke on the unfortunate 15-year-old. When Sink arrived on set to film a school dance scene, Duffer jokingly told her that she was going to kiss McLaughlin, which was not welcome news to Sink. "The whole day I was like stressed out," she recalled. Instead of easing Sink's mind by telling her that he wasn't being serious, Duffer decided to prolong her distress. He told Sink, "You were so freaked out that I was like, 'Well, I gotta make her do it now.' ... That's why I'm saying it's your fault." (What a lesson to teach an underage female actor!)

Thankfully, it doesn't sound like the incident caused Sink any lasting psychological damage. "It was nerve-wracking at the time, but I look back now and can laugh about it," she told W magazine in a 2023 interview. 

Sink didn't pull a Millie Bobby Brown by critiquing her kissing scene partner, even though McLaughlin had gotten pointers from Brown's on-screen love interest, Finn Wolfhard. "He's like, 'Just poke your lips out and keep it firm and then make them soft,'" McLaughlin recalled to Vanity Fair. "It wasn't that bad. It was cool."

Saoirse Ronan's kissing countdown

Saoirse Ronan told FilmStarrr that she was 11 when she first kissed a guy, an actor who was three years her senior. They were filming the 2007 romantic comedy "I Could Never Be Your Woman," which was helmed by "Clueless" director Amy Heckerling. According to Ronan, Heckerling's initial direction for the kiss was, "You just go in and do it." However, an anxious Ronan was incapable of treating the scene like it was no big deal. "I was like proper prude, as well; I was not ready to kiss a boy myself," Ronan told W magazine. "I called Amy over and was like, 'Amy, come here. Can we just like discuss the logistics of this whole kissing scene?'"

Ronan revealed that one of the foremost questions on her mind was how long Heckerling wanted the kiss to be, and she negotiated the director from five seconds down to three seconds. "Every single take, I would be like, 'One ... two ... three,' and then just pull apart," the actor recalled to FilmStarrr. Unfortunately for Ronan, she had to do her kissing countdown more than once; she told W magazine that it took over half a dozen takes before Heckerling was satisfied. "I suffered for the art," she said. But at least the star walked away with a skill that would come in handy when she later filmed romantic scenes with Kate Winslet and Timothée Chalamet. "I was a phenomenal kisser by the end," Ronan bragged.

Kay Panabaker lived Maddie Ziegler's dream

Dancer Maddie Ziegler has the distinction of being one of the few entertainers whose first kiss happened on a reality show. In the punningly titled 2014 "Dance Moms" episode "Kiss or Get Off the Pot," controversial dance instructor Abby Lee Miller devised a routine that required Ziegler to kiss her dance partner, Gino Cosculluela. After practicing their choreographed kiss during rehearsal, Ziegler covered her mouth, fled, and vigorously wiped her lips. "Kissing Gino in the studio is not what I envisioned for my first kiss," she later said in a confessional. "If it was Zac Efron, I would kiss him. But not Gino."

Actor Kay Panabaker got the first kiss Ziegler wanted while filming "Summerland" with Efron. She spoke about the experience in an interview for LA Teen Festival. "I was 13, and he was 16, and so it was kissing an older boy," she said. "... It was totally embarrassing in front of the whole crew. They were all like my dads." Panabaker had nothing negative to say about the lip lock, but Efron confessed that he made it rather unpleasant for her. In a 2019 appearance on "The Graham Norton Show," the "High School Musical" heartthrob said that he was leaning in for the kiss with his eyes closed when Panabaker exclaimed, "Oh. My. Gosh. Did you have salmon for lunch? Seriously?!" Efron said of the mortifying moment, "It ruined a first kiss." So be careful what you wish for, Maddie!

Two Nickelodeon stars' first kisses were on iCarly

In "The iCarly Reunion" special, Nickelodeon star Miranda Cosgrove revealed that her first two kisses were in character as Carly Shay. Her peck with James Maslow happened in the "iCarly" episode "iSaw Him First." Maslow's character, Shane, couldn't give Carly his consent to kiss him, as he was in the hospital, unconscious and recovering from a frightful fall down an elevator shaft. To make the situation even more problematic, Carly kissed Shane because she wanted to win a contest with Sam Puckett (Jennette McCurdy). Cosgrove's second on-screen smooch was with Nathan Kress, who played Freddie Benson on the show. "Nathan had a girlfriend, or a girl he liked, and she was there on set that day watching us kiss," Cosgrove recalled. "It was so awkward!"

But according to McCurdy, her experience kissing Kress on the show was far more uncomfortable. In her memoir "I'm Glad My Mom Died," McCurdy revealed that she'd never kissed anyone before and did not enjoy the experience. "Lips feel nasty. They're like little gross fleshy piles of flesh," she wrote. On top of her disgust, she was dealing with the stress of having directions yelled at her and distressing thoughts about the situation. "My body is saying no, I don't want this. I don't want my first kiss to be like this," McCurdy recalled of the moment. "I want my first kiss to be a real first kiss, not a kiss for a TV show."

Peyton List and Noah Centineo's first kiss stories

"Cobra Kai" star Peyton List's first kiss was filmed for her Disney Channel series "Jessie" — but fans never saw it. List told Hollywood Life that she had a kissing scene in the 2014 "Liv & Maddie" crossover special "Jessie's Aloha Holidays with Parker and Joey," but it ended up getting cut. "I was nervous because I was younger and when you haven't had your first kiss in real life and then you have to have a first kiss on screen and everyone's watching you, it's the most nerve-racking thing," List told Teen.com in 2016. She decided not to let anyone know about her lack of experience, but she was aware that the guest star she had to lock lips with had kissed someone before. While List didn't reveal his identity, her character, Emma Ross, and Joey Rooney (Joey Bragg) almost kiss more than once in the special.

"To All the Boys I've Loved Before" star Noah Centineo played one of List's on-screen love interests in the 2014 "Jessie" episode "Hoedown Showdown." His first kiss was also captured on camera, but it occurred years earlier when he appeared in the 2009 movie "The Gold Retrievers" at age 11. While reminiscing about the scene on "The Late Late Show," Centineo confessed to spitting as soon as the camera stopped rolling. "It was like a whole cooties thing," he explained. "And I feel so bad now."

Brooke Shields' much-older kissing scene partner

For her role as a child sex worker in the controversial 1978 Louis Malle film "Pretty Baby," Brooke Shields had to film a kissing scene with actor Keith Carradine. At the time, she was 11 years old and Carradine was 27. "I kept scratching at my face, and the director was getting mad at me," Shields recalled to The New Yorker. But Carradine did what he could to make the experience less traumatic for his young co-star. "Keith said to me, 'You know, this doesn't count as a first kiss.'" She was grateful for the way he handled the upsetting situation, saying, "That was, in hindsight, such a generous, beautiful, gracious thing, to try to protect a child — there was nothing lascivious about it."

After Shields opened up about her on-set experiences again in the 2023 documentary "Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields," Carradine told Yahoo! Entertainment that he remembered having that first kiss conversation with Shields. "I applaud Brooke's exploration of her life and re-examining things from her childhood," Carradine stated. He also said that he no longer believes filmmakers should be making movies like "Pretty Baby," explaining his involvement at the time by saying, "I trusted the people with whom I was working that it would be handled properly and delicately." 

As for Shields, she feels pride in the work that she did but told Vanity Fair that she would not want her own daughters to appear in a similar project. 

Kirsten Dunst hated kissing Brad Pitt

Kirsten Dunst has had to patiently answer so many questions about what it was like kissing Brad Pitt in the 1994 movie "Interview with the Vampire." And just imagine how many times she encounters someone who assumes that she had to enjoy shooting that scene. After all, her first kiss was with the guy who was named People's Sexiest Man Alive the year after their movie premiered. But Pitt's good looks and sex symbol status mattered not to Dunst; from the sounds of it, kissing Pitt was no better than locking lips with an actual undead being with blood-breath. "I thought it was disgusting. ... I was 11. It would have been weird if I was like, 'This is amazing; I'm kissing Brad Pitt,'" Dunst later said on "Conan."

Dunst further explained to Vanity Fair that she and Pitt had a sibling-like relationship that made the kiss even more awkward. "It was very weird. Even though it was a peck, I just was very not into it," she said. In a 1994 interview with the Los Angeles Times, she revealed that Pitt felt the same way about the scene. "He said, 'How do you think I feel? I have to kiss a little girl.' It was awful!" the then-12-year-old recalled. For what certainly wouldn't be the only time in her life, Dunst was informed by her interviewer that other people would have been thrilled to be in her position. "They're nuts," she replied.

The strange snogs of two sunglasses brand partners

Hailee Steinfeld and Ashley Benson, who co-founded the Privé Revaux eyewear company, both had their first kisses captured on film long before they got into the designer shades biz together. Benson's happened when she was starring on the soap opera "Days of Our Lives." She was 15, while her scene partner was in his 20s. Some young actors in similar positions might feel intimidated by having to kiss someone so much older, but Benson laid down the law with her co-star before the cameras started rolling. "I was like, 'This is my first real kiss. So don't be creepy!'" she recalled to Teen Vogue. "Everybody on set thought it was the cutest thing." (Because it's always so adorable when an underage girl feels the need to tell an adult not to be a perv.) On "Conan," Benson shared her thoughts on how the kissing scene turned out after giving it a rewatch. "I was like, 'Wow. That's very awkward-looking,'" she said.

According to Steinfeld, her first kiss was soon followed by another snog with a different actor, both of which happened while shooting a student film titled "She's a Fox." Steinfeld was just 12 at the time. "That was a lot for me," she told Vanity Fair. Shooting the scenes became even more uncomfortable when one of the actors told her, "I'm just gonna pretend I'm kissing my mom."

Elle Fanning tried to act like an experienced kisser

Like her sister, Dakota Fanning, Elle Fanning was also making a movie when she kissed someone for the first time. However, she didn't want director Sally Potter to know that she'd never been kissed when they worked together on the 2012 drama "Ginger & Rosa." Elle was 13 at the time, and perhaps she overestimated her acting abilities a bit. "I thought I was really fooling [Potter] to be like, 'Oh yeah, I've kissed many, many men,'" Elle recalled on "The Late Late Show." Potter let Elle think she had succeeded for a long time. "Years later, she was like, 'Just so you know, I know it was your first kiss,'" the actor said. This is why Potter only made Elle shoot one take of the kissing scene. "My first kiss is on screen for eternity; I can watch my first kiss happen," Elle said of the director's kind gesture.

Elle revealed that she actually had some say in who her first kiss would be with. "They pull out this giant binder full of boys," she recalled during a "Conan" interview. "... And they're like, 'Elle, okay. We're all going to sit around and flip through, and you can pick out the boy that you want to kiss.'" After she did, she didn't get much time to get to know her scene partner. "We're like, 'Hi, how are you?' and then just started kissing," she recalled on "The Tonight Show" (via Independent.ie).