These Are the Worst Celebrity Kissers, According to Their Co-Stars
Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Lawrence, and more actors who have been called out for their technique.
When actors kiss on screen, it's important that they make the moment look realistic. Viewers have to buy into the feelings between the characters and also forget that they're watching a scene between, essentially, two coworkers. When you're watching a movie or TV show, you don't want to be thinking about one of the actors having bad breath or being a sloppy kisser—but their scene partner doesn't have much of a choice.
Most of the time, those issues stay private. But some stars have been more than willing to publicly call out the castmates responsible for their worst onscreen kisses. Read on for seven actors who've been accused of awkward, gross, or just plain uninspired clinches by their co-stars.
During a December 2022 appearance on Watch What Happens Live, Sally Field revealed that her worst onscreen kiss was with the late Burt Reynolds.
"This is gonna be a shocker, hold on folks," Field said before naming her frequent co-star and ex-boyfriend.
Reynolds and Field worked together on four movies, starting with 1977's Smokey and the Bandit. They also dated for five years after meeting on the set of the movie. Field explained she thought his kissing technique would be better off-screen, but it wasn't.
"I tried to look over, look the other way and say, 'Well, that was just then,'" she explained on the show. "It just was not something he did very well. I could go into detail, but you don't want to hear it."
Asked if the problem was "the tongue," Field responded, "Not totally involved, just a lot of drooling was involved."
Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey starred opposite each other in two movies: 2003's How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and 2008's Fool's Gold. Hudson has said that her kisses with McConaughey weren't very pleasant, but it sounds like the conditions they were working in were more at fault than he was.
"The thing is, every time I kiss McConaughey, it's like there's just something happening and there's like snot or wind," Hudson said during a 2020 interview with Gwyneth Paltrow. "Like when we were kissing in the end of Fool's Gold, we're like in the ocean, we like had the plane crash. He just had snot all over his face."
Later, McConaughey defended himself, telling Yahoo! that the scene Hudson was referring to involved going underwater in the ocean and coming out gasping for air before kissing. He added that they've only shared some "awkward" onscreen kisses and never a nice, normal one where "the temperature's right, nobody's interrupting, the ocean's not wiping us away, [and] nobody's dropping stuff on us above our head."
Hudson hasn't been free from criticism herself. Dane Cook, her co-star in the 2008 movie My Best Friend's Girl, named her as his worst onscreen kiss.
Playing the game "Plead the Fifth" on Watch What Happens Live in 2014, Cook didn't take the out when pressed to talk about a bad movie kiss.
"I think she purposely ate like a feast of onions before our scene," he said of Hudson. "I had to burn her on that one."
For more celebrity news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Alyson Hannigan and Jason Segel played a couple for years on How I Met Your Mother. Hannigan wasn't a fan of kissing her onscreen husband, however, because Segel was a cigarette smoker at the time.
"I cannot stand cigarette smoke. It's like kissing an ashtray and he's trying to be polite by having gum or mints, but it doesn't help," Hannigan said in 2008, as reported by Digital Spy.
The actor added that when they started filming the show, they made a bet in which he would owe her $10 whenever he had a cigarette. "After the first day, he owed me $200," Hannigan said. "So he said, 'I'm just quitting,' and he quit cold turkey for about a year. It was fantastic but then … he got stressed out and he started smoking again."
"She told me she would not do any romantic scenes with me as long as I was smoking," Segel claimed in 2005, according to Contact Music. "So I quit the day we started working, and I haven't had a cigarette since." He added, "I didn't get too grumpy. My clothes don't smell anymore. I really upped my mojo."
Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford starred together in the 1986 movie The Mosquito Coast. Eleven years later, she slammed him as a bad kisser—and said she wasn't the only one who thought so.
In a 1997 interview with a BBC radio show (via the Chicago Tribune) Mirren called Ford "the nicest, sweetest guy you could want to meet."
"But he can't kiss—he finds it impossible to kiss on screen," she continued. "He's probably not very good off screen either. It's not just me—other actresses agree. Whenever we get chatting off screen and we get around to talking, we come to the same conclusion: 'He couldn't do it with me either!' He does try, but it is just not there."
Now, all these years later, Mirren and Ford are back to playing a couple in the Yellowstone spinoff, 1923, and she may feel differently. When promoting the show, Mirren expressed her excitement at being paired with him again. "I had to be in the bed with him, you know," she said during a Q&A with TheWrap. "And I mean, I'm dressed up to here [her neck], and he is as well. But I'm lying there, I'm thinking, I'm in bed with Harrison Ford. I was so excited, I can't tell you. I had to, like, pretend to be cool."
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence have starred in four movies together: Silver Linings Playbook (2012), American Hustle (2013), Serena (2014), and Joy (2015). And they played a couple in two of them.
When Cooper appeared on The Graham Norton Show in 2013, he shared that Lawrence had a tough critique when it came to his kissing. Speaking of their time filming Silver Linings Playbook, he said (via the Daily Mail), "After the second take she said, 'You're a wet kisser." You don't want to hear that. It was not a compliment."
The audience was apparently none the wiser, since the two went on to win the MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss that year. Plus, a couple of years later, Lawrence had changed her tune. On Watch What Happens Live in 2015, she called Cooper a "fantastic kisser" (via Us Weekly).
Lawrence wasn't just dishing out the feedback—she also received some herself. Her Hunger Games co-star Liam Hemsworth spilled that she often had bad breath when they kissed.
"Any time I had to kiss Jennifer was pretty uncomfortable. Pretty awkward," Hemsworth said on The Tonight Show in 2014. "When you look at it on the outside, 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 had tuna' or 'I had garlic, and I didn't brush my teeth.' Fantastic. I can't wait to get in there and taste it."
But, according to Lawrence, he didn't have any complaints when they connected in real life. During a Watch What Happens Live interview in 2015, she admitted that they had kissed off screen, too. "Liam and I grew up together. Liam's real hot. What would you have done?" the star said.