17 Stars Come Clean About What It's Like to Film a Love Scene

Nicole Pomarico | Oct 22, 2019 Celebrities
17 Stars Come Clean About What It's Like to Film a Love Scene
Image: Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Hello Sunshine x Together Live Tour

Reese Witherspoon
Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Hello Sunshine x Together Live Tour

Watching some of the steamier scenes play out in movies like Fifty Shades of Grey can be fun, but there's a lot more that goes into it than what we see on the screen when the finished product is in front of us. Yes, they appear intimate and personal, but that's just part of the magic. In reality, these scenes are filmed with full crew watching, and "intimate" would probably be the last word that stars would use to describe the experience. And for those of us wondering what it's really like, plenty of stars have opened up and told their tale.

So many celebs have come clean about these experiences, and their thoughts vary widely. Everyone -- from Justin Timberlake to Mila Kunis to Julie Andrews -- has a story to tell about the love scenes they've had to be a part of over the course of their careers, and while some are funny, some make us feel really relieved that's not a part of our day jobs.

Read on for some of the most entertaining stories that celebrities have shared about filming love scenes in their movies. It definitely doesn't sound like an easy task by any means, but judging how well their performances came across when the movie was done, we have to admit that all of these people are pretty darn talented -- especially for keeping it together in a situation that would probably make almost anyone in the world feel awkward.

For some reason, these stories have made us really relieved that we aren't actors. That kind of pressure is no joke.

  • Julie Andrews

    Julie Andrews
    Splash News

    During an interview with ABC News, Julie talked about filming her first love scene, which took place with James Garner in The Americanization of Emily. And according to what she said, the whole thing became overwhelming for her pretty quickly. 

    "I began to think, 'It's getting a little hot in here.' And when I got up, I kept thinking, 'I can manage this.' And I got up and my legs buckled because it really had hit me rather hard," she said, adding, "I think he -- he might have enjoyed it, too."

  • Kate Winslet

    Kate Winslet
    Splash News

    Although Kate Winslet was part of one of the most iconic love scenes ever (Titanic, duh), even this seasoned pro doesn't think it's a walk in the park. "Those scenes are really awkward -- it doesn’t matter which way you look at it," she confessed in an interview with E! News. 

    Makes sense!

  • Shailene Woodley

    Shailene Woodley
    Splash News

    In a 2013 interview with Vanity Fair, the Big Little Lies star opened up about what it was like to get down to business on camera with co-star Miles Teller in their film The Spectacular Now. And as it turned out, it was both of their first times filming a love scene. 

    "It was such a safe, comfortable environment and I am so grateful that it was with Miles, because he was such a gentleman and made me feel very comfortable and nurtured," she said. "And I think I made him feel very comfortable and nurtured. It was really sweet. We wanted it to just feel natural."

  • Justin Timberlake

    Justin TImberlake
    Splash News

    For Justin Timberlake, it seems like filming these scenes is more a chore than anything else. In fact, in an interview with BBC, he called the experience "annoying" and "exhausting" -- and this was talking about filming Friends With Benefits with Mila Kunis. If those two can't have fun together, who can?

  • Rosamund Pike

    Rosamund Pike
    Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency/Splash News

    In Gone Girl, Rosamund had to film a steamy scene with Neil Patrick Harris, and the way she described the situation to Seth Meyers on his Late Night show, it sounds like it was super awkward -- especially since they had to rehearse for two hours. 

    "You're alone with a man who's not your husband who also has a husband," she explained. "He's in his underwear, you're in your underwear, and you're sort of dry humping on a bed."


  • Robert Pattinson

    Robert Pattinson
    Splash News

    Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart may have been a real-life couple while filming Breaking Dawn, but that didn't make the experience any easier for him. 

     "I think the more comfortable you are with each other, the harder it gets to do any kind of really intense relationship scene," he told Heat magazine. "You're kind of thinking, 'I don't want to embarrass myself in front of this person.'"

  • Mila Kunis

    Mila Kunis
    Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency

    According to Mila, it's not easy to film a love scene, regardless if she already knows the person

    "It's hard to have a sex scene, period," she told HuffPost about her Black Swan scene with Natalie Portman. "It doesn't matter if it's a friend, a male, a female. You're with 100-something crew members, lighting you, repositioning you, there's no comfort whatsoever."

  • Jake Gyllenhaal

    Jake Gyllenhaal
    Saul Goodman/ABACAPRESS

    According to what Jake said on The Late Show, it was a challenge for him to film his romantic scenes with Anne Hathaway in Love & Other Drugs --  mostly because of the high awkward factor, of course. 

    "I've had a pretty illustrious career at this point, but the hardest thing has been pretending to be turned on by Anne Hathaway," he said at the time. "And I pride myself on really having pulled it off."

  • Vanessa Hudgens

    Vanessa Hudgens
    Christopher Peterson/Splash News

    For Vanessa, it was a one and done situation, especially as it related to her love-making scenes in Spring Breakers. "It was very nerve-wracking for me. I told my agent I never want to ever do it again," she admitted to Glow magazine.

  • Taylor Schilling

    Taylor Schilling
    Splash News

    During her time on Orange is the New Black, Taylor had to film quite a few head-turning scenes. And apparently, as she said during a press junket for the show, it was eventually NBD

    "There's always that jumping off place when you're doing a sex scene when you can tell the crew's like, 'OK, it's comin'.' At this point, it's actually not a big deal," she said.

  • Leonardo DiCaprio

    Leonardo DiCaprio
    Splash News

    As Leonardo DiCaprio told The Hollywood Reporter of the love scene he had to film for Wolf of Wall Street, it was all about embodying the character, not being himself. 

    "It was all me, pal. All the flopping around, all the everything was all me," he said. "When you take on a character like this and you want to accurately reflect the nature of who these people are, you just gotta do it. You can't think about yourself, because it's not me, it's a depiction of somebody else."

  • Dakota Johnson

    Dakota Johnson
    Billy Bennight/AdMedia/Splash News

    The Fifty Shades of Grey movies might've looked sexy, but the process of making them was not. As Dakota told Marie Claire, the undergarment situation while filming was less than ideal

    "I had these sort of strapless thongs that had glue on them. It's not glue, but it's sticky. They're, like, basically if it were a nipple pastie, but underwear," she explained. "But it's only sticky at the top, it's not sticky the whole way. It would also come off because the adhesive would wear out, so then they would superglue it to my body so that it wouldn't fall off. And I would wear two of them."

    Sounds like a blast!

    ... not.

  • Ashton Kutcher

    Ashton Kutcher
    Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency/Splash News

    This guy is all about the preemptive apology -- and it makes a lot of sense, because he's taking inspiration from one of the greats

    "It’s like … you sort of try to set some ground rules and apologize for like … I always use Sir Laurence. When in doubt, use Sir Laurence Olivier," Ashton told She Knows. "I think he said something to the effect of, 'I apologize if I get aroused and I apologized if I do not get aroused.'"

  • Olivia Wilde

    Olivia Wilde
    Splash News

    According to what Olivia told GQ in 2009, love scenes aren't anything close to sexy. 

    "People imagine it’s this really glamorous and sexy thing, but I always laugh because in reality there are 50 people in the room," she said in the magazine, according to Page Six. "You are stopping and starting. There is someone yelling, like, ‘Can you move your hand, can you just put your shoulder down, OK, good, more, more …'"

  • Zac Efron

    Zac Efron
    Splash News

    When Zac got to film At Any Price with Heather Graham, he was literally filming a love scene with his celebrity crush. And how was that for him? Apparently, a bit nerve-wracking, which is totally understandable.

    "I was nervous because I've been in love with her since I can remember," he told Variety. "It was very surreal for me."

  • Reese Witherspoon

    Reese Witherspoon
    Image Press/Splash News

    When Reese filmed her love scene for Wild, she told Vogue that she didn't hold back. In fact, she wanted to remain as true to Cheryl Strayed's story as possible. 

    "I wanted it to be truthful, I wanted it to be raw, I wanted it to be real," she said.

  • Angelina Jolie

    Angelina Jolie
    Splash News

    For Angelina, it was especially challenging to direct a love scene, rather than starring in it herself. As she told USA Today, she felt a bit awkward telling Zana Marjanovic and Goran Kostic what to do while filming In The Land of Blood and Honey

    "You kind of suddenly feel this strange thing of asking people to participate in anything like that because they're not a real couple," she said, according to Hollywood.com. "You find out how strange this is to ask anybody to get naked together and put a camera on them."


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