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Actresses Who Kiss and Tell: The Girl-On-Girl Edition

Actresses Who Kiss and Tell: The Girl-On-Girl Edition

In honor of last week’s lesbian kissing quotes courtesy of Glenn Close, Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning, we’ve compiled a few quotes from actresses who’ve momentarily gone Sapphic on screen. Whether integral to the narrative or just plain gratuitous, here are a few heavy hitters on locking lips with their female colleagues including Penelope Cruz, Charlize Theron, Scarlett Johansson, Naomi Watts, Gina Gershon, Natalie Portman, Sandra Bullock and Portia de Rossi.

TracyEGilchrist

These days a girl cant’ swing a cat on film or on primetime television without running into the compulsory girl-on-girl kiss. And no sooner are those kisses shot and in the can than the curious mainstream media begins the hackneyed barrage of “what’s it like to kiss a girl” questions.

In honor of last week’s lesbian kissing quotes courtesy of Glenn Close, Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning, we’ve compiled a few quotes from actresses who’ve momentarily gone Sapphic on screen. Whether integral to the narrative or just plain gratuitous, here are a few heavy hitters on locking lips with their female colleagues.

The 'Girls are So Pretty and Nice' Approach

Here’s Dexter’s latest casualty Julie Benz on kissing Dana Delany for an upcoming episode of Desperate Housewives: “Dana’s a great kisser,” adding that the once upon a China Beach star also scored points for her lack of facial hair.

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Lovely ginge Julianne Moore, an ardent supporter of LGBT rights, goes gay big time with Annette Bening in director Lisa Choledenko’s Sundance smash The Kids are Alright, but as a repressed, depressed 50’s era housewife in The Hours, she  got a little taste of a filmic girl / girl kiss with Toni Collette. Here’s what Julianne had to say:

"I think what I said was, Toni's so pretty, and her skin was so soft, and she smelled so nice. And there wasn't any issue. It felt very comfortable and non-threatening."

 

 


Never has lesbian femme and femme fatale melded so wonderfully together than when embodied by Jennifer Tilly in the Wachowski Brothers’ 1996 neo-noir, now classic, Bound. As a mobster’s trophy girlfriend Jennifer is nothing short of brilliant, and oh so believable as she lusts after her partner and partner in crime, Gina Gershon’s Corky.

This is a snippet of an interview with Jennifer and Gina regarding the onscreen hookup:

Jennifer: The minute I met Gina, a little voice way down inside me said, "Now this is a girl I could get excited about."

Gina: And she thought I smelled nice.

Jennifer: She did smell good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The I’ve Done This Before -- Comparative Approach

Oscar winner for Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Penelope Cruz, engaged in a passionate snog with Scarlett Johansson for that film but in 2004 Cruz got heated up with fellow Oscar winner Charlize Theron in Head in the Clouds. Here’s Penelope’s diplomatic approach commenting in Vanity Fair on her costars’ prowess:

"No matter how I answer that I will be in trouble," she says. "Both were pretty beautiful partners."

Bound was not Gershon’s first foray into kissing girls on screen as she had dabbled with it a few years before playing an over-the-top and aging Vegas showgirl in the so-bad-it’s-good classic Showgirls. Kisses were weapons for Gina’s Cristal Connors, who tormented Elizabeth Berkley’s hapless Nomi Malone. This is what Gina had to say when asked to compare kissing Elizabeth to kissing Jennifer Tilly:

“My and Elizabeth's kiss in Showgirls was never about sex; it was a symbolic kiss. My character was so narcissistic that she thought of Elizabeth's character as an extension of herself, so she's kissing a younger version of herself good-bye. In Bound, it was, like, sexy. So I have to say Jennifer is the better kisser. [JT preens] Elizabeth, if you're reading this, you were a really good kisser, too. But you wore a lot more lipstick and I couldn't handle all that lipstick all over my face.”

 

 

 

 

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The Girls Scare Me Approach

Now that it-girl of the moment, Amanda Seyfried, has lost her work-related kissing girls virginity to Megan Fox in Diablo Cody’s pseudo post-feminist, woman-as-man-eater horror flick Jennifer’s Body, she’s moved on to intense love scenes with cougar Julianne Moore in Chloe. Here’s hoping Amanda worked out her reservations about kissing girls because this is not Julianne’s first time at the rodeo! Here’s Amanda on kissing Megan Fox.

“We knew that it was going to play a really big role in publicizing the movie,” Seyfried told WENN. “We kind of rolled our eyes at the idea of having to make out."

Seyfried also said, “Sometimes I have a good time making out with my co-stars, male co-stars, because it’s easy and totally, completely not real. I’m more comfortable with it, because I’ve kissed boys before in my life. So it’s just more comfortable. I think why I felt so intimidated by Megan. Also, with a female, I was worried that she would judge me. It was also awkward because we’re kind of pals.”


Natalie Portman has never shied away from edgy roles, so why was kissing Mila Kunis in Darren Aronofsky’s upcoming Black Swan so horrifying for the star of The Professional and The Other Bolelyn Girl? Maybe Mila is just that good! But this is Natalie on her fear of kissing Mila.

“I was terrified” said Portman, adding “At the moment I lived in a state of inner terror.”

 

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The “I’d Rather Kiss Girls than Boys” Approach

Woody Allen’s latest muse Scarlett Johansson got into some pretty heavy make out scenes in his films Match Point and Vicky Cristina Barcelona. For Match Point Scar-Jo hooked up with The Tudors’ Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, and in Vicky Cristina she played a bi-curious American tourist living the artist’s way in Barcelona engaging in a three-way with characters played by Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz. While Scarlett failed to mention Javier, here’s what she had to say on Penelope v. Jonathan:

"Everybody wants to know what it was like. Penelope had less facial hair than a guy so it was certainly more pleasant. It was better than kissing Jonathan Rhys-Meyers in Match Point. Kissing him wasn't that bad, but he did have to stop and shave in the middle of a scene even though he'd shaved that morning. The man has really got some beard on him."


The once promising Mischa Barton has a long history of Sapphic-leaning credits, beginning with her breakout role playing roomie to Piper Perabo’s and Jessica Pare’s closeted lovers in Lost and Delirious. Next she moved on to kissing Evan Rachel Wood in Once and Again and Olivia Wilde in The OC. Considering her formidable on-screen experience with the ladies, Barton had this to say:

“I don’t know why that keeps coming up. It doesn’t annoy me that much. It’s so much easier to kiss another girl. You’re so much more relaxed filming and you can have a laugh. It can get a bit tense with a guy.”

 

 

 

 

 

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The It's Just Business, No Big Deal Approach

For classically trianed actresses work is work. And Nip / Tuck's Joely Richardson is just one of those hard workers, even while locking lips with one of the hottest real-life lesbians out there, Portia de Rossi, when her character had a brief men-are-assholes foray into lesbianism.

"I have no problems kissing women. It's not the first time I have done lesbian scenes." 

The gorgeous Lisa Ray, who starred in Deepa Mehta's Oscar nominated foreign language film Water played gay back to back in a pair of cultural studies directed by Shamim Sarif and both costarring Sheetal Sheth. First up she starred in the period piece The World Unseen and then the romantic comedy I can't Think Straight. As a 50's housewife in apartheid-era South Africa who falls for a charismatic activist in The World Unseen, Ray smoldered in her sexual repression and subsequent desire but in I Can't Think Straight she and Sheth engaged in steamy sex scenes with major pay off for the characters and viewers, but for Ray it was just another work day as she told SheWired in 2008:

"That was....another day of work. That was punch in, punch out I'm sorry to report. Literally or metaphorically but it was."

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The Couldn't Care Less Approach:

The other "it" girl of the moment, Kristen Stewart,  became insta-idol to angsty teens who don't drink, do drugs or have sex as Bella Swan in the Twilight phenomenon. Now she's poised to tap into the lez demographic with her portrayal of bad ass Joan Jett in The Runaways.  Kristen and costar Dakota Fanning, who's playing Runaways' singer Cherie Currie,  engage in a little one on one in the biopic. Both actresses were completely laissez faire about the whole thing girl-on-girl thing when interviewed at Sundance recently. A sign of the times perhaps that kissing girls is no bid effing deal.

Here's Kristen:

"It's just something we did. In this story, it's so not like a romantic thing. It's just something that they just do."

While remaining fairly "eh" but the entire affair Dakota managed a tad more pizzazz:

"It wasn't that big of a deal. It's just another part of the story. This kiss was passionate - Joan [Jett] and Cherie [Currie] were just as close as two could get."

The Can't Get Enough / Shock and Awe Approach

It's been 15 years since Emmy winner and Damages star Glenn Close portrayed Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer in the made-for-TV movie Serving in Silence, but Close is still talking about her intimate scenes with costar Judy Davis. She recently told The Daily Beast:

"...the scene at the end, although I was very open-minded and supportive, when Judy Davis and I had to kiss at the end, I really felt that for 30 seconds, maybe a minute, what it really, really felt like to be attracted to my own gender. It was kind of revelatory for me, a real frisson moment. I'll never forget it."

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A diplomat to the core, Penelope Cruz recently refused to pick a winner in the Scarlett v. Charlize kissing wars but prior to her lip lock with Scarlett, Penelope had to this to say to The New York Post when asked in 2006 who her fave onscreen kiss had been. Sorry Tom Cruise, Matthew McConaughey, Johnny Depp, Nicolas Cage and now boyfriend Javier Bardem.

"Can I say Charlize Theron?" "Yes. Charlize, Charlize, Charlize."

A seminal moment in lesbian film history arrived with Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve's vampiric love scene in 1983's The Hunger. In the The Celluloid Closet, 13 years later, Susan said the makers of The Hunger insisted her character be drunk on sherry before the big seduction. Pragmatist that she is, Susan said:

"You wouldn't have to get drunk to bed Catherine Deneuve, I don't care what your sexual history to that point had been."

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While it was business as usual for Joely Richardson on Nip / Tuck, real-life lesbian Portia de Rossi had a more visceral reaction to snogging Joely:
 
"I am a lesbian playing a lesbian. But she's a different woman than I am, so the most surprising thing is how emotional it's been for me."

Former brat packer Ally Sheedy turned heads with her electrifying star turn as a brilliant photographer, junkie and lesbian in Lisa Cholodenko's High Art. Her love scene with adorable Aussie Radha Mitchell remains one of the most poignant depictions of lesbian sex on film. Here's what Ally had to say.

"She's really hot. In every way possible, and immensely talented. It wasn't hard imagining being with her, let me tell you. We had so much chemistry. It's just there! You know, there was nothing to worry about. Also, they weren't just sex scenes. They were two women lying in bed, and it could happen, but you didn't know if it was going to happen. There was that tension going on. It was more about an emotional journey, and then it was over. There was no gratuitous sex."

For Winona Ryder, who famously appeared as a sorority girl truly, madly, deeply in love with Jennifer Aniston's Rachel on Friends, there just wasn't enough of a good thing in the final cut according to WENN:

"When I saw the episode, all you see is hair and you don't see lips. I was kind of bummed out because we got a couple of chances to do some pretty nice kisses. She's a very good kisser. "

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The Kissing A Woman is Better than Masturbating Approach

Aussie Naomi Watts had appeared in nearly 20 films and television shows before wending her way irrevocably into the hearts and minds of American audiences in David Lynch's erotic, noir freak show Mulholland Drive. The film's narrative turns on Naomi's character's interaction with Laura Harring's mysterious woman. Playing split characters Naomi offers up an intensely hot love scene with Harring, and also a disturbing masturbation scene. Here's what's on why it was better with Laura than alone:

"At least when I was with Laura, we were together and we could feel safe with our own bodies, and there was a degree of trust that we'd developed over time. The masturbation scene was incredibly difficult, and was absolutely mortifying and humiliating; it's just a very difficult thing to do."

The Seize the Publicity / Mutual Love Approach

It had nothing to do with a movie role, but this year's Academy Awards' Best Actress nominees Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep are on a pointed love / hate road to the Oscars. It began in January when America's arguably greatest actress tied with America's perennial sweetheart for the Critics' Choice Award. After feigning disgust for having to share her win with Meryl, Sandra planted one on the doyenne of the Awards' Season set and in her speech said:

"What can I say? Meryl's a great kisser!"

 
 

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Tracy E. Gilchrist

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.