If I ever want to be the talking point of conversation with my actor & model friends in L.A., I just talk about how I've never had a girlfriend. That conversation usually will segue to their being even more shocked when I reveal I've never had a first kiss.
Well, sort of, because technically speaking I have had two kisses - but both on screen. However, I still have never had that magical first kiss experience in real life! In fact, I actually JUST started dating a girl last month and I'm holding out hope that my third kiss will be my first and that real life is more extraordinary than on camera.
I've always imagined my first real kiss being private, romantic, intimate and of course with that one special girl who melts my heart.
But my first kiss ever was for a movie called "Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant." The director Paul Weitz wanted it to "be natural & look like a first kiss" so we didn't practice at all. In the story, the kiss took place outside and unfortunately for me, an outdoor kiss meant that the entire 200 member crew got a great view of my first lip lock.
I remember thinking a lot about that kiss and my worst fear was that I'd embarrass myself and all the crew would make fun of me. But the kiss was over before I realized what happened and I walked away wondering why kissing gets so much hype. My kissee was gracious and patient with me, but since we were both going through puberty that first kiss tasted a lot like makeup.
I had my second kissing experience filming my latest project: "Because Of Gracia" and this time I had to kiss a married woman! It actually was really helpful because she knew what she was doing.
Leading up to the kiss I wasn't really worried at all, seeing as my first onscreen kiss hadn't been that big of a deal. My mindset was that the kiss was just part of the gig. However, the lead, Moriah Peters (my love interest in the film), was a little more tentative to jump into the smooch.
While Moriah was deciding if she wanted to kiss me, our director Tom Simes considering swapping in Moriah's husband, musician Joel Smallbone of the band For King & Country, just for the kiss. We both had brown hair and are around the same height, so it wasn't totally unrealistic.
But Tom decided that the kiss was an integral part of the story, an important climax in the story and it was key for the audience to have that connection with the two main characters.
The day we were scheduled to film the kiss I woke up and immediately began questioning myself, realizing it had been five years since my previous onscreen kiss. As we began blocking the scene, I started freaking out. What do I do? How do I kiss again? I tried remembering my first experience. Did I turn my head at all? Did I go right, left, did I close my eyes, or keep them open? Worst of all, just as we were about to roll, I realized the woman standing in front of me was extremely beautiful (DUH!).
Tom called out to me: "you ready Chris?" I lied – "yep". As the camera dollied in to capture the magic moment – I totally froze, hit with all the thoughts that I had been pushing away. It was like my body didn't know what to do so it came to a screeching halt. I just stood there awkwardly. I looked at Moriah, looked in the camera, and then just looked down sheepishly as everyone laughed. Thankfully Moriah knew what she was doing. She coached me through what to do and we nailed it in two takes.
Looking back I can laugh about it too! Going forward though I realize as an actor you always need to prepare for each scene, no matter what, to realize that you're an actor playing a character who is kissing another character in a made up story. It's just part of the character you're playing and the story you're telling! Once I shook myself out of my initial fear and actually thought about the kiss, I was fine! The kiss was just a part of a scene that is a part of an overall story. In Because of Gracia, it wasn't so much Chris Massoglia kissing Moriah Peters as it was Chase kissing Gracia. It really wasn't a big deal at all.
With two onscreen kisses under my belt, but still none in real life, I'm really not looking forward to my next onscreen kiss, I want to experience the REAL DEAL accompanied with emotion, passion, and romance! I hope I'm not hyping it up too much.
My real-life girlfriend actually doesn't want to have her first kiss until she's engaged. Even though she's gorgeous and it might be hard, I'm going to honor her desire and continue waiting for that authentic first kiss and I'll make sure that no cameras are rolling.
Chris Massoglia broke into the film industry at the age of 10 and has worked with some of Hollywood's finest actors and Academy Award winners. His television credits include guest starring on NBC's "Law and Order" and regular roles on TNT's "Wanted," TBS' "Boy's Life," and NBC's "Medical Investigations." His next film "Because of Gracia" opens in theaters nationwide on September 15.
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