We all know that feeling when you have chemistry with someone. Eyes meet, they lock and you'd swear everyone can see the sparks fly between you.
As I've stated before, I've been nude on film an astounding number of times. Sometimes alone. Sometimes in a "love scene". I thought I'd share some of my experiences with chemistry.
Many years ago, I worked on a shoot for Playboy. Erotic Fantasies (there's probably a link to Amazon on my blog - buy the dvd - I could use the commission), I think it was. And let me tell you, when I met the actor I was to work, with the sparks were flying! I could barely control the trembling of my fingers as I attempted to "act" as if I had a crush on my piano teacher. Believe me, that was the easiest part of the shoot! When the time (finally) came for the "love" to begin, I was all fluttery and nervous. We kissed, the cameras rolling, and began to gradually discover each other. Wow. Just... wow...It was really great. There is nothing quite like making out with someone who you personally find incredibly attractive.
Cut. Reset. New angle. Touch up the makeup. How in the world did we get my red lipstick up in his eyebrow? A bit of nervous laughter from myself and the other actor. Whew! We're being paid to make out and it's FUN!
Okay. We're cleaned up and ready to do the exact same thing from another angle. Now they want us to start to remove each others clothing. Piece of cake! Except for the trembling hands and all these damn buttons! Now we start to kick it up a notch. Cameras rolling, bits of clothing falling every which way. Get the wind machine in there. Beautiful!! Cut!!
Touch up the makeup. Hmmm...red lipstick everywhere. And we're not even naked yet.
Camera on dolly track now. Let's pick it up where we left off. More kissing. Oh yeah....like that...wind machine...we are completely enthralled with each other, laughing with delight as we kiss and fondle. THIS kind of chemistry totally shows on camera. You can't create this magic in the editing room. Everyone on the set can feel it! The energy is crackling about the set!
Touch up the makeup again. Leave off the red lips, just clean them up as best you can. Oh, and let's get patched and socked now.
After 3 hours of foreplay I'm supposed to get a bandaid to stick to me?
Yeah, I do the babywipe thing. Let me tell you - when a woman is excited, there's no adhesive bandage that's going to stick. They keep falling off. Over and over and over, which is reeeaaallllyyy embarassing. Every man in the world thinks women have it easy, because it's not blatantly obvious when we are excited. Yeah. Right.
Now we spend another 5 hours making out while naked in front of 30 people. It's fun. But very uncomfortable at the same time. This is the time that trust between actors becomes very important. We have to protect each other. He needs to trust that I will hide his privates and I have to trust him to do the same. Fortunately, in this instance we were both very professional and helped each other out. Fans will write to me, asking, "Why don't you just DO IT?" Asked and answered in previous posts. That's not my genre. That's not the kind of film we are on. Simple as that. Not to mention, at the time, I was seriously dating someone. So it's simply not an option, ethically speaking.
The finished product that day was really beautiful. Sensual and romantic. Playboy does love scenes better than anyone. They really know their stuff. And we had magic. Chemistry. Whatever you want to call it. The camera sees it, and while it can be faked in editing, there's nothing like the real thing.
I went home that night to the man who would later become my husband. He may not have liked the fact that I spent 9 hours or so making out with some other guy. But after all, who got the happy ending?
I never have really understood why production companies will make the first scene of the day a love scene. I’m sure it has to do with schedules, locations, and lighting set-ups, for which I have absolutely no input. But from an acting standpoint, it greatly cheapens the potentiality for a really hot scene.
After all, chemistry, and only chemistry, is what generates HEAT!
I can walk into a dressing room and scan the room for the possible women I’ll be working with, making judgments and evaluations based strictly on looks, and be optimistic or pessimistic towards the upcoming scene. It’s rare that those evaluations don’t make a major shift once spending more than a few moments interacting with my partner.
A fun, playful, flirtatious, open-minded average girl next door will blow away a cold, shy, nervous, bitter, vain perfectly-shaped model or playmate every time.
My best love scenes are always on last day of production. We’ve spent three or four sixteen hour days flirting, playing, sweet-talking and eye-balling each other and we’re both bursting at the seams to get at each other. We’ve already talked about sports, our families, politics, sex, video games, food, music, and movies. We’ve both imagined what the real thing would be like. We’ve both spent our past evenings masturbating to the thoughts of one another. We’ve eye-fucked each other to no end on set, and finally it’s time for our big scene.
Before the director can even yell, “ACTION!,” we are making out with the fierce heat of animals in rut. Before the director can tell us to start taking off each other’s clothes, we’re half undressed. Before the director can tell us to switch positions, I’m throwing her all over the bed. And when the director tells us to “build it to a climax,” we don’t want to, because we don’t want it to end. We’re having waaaaaaay too much fun.
As my sweat is pouring from my forehead, my skin is red and swollen with boiling blood, my breath is in an athletic pant, I’m tingling from all extremities , and the director yells “CUT! I think we got it. Next set-up…,” I’ll have to roll over and remove myself from the room. If there’s cold water like a pool or shower available, I’ll use it.
There’s always this awkward moment as I return from my hiatus and pass my partner in the hall. We’re both now draped in terry-cloth bathrobes, our hair disheveled, our skin still damp, our eyes averted until the last possible moment when we look at each other with sly smiles. High five! “Good scene.” “Good scene.” And off we go. “Yeah, we’re professionals. I wonder… never mind… Hmmm… Good scene. Good scene.”
If I can impart one thing to the evolution of our Species, it’s this: quality time together, building that trust and relationship, breeds chemistry that electrifies the camera, just as well as it does in our bedrooms at home. Live it. Use it. And make some sweet, sweet lovin' of your own.
Next time, we'll share with you what can happen when chemistry fails you entirely.
Monique Parent is repped by Torque Entertainment and is available for hire as an actor as well as for consultant work.
Mark Weiler is repped by Ben Scanlin at Imagination 9 and is also available for hire as an actor.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007