Monday, April 21, 2008

Bad Chemistry

Chemistry can work for you or against you. Since I've been nude in so many different types of films, I've gotten to experience it in many different ways. One of the hardest things to do, is work with someone you dislike. See, in most professions, if you don't like someone, it's pretty easy just to keep your contact with them to the bare minimum. But what if you had to have contact with them wearing the bare minimum? Yikes!!

Many years ago, I was on a film, and my co-star and I did not get along. No particular reason. Just an instantaneous reaction. Bad chemistry. We hated each other on sight.

Now considering that our characters were ex-spouses, it kind of worked for us. Except for the scene when we had to make love. Clearly, it was going to be a problem.

Usually, the actors who are involved in a love scene together will try to take a few minutes and talk about it. Either with the director, or just on their own. They discuss what they are comfortable with or not comfortable with, and essentially just reassuring each other that they respect one another. But when you hate each other and won't speak, that's a little tough to do. The director recognized this and spoke to us each separately.

When it came time to shoot the scene, there we were...each in our own corner.... preparing for battle.... and that's exactly what it was... A battle. We kissed . And scratched, bit, clawed, pushed, pulled, chewed, spanked, slapped and tore into each other. It was not a pretty, romantic, love scene. We really tried our damnedest to hurt each other. But let me tell you.... That scene had passion. We crackled with it. We used our dislike for each other in the scene and because it was honest, it worked.

The camera sees everything. The camera (and therefore, the audience) knows truth from lies. There is no way in hell we could have sold a loving, tender scene. We simply could not have done it. Our feelings would show.... The hesitancy in the kiss, being tentative - (if it were a scene with first time lovers, maybe that could work for you, but as a couple who had been married - no way). The director was very clever in that she realized the love scene would be a problem, but found a way to make the bad chemistry work for the film.

Realize that everyone is going to behave differently and be ready to roll with it. It's about making your film work, anyway you have to.

Monique Parent is repped by Peter Scott at Torque Entertainment, and maintains her website