Suits star Neal McDonough refuses to do kissing scenes

Neal McDonough in ArrowNeal McDonough, who has played starring roles on series such as Arrow (pictured at left) and Suits, and appeared in the feature films Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) and Proud Mary (2018), won’t kiss his co-stars in any of his roles.

During an interview with Closer Weekly, he said, “I won’t kiss any other woman because these lips are meant for one woman.”

That woman is his wife of 15 years, former model Ruvé Robertson. They met in London while he was in England filming the Golden Globe-winning TV mini-series Band of Brothers, and he says it was love at first sight. He immediately called the woman he was dating at the time and told her, “I’m sorry, it’s not going to work out with us anymore — I just met the woman I’m going to marry.”

Luckily, his stance hasn’t cost him too many roles. When he landed a recurring role as Dave Williams, the husband of Nicolette Sheridan’s character on Desperate Housewives, he told creator Marc Cherry he couldn’t kiss anyone, and Cherry finally agreed, saying “All right, I’m just going to have to write better.”

However, Neal was let go in 2010 after three days of filming on the ABC show Scoundrels because his character was expected to do sex scenes with co-star Virginia Madsen. “I was [surprised], and it was a horrible situation for me,” he said about being fired. “After that, I couldn’t get a job because everybody thought I was this religious zealot. I am very religious. I put God and family first, and me second. That’s what I live by. It was hard for a few years. But I was not going to lose the fight. And it worked. My career has been phenomenal.”

Since then Neal has played lead roles on numerous TV series, including Project Blue Book and Legends of Tomorrow, and has regularly been seen on the big screen. His upcoming feature films include the upcoming crime drama The Jesuit alongside Tim Roth and Paz Vega, and the comedy The Buddy Games with Josh Duhamel and Dax Shepard. ~Alexandra Heilbron

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Comments & Discussion

  1. Ann • January 10, 2019 @ 11:24 AM

    He is a good actor and that is what matters. It does encourage the writers to write better. I wonder how many times has it been said ahhh we don’t know what to do, “Let’s throw in a sex scene or a car chase.” I think it is a refreshing change and it would be great to see more actors follow suit (pun intended).

  2. CDubya • January 10, 2019 @ 11:38 AM

    That’s admirable and it worked out for him, but it’s just acting. I do think a lot of sex scenes go wayyy too far and I agree less is more, but a kiss, do it and move on.

  3. Jannie • January 10, 2019 @ 12:21 PM

    Good for him. There are way too many sex/kissing scenes. If it’s a sweet, short kiss between two people in love, fine, but they always go on too long and show way too much. I don’t need to see saliva or tongues. Actually the back of one person’s head as they lean in for the kiss would be fine. That gives the audience the idea without making actors do something they don’t really want to do.

  4. Bailey, Yvette • January 10, 2019 @ 12:58 PM

    Funny, he always played villains, at least in the shows I’ve seen him in, and I didn’t particularly like him, but I like and respect him more now.

  5. Stephen • January 10, 2019 @ 1:19 PM

    Good for Neal! A man with moral principles. Personally I’m tired of wading through all the cesspool movies searching for something decent to watch. So many movies are filled with gun violence, bullets going through someone s head and we see blood splattering on the wall. This violence sickens me. It changes our psyche. Hollywood keeps producing this crap and then we wonder why America has a mass shooting every day. Oh I know some experts will say they’re not connected. Ludicrous. And now the sex scenes are just as disgusting. Go back and look at some of the old classic movies and some only twenty years ago and see how they did the shootings/sex scenes. Somebody hunched over and fell to the ground. Didn’t have to watch brains out. Just looked only 20 years ago and how they made movies and compare them to how they’re making them today. Unbelievable differences. As a father of teenagers I have to screen the PG 14 or the PG. So much violence has entered these categories now. We keep lowering and lowering our standards and allowing our children to watch what was once considered adult only. I recently read that by the time a child reaches age 14 they have seen 1000 or more killings. What a time to be living.

  6. KAREN ALEX • January 11, 2019 @ 4:38 PM

    Good for him…see how many stars with Herpie sores around their faces…sure there is make up ..but the scabs are still visible.
    I admire him

  7. RUBY WARD • January 11, 2019 @ 5:04 PM

    Great for him because evil spirits are transferred from sexual encounters. If a person disobey God, these acts brings a curse upon the Christian and their marriage will break up. Sex isn’t free and it is costly because it is a sin against God if you are a believers.

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  9. MaryCarol Randall • January 12, 2019 @ 3:57 PM

    I think that if the role really needs for him to kiss someone, they could film him from the back leaning forward and the audience could imagine the rest, and he wouldn’t have to violate his pledge to his wife. And good for him for being so loyal to his marriage.

  10. Stephen • January 12, 2019 @ 9:58 PM

    He has always been a favorite actor of mine (especially cause of Band of Brothers), but I have even more respect for him now. It’s great to see someone who doesn’t treat it as “it’s just sex” or “it’s just a kiss”, but that it is something special and should be treated as such. Neal, keep up the good work in films and life!

  11. Rhonda Jackson • January 12, 2019 @ 11:29 PM

    CULT…all religions are cults. Seriously..think about it…! There are too many religions too many Gods. MEN, pick and choose when being called out on behaviour and it is so easy for them to call on RELIGION! History People…Governments needed to control masses…they created GODS…and they recruited those that were most evil and demented to help them control the masses (POOR)

  12. joseph • January 13, 2019 @ 3:30 AM

    FINALLY…a man with conviction and a backbone !! the very best to you and yours neal!!

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