This year's best actors paired up for nine intimate encounters in The New York Times Magazine's annual Great Performers Issue, on stands Sunday, Dec. 14.
A big-haired Reese Witherspoon puckered up for a masked Benedict Cumberbatch, Shailene Woodley dropped a peck on the cheek of "Unbroken" star Jack O'Connell, Steve Carell planted a wet one on Laura Dern, Rosario Dawson shared a sexy moment with Jenny Slate, Kristen Stewart got steamy with
Chadwick Boseman, David Oyelowo got intimate with Timothy Spall, Patricia Arquette cuddled up to Jason Schwartzman, John Lithgow seduced Julianne Moore and Gugu Mbatha-Raw shared a smooch with Miles Teller.
Similar to Tatia Pilieva's "First Kiss" video, which featured 20 strangers kissing for the first time, most of the actors used for NYT's 9 Kisses video series were also unfamiliar with each other before their shoot.
"These actors, in most cases, didn't know each other," director Elaine Constantine told ET. "And I think in a way it was a good thing that they didn't know each other because I suppose the excitement of those meetings were what created the ease of getting into something so intimate."
The New York Times Magazine's director of photography Kathy Ryan, who produced the project, shed light on some of the magic that they were able to capture.
"There was definitely a lot of laughter," Kathy said. "Getting a kiss right on film is a whole thing onto itself. There were definitely some charming moments like when Benedict Cumberbatch and Reese Witherspoon kissed. I don't want to give away too much of the videos, but there was a fumble and they just burst out laughing. There were definitely moments when a retake was necessary, but it was definitely fun."
In an essay for the magazine, film critic A.O. Scott described the pairings as "part luck, part mischief and wholly inspired -- every one a reminder of what movie love can be."
Head over to NYTimes.com/9kisses now to view all of the videos.
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