Hallmark Stars Reveal Awkward COVID-19 Kissing Rules

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Kissing in front of a film crew is never particularly romantic. But it was especially awkward while so many COVID-19 protocols have been in place. Extra precautions are being used to make sure no one gets sick from a kissing scene. Here are some behind-the-scenes stories Hallmark stars like Jesse Metcalfe and Holly Robinson Peete shared about how kissing scenes work in a pandemic world.

Holly Robinson Peete Said You Get ‘Sprayed in the Face with Alcohol’

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In an interview with ZORA, Holly Robinson Peete shared that kissing is especially awkward in a post-pandemic filming world.

Peete told ZORA:

They’re very strict on set in Canada. [That’s] one of the reasons why they have so few cases. We had strict protocols on set. … Already kissing scenes are not romantic to make anyway, but it’s like rinse [your mouth]… get sprayed in the face with alcohol, and now be in love and have a passionate kiss…”

Jesse Metcalfe Said They Have to Use a Special Mouthwash

Jesse Metcalfe

GettyJesse Metcalfe

Jesse Metcalfe, who starred in Hallmark’s Ships in the Night: A Martha’s Vineyard Mystery, talked to Variety about the pandemic protocols for filming in Canada. He said he had to get a COVID-19 test in Los Angeles and then quarantine for 14 days when he arrived in Canada. He had to get a second test before filming.

Metcalfe shared that kissing for filming involved very rigorous safety protocols.

He told Variety:

We both got COVID tested again. And then, we’re using a topical spray on our faces that I guess kills the virus. And we’re also using a special mouthwash after the kissing scene. Everyone can have their own opinion about that and the effectiveness of that, but there’s definitely quite a protocol surrounding intimacy while filming.”

Interestingly, a study revealed that certain types of mouthwash can kill COVID-19 within seconds. Sky reported in November that an oral mouthwash with .07% of cetylpyridinium chloride could reduce the levels of the coronavirus in someone’s saliva. The University of Wales planned to conduct a 12-week clinical trial on the mouthwash. CPC is recognized as helping against gingivitis and plaque, Express reported in December, so it is found in many mouthwash brands such as Dentyl, Crest pro-health multi-protection, Colgate Total Pro-Shield, Sensodyne Pronamel Daily Mouthwash, Oral-B Pro-Expert Multi-Protection alcohol-free, Colgate Plax Cool Mint, and OraCare+ Sensitive alcohol-free, among others.

Lifetime Used Plexiglass

Lifetime took things one step further in the kissing department while filming their Christmas movies, The Wrap reported. Amy Winter, head of programming for Lifetime, told The Wrap that some productions have the actors kiss through plexiglass that is later removed in post-production.

Winter said: “Everybody was incredibly concerned about, as we were figuring it out, making sure that we were following the best possible guidelines to keep people safe. We all sat down, even before we got started, saying, how is anybody even going to kiss in these movies, given the circumstances? … (The) greatest, oddest solution I’ve seen so far is people kissing through plexiglass that can be removed in post, which is absolutely phenomenal.”

The plexiglass solution was used for Christmas Ever After starring Ali Stroker and Daniel di Tomasso.

Some production companies outside of Hallmark and Lifetime were even considering using a disinfecting robot on set, The Hollywood Reporter reportedBlue Bloods is one of the series looking into the Xenex Germ-Zapping Robot, which uses “LightStrike” technology to deactivate 99.9% of the virus within two minutes.

READ NEXT: Where Was Hallmark’s Rome in Love Filmed?

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