‘Ghost’: Patrick Swayze Felt the Pottery Scene Was Sexy Without the ‘Humpage’
Movies fans recognize the pottery love fest in Ghost as one of the most iconic scenes in film history. It’s been duplicated, imitated, parodied, and celebrated, but Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore set the screen on fire — without a kiln. The pair never worked together before, and it took them time to warm up to each other on set.
Once he read the script, Swayze felt determined to win the role of Sam Wheat. He and Moore fell into sync as an on-screen couple, and he loved the way they played that steamy clay-molding session.
Patrick Swayze praised sensual ‘Ghost’ pottery scene
Swayze discussed his views on love scenes in movies in his book, The Time of My Life, written with his wife Lisa Niemi. He remembered his experience shooting the famous pottery sequence with Moore, and admitted he felt nervous. However, they followed each other’s cues rather than followed the script. That helped to loosen the tension.
Further, Swayze appreciated the subtle way Sam and Molly became passionate in that moment. He liked how it was not outright sex.
“It was pretty sexy playing in all that clay, so all we had to do was go with it, let our imaginations run wild, and then touch each other’s arms for the sparks to fly,” he wrote.
“The best love scenes don’t require what I call ‘humpage’ — in fact, that often takes away from the tension. You don’t really want to see the characters jumping each other’s bones. You want to see them looking intently into each other’s eyes, in an intimate, personal moment that conveys desire. That’s what I feel is sexy.”
Swayze added that it’s not easy to flow into love scenes on camera, and he felt he had to live up to an expectation. “I always felt extra pressure, since I was supposed to be Mr. Sexy, if you believed all the magazines. Of all the scenes I ever shot, I probably felt least confident about the love scenes.”
He said Moore exhibited a warmth while shooting this scene that really translated on screen, and that helped showcase Sam and Molly’s love.
‘Ghost’ director Jerry Zucker nixed a sex scene
Originally, the pottery wheel and all its phallic symbolism was not supposed to take center stage. During a 2015 interview with Vanity Fair, Jerry Zucker shared that they filmed a lovemaking scene for that section of the movie. They cut it.
“We just kind of looked at each other and started to understand that what we had was really amazing. The pottery scene proved to be so erotic that we didn’t need anything else,” he said.
‘Ghost’ killed it at the box office
Swayze and Moore always spoke highly of the film and what its message meant to them. Though Ghost was not an immediate hit with critics, it soared at the box office to the tune of $505 million. And it brought “Unchained Melody” back on the Billboard Charts. To re-watch the famous love + clay session, fans can stream Ghost on Netflix.