Peter Sarsgaard Said Kissing Liam Neeson Was ‘Halfway Between Being Kissed and Being Eaten’

Liam Neeson will forever be known as Oskar Schindler from the acclaimed film Schindler’s ListThe 68-year-old actor from Northern Ireland has become a staple of the film industry and one of Hollywood’s favorite leading men. Throughout his career, Neeson has taken on roles of varying degrees of difficulty. A scene in the award-winning film Kinsey stands out as one of his most uncomfortable moments as an actor. Neeson confesses to having a hard time partaking in a kiss with co-star Peter Sarsgaard. The fact that his fellow actor was naked may have had something to do with it.

Liam Neeson smiling in front of a white background with repeating logos
Liam Neeson | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Neeson’s award-winning career in acting

Neeson, who once worked as a forklift driver for Guinness Beer in Dublin, moved to Hollywood in the early 1980s and started making a name for himself in the entertainment industry, according to IMDb. The hardworking Irishman starred in many films alongside some of today’s biggest actors. It wasn’t until 1993, when Steven Spielberg cast him as Oskar Schindler, that his career started to take off. His role in Michael Collins as an Irish revolutionary leader solidified his place in Hollywood. The leading man went on to star in movies such as Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace, Clash of the Titans, and Unknown. Despite his many industry awards, Neeson’s only Oscar nomination was for Best Actor in the film Kinsey.

Why Liam Neeson had a hard time with a scene in ‘Kinsey’

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The acclaimed Irish actor took on a unique role portraying Dr. Alfred Kinsey, a controversial sexologist that founded the Kinsey Institute for Sex Research in 1947. The biopic from Bill Condon, of Twilight fame, co-starred Laura Linney, who received a Best Supporting Actress nod for her role as Kinsey’s wife, Clara. Kinsey published Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, which used anatomy, psychology, physiology, and endocrinology to address human sexuality. It was the first type of research of its kind and the basis for the award-winning biopic film, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

Neeson portrayed Kinsey in the film, revealing many riveting facts about the sexologist’s groundbreaking work. In one particular scene, Neeson became uncomfortable when he was directed to kiss another man, who happened to be naked. The man, Sarsgaard, played the role of Clyde Martin, who was Kinsey’s assistant. As he comes out of the shower, there is a brief shot of full-frontal nudity. Neeson, who refused to be seen naked in the film, said the nakedness wasn’t the problem and that it was kissing another man that was awkward for him.

Sarsgaard commented that the kiss was “halfway between being kissed and being eaten,” according to the NY Post. He explained to People that it was not a good kiss, saying, “The only reason you have to be afraid, I guess, is that you might be turned on. That would be the most embarrassing thing that could happen. After we had done it once and I realized that it wasn’t at all like the kiss I was used to … as you can tell from the movie, he nearly takes my head off, so there was no danger of that.”

A difficult kiss

Neeson told The Mirror via The Free Library that having to kiss a naked man in the film Kinsey “was one of the hardest things he ever had to do.” The irony wasn’t lost on viewers that a man hesitant about kissing another man was cast in a major film to portray a major figure in sexology whose focus was largely on measuring sexuality. The Taken actor explained that he wanted to do it right and not have audiences realizing he was uncomfortable with the situation. Neeson explained, “In the end, I tackled the situation as calmly as I could. It sounds a bit boring, but it was just another day at the office.”