Graham Norton wasn’t shy in wanting Allison Janney to demonstrate the kissing technique that she was taught by Meryl Streep, in fact he seemed pretty excited. And why not? Janney is an attractive older woman with a great sense of humor and it was more of a demonstration than anything really fully on and tongue-heavy. That still doesn’t take away from the fact that a kiss is a kiss, whether it’s demonstration or actual passion. Of course what it means to each person is what makes it a good thing or something that just passes between them. Have you ever noticed that?
Kissing is something you don’t generally take for granted unless it’s a quick peck on the cheek or forehead or anywhere but the lips, meaning above the neck so your minds don’t tend to wander. So long as it’s not on the lips people might grant the benefit of the doubt that it could be completely innocent. There are even occasions, such as this one, when the a moment of kissing on the lips is still deemed as okay since it’s not considered to be anything serious. Think about it, actors kiss onscreen all the time and little if anything ever comes from it since it’s their job. But huh boy, kissing someone on the lips when it’s not work-related and not being used as a means of explanation or demonstration is something that a lot of people get bent out of shape, or excited, about.
One very big reason is that a kiss on the lips is usually seen as something that’s reserved for those that are in some way connected to one another or at the very least amorously connected at that time. Pressing one’s lips against another person’s is usually seen as the act of passion, love, whatever one cares to call it in the moment, and is generally thought to be a very sacred thing that people don’t take lightly unless it’s in one of those situations that I previously described. Kissing as an actor is something that seems like it would be just another part of the job description and something to get used to. As a non-actor it seems funny that anyone would get used to kissing someone that’s not their spouse, lover, or significant other, but obviously Janney has done her time and, like so many others, has found ways around making it an emotional thing that connects her in any way to her fellow actors.
That seems like an odd life when you really think about it, especially since kissing is such a personal act, but actors seem to have very little in the way of personal space on the job so it would seem that they are forced to get used to it or find another job. One thing that seems like it might be common though is to at least expect some courtesy from their fellow actors when it comes to overall hygiene. After all, who wants to kiss someone that smells and has rotten breath?