Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts joined forces in a collaboration that sparked tremendous anticipation. Around two decades ago, the two Hollywood actors brought forth one of the most renowned political dramas in cinematic history. Having already established themselves as formidable talents in their respective careers, their partnership in The Pelican Brief was a source of great excitement amongst the fans. However, intriguingly, despite their on-screen chemistry and compelling roles, Washington and Roberts never shared a single kiss in the movie.
But why? Was Julia Roberts not comfortable kissing Denzel Washington? Or did the script demand that their characters lacked romantic intimacy?
Julia Roberts opens up about why Denzel Washington did not kiss her in Pelican Brief
Based on the 1992 novel by John Grisham, Pelican Brief is a thriller that revolves around the story of a law student Darby Shaw, portrayed by Julia Roberts, and investigative journalist Gray Grantham, played by Denzel Washington.
Uncovering the truth behind the assassinations of two Supreme Court justices, Shaw stumbles upon a far-reaching conspiracy that puts her own life at risk by becoming a threat to the killers. Determined to expose the truth, she reaches out to Grantham, and the duo embarks on the journey to gather additional evidence in order to unveil the hidden secrets.
Admitting that Roberts suggested Washington for the role from the very beginning, the Pretty Woman actress said that Washington did some amazing things with the character. However, even though the movie received fairly positive reviews with a $200 million box office collection, what bothered most fans was how the characters did not even kiss once when according to the novel, they end up as lovers.
Initially, people believed that it was Roberts who refused to have any love scenes in the movie. However, refuting the rumors, she told Newsweek,
“I have taken so much sh*t over the years about not kissing Denzel in that film. Don’t I have a pulse? Of course, I wanted to kiss Denzel. It was his idea to take the damn scenes out.”
But why did Denzel Washington take out the love scenes?
Reportedly, ‘the greatest actor of the 21st century’ was worried about how an interracial kiss will be received by the audiences. Back in 1989, Denzel Washington faced criticism from black women for a love scene with Mimi Rogers in The Mighty Queen. Adamant that he does not want to play into Hollywood’s beauty ideals, he explained to Newsweek,
“Black women are not often seen as objects of desire on film. They have always been my core audience.”
Respectful of Washington’s decision, Roberts went ahead with the changes suggested by Washington. However, this does not mean that the Notting Hill actress did not get her kiss. At the 2002 Academy Awards, when Washington won an award for Training Day, Roberts managed to steal her kiss successfully.
Source: Showbiz CheatSheet