Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Scruples . . .

If I was an actor (and married), I could not do a love scene (even a kiss) with an actress who wasn't my wife. To me, this is cheating. The just acting defense doesn't work for me.

I have often wondered how married men stand there while their wives are not only kissing another man (and more), but filming it so millions can view it.

Ladies, do you really want your husband kissing Sandra Bullock? Guys, do you really want your wife kissing Brad Pitt or Russel Crowe? Many actors marry the married women they starred with.

The question gets a little foggier when someone says "What if they offered you a lot of money and you lose the role if you don't do it?" On some things, we all have our price, right?

You will notice that in Left Behind, Christian actor - Kirk Cameron never kisses Chloe.

Is it just me and Kirk?


Mark Harbeson said...

Luckily, I have a face made for radio, so it won't ever be an issue for me. ;)

I honestly don't know what I'd do in a situation like that. I'd love to say that I'd hold onto the high moral ground, stay strong, etc...but if it's that or not having a job, I can't say that I wouldn't fold under the pressure.

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

Yeah, Mark - I think this is one of those you'll never know unless you're in that situation deals. And like you said, how many of us ever will be.

Btw, I'm certainly not standing in judgement of those who do.

But this dilemma doesn't have to involve a lot money. Think off-broadway and local theatres. I certainly couldn't "cheat" in a local or college play.

What I don't know is: would I change my mind if the money was high enough? What if my wife said it was okay and encouraged me to do it?

Kay said...

I agree with you completely. How does God see it? Would it bring glory to Him? That's how to get the final answer.

Tom Vander Well said...

Stumbled upon your post this morning. It's a great question.
Let me offer you, perhaps, a different perspective. My wife and I are both actors (not on the level of Kirk Cameron and Sandra Bullock mind you - just a couple of believers trying to apply our faith to our art in small town community theatre).

My wife has played parts in which she must kiss another man (from Shakespeare to Neil Simon). I've directed her in these roles and I've been on stage with her in others. I have not had to kiss another woman on stage (she's younger and much better looking than me - thus she still gets the romantic leads while I get the older father type parts).

Kissing another on stage really hasn't been an issue for us for the following reasons:

(1) We are in this art together. Theatre is our mission field and we are both working towards being great actors who glorify God.
(2) We both accept that, when we take on a role, we are to play that role with all of our heart and ability. We are to be true to the metaphor of the script and the character. If we are uncomfortable with what a role requires of us, we wouldn't audition - and neither of us would audition for any show without discussing it.
(3) We are totally solid in our love and commitment to each other, our marriage, and to our art. She may be kissing that young man as Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing on stage, but when the curtain falls she will be going home with me. Her whole heart and her body are mine, thank you very much. This, I know. I've never questioned it.
(3) What are boundaries are and what we are comfortable or uncomfortable with on stage is a constant topic of conversation.
(4) We respect each others boundaries. If there was ever a hint of concern I know we could be honest about it and discuss it. I'm confident that the other would give up the role in a heartbeat should the other be uncomfortable about a role they were playing.

Now, whether either of us would get naked and do a love scene on screen...a different question (and one that I'm confident we'll never have to face!)

I think that you've stumbled upon a "food sacrificed to idols" debate. For some Christians, kissing someone other than your spouse on stage would be considered adulterly. For my wife and I, it comes with the territory on the path to which we've been called.

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

Thanks for the insight, Tom.

It's good to hear from someone who actually has to face this issue.

As I've said before: I'm not judging.

However, I wonder how easy it is to rationalize one's way into following their passion. Me included.