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Liz And Ressler's Kiss On 'The Blacklist' Was Pretty Tricky To Do

The Blacklist Elizabeth Liz Keen Megan Boone NBC
Will Hart / NBC

For Liz and Ressler’s fans, their first kiss on “The Blacklist” was a long-awaited milestone. After all, the series has been flirting with how platonic their friendship is for eons. So, it was a tad surprising when the crime drama made its 2021 return and wasted no time before having Liz lock lips with Ressler. What viewers did not see is that pulling that kiss off required some extra behind-the-scenes effort.

Normally, doing a kissing scene is not that tricky. However, this is 2021, and things are not normal. Hence, to make what viewers sawhappen between Liz and Ressler was probably strange to watch off-screen. Did you notice anything weird on it? Well, a behind-the-scenes secret made “The Blacklist” kiss unusual by the show’s regular standards. The series’ executive producer, John Eisendrath, provided the info, telling ET:

The kiss reminds me that it was also difficult to do a kiss in the world of the pandemic. And so, they were each kissing a mannequin. . . . We're proud of the fact that it doesn't appear as if [that's the case]. When you watch it in general, it doesn't feel like it's really at all, despite the fact that we're filming in the pandemic and that is the most clear example.

That’s right. Actors Megan Boone and Diego Klattenhoff did not kiss each other to sell Liz and Ressler’s climactic lip lock. They actually laid one on a mannequin. It all makes sense now. Was I the only one who thought the super-tight close-ups of Liz and Ressler’s faces were a bit strange? It seems it was all in an effort for “The Blacklist” to film that kiss.

You can, of course, “thank” the COVID-19 pandemic for the strange circumstances. After learning this info, this fan of “The Blacklist” is even more impressed by Liz and Ressler’s big moment. Megan Boone and Diego Klattenhoff really sold it, and I cannot imagine it was easy to keep a straight face as they played the scene.

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At least, “The Blacklist” actors can take solace in knowing they are not the only ones having to play intimate scenes this way. In a world post-COVID, the film and TV industry has had to get creative. CBS soap, “The Bold and The Beautiful” made headlines earlier this year when the series’ executive producer, Bradley Bell, told Forbes its plans.

The show announced it would turn to “latex mannequins” (yep) or the cast’s negative-testing real-life partners for its intimate scenes. Yes, really. The latter part is a lot easier to handle than the former, and thankfully, “The Blacklist” sailed through its reckoning with the new guidelines. In related news, one has to imagine Liz and Ressler’s subsequent love scene got filmed similarly.

To which, I continue to express my awe of “The Blacklist” cast. It should be a while before they have to make out with a mannequin again, and not because behind-the-scenes protocols have changed. Considering the track Liz is on now, it should take a minute before she and Ressler have a chance to let their flame simmer again. Oh, rogue love.

Liz is still on the run after declaring war on Red, who she has sworn to kill despite the fact he is dying of an imminent (mystery) illness. Hence, Liz and Ressler’s lack of prospects. The renewed NBC series has not been huge on romance since Tom Keen’s sudden death ripped a hole through Liz’s love life, and Samar’s departure wrecked Aram’s.

I am not going to count Aram’s ill-advised relationship with that scammer last season. That said, the crime drama does seem to be refortifying its romantic center. “The Blacklist” revealed that Red has a bona fide ex-girlfriend. Hopefully, there will be more where that revelation came from in the future. Of course, it would be nice for COVID protocols to eventually be a thing of the past, and actors can safely get back to business as usual.

For now, though, they will have to make do by making out with mannequins and impressing fans with their conviction while doing so. Stay tuned to see if Liz and Ressler can capture another kiss when “The Blacklist” continues this Friday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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