Bruce Willis Refused To Kiss Jennifer Aniston While Guest Starring On Friends

From its premiere in 1994 to the bittersweet series finale of "Friends" in 2004, the beloved comedy series has won over the hearts of millions of fans across the world. As a testament to the show's timelessness, even to this day it still continues to captivate a new generation of audiences via re-runs and streaming.

Throughout the show's 10-season run, "Friends" welcomed numerous Hollywood icons to the Central Perk coffeehouse, adding an extra shot of stardom to the already stellar cast. One of the most memorable guest appearances in the show is the guest appearance by Bruce Willis. The "Die Hard" star portrayed the role of Paul Stevens, the intimidating father of Ross' girlfriend in season 6.

Willis' no-nonsense character with a surprising softer side showcased his versatility as an actor. His presence also brought a fresh dynamic to the show. However, the great response to his "Friends" stint was tainted by rumors involving one of the lead cast members of the show. Willis only appeared in three episodes of the series, and during this time he was given the chance to have an intimate scene with Jennifer Aniston — with whom he apparently declined to engage in an onscreen kiss.

Friends don't kiss their friends' wives

The chemistry and dynamics between performers in filming a scene are vital to create a believable narrative. However, sometimes the creative choices the actors make can lead to unexpected headline-worthy stories. Though Rachel and Paul end up dating (making Ross' situation even more awkward), Willis was unwilling to kiss Aniston during his appearance on "Friends." Thankfully, Aniston did not take offense as Willis' reasons had nothing to do with her as a person. Instead, his refusal had something to do with one of the closest people in her life at the time.

Asked about kissing Jennifer Aniston by Rolling Stone in 2000, Willis clarified that the two of them never actually locked lips. "It's the illusion of a kiss," he said. "I actually didn't kiss her. I kissed her on the cheek. I would've liked to, but, you know, Brad [Pitt is] a friend of mine. And Jennifer's his wife." 

Pitt and Willis had gotten close after working for the film "12 Monkeys" in 1995. Given their friendship, it's understandable for Willis to decline such great opportunity. "It just didn't seem appropriate," he said, quickly following that up with, "But she's a babe."

Alec Baldwin had no qualms about kissing Aniston

Other actors weren't quite so hesitant to kiss Aniston for a TV role. The "Friends" star had her own guest appearance on NBC sitcom "30 Rock" as Liz Lemon's (Tina Fey) former roommate, Claire Harper, who is somewhat emotionally unstable. This makes her irresistible to Alec Baldwin's Jack Donaghy, and the two of them end up sleeping together (more than once). Asked what it was like to make out with Aniston in an interview with Intelligencer in 2008, Baldwin joked, "It was painful. I mean, every man who's had to make out with her in TV and movies — I don't know how they do it."

The "30 Rock" star gave a slightly more straightforward answer when asked about the kiss by People. Though his initial answer was, "It was the greatest day of my life," the truth seems to be somewhere between those two extremes. "Whenever you do that with someone, it's so fake," Baldwin explained. "They're getting paid to kiss you and I'm getting paid to kiss her. But she's a doll."

For her part, Aniston greatly enjoyed her visit to the "30 Rock" set. "I had absolutely the time of my life. It was so much fun," she told Access Hollywood, describing the sitcom's regular cast as a "well-oiled machine."