Why Kevin James And Leah Remini Struggled To Film Kissing Scenes On King Of Queens

"King of Queens" ran for nine seasons, with Kevin James taking on the role of husband Doug Heffernan and Leah Remini starring as his wife, Carrie Heffernan. The spinoff of "Everybody Loves Raymond" even earned James an Emmy Award nomination in 2006 for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series. With the sitcom running from 1998 to 2007, it's no wonder that its stars had amazing chemistry on-screen. However, things were not always seamless on the set. 

As with any real-life married couple, James and Remini had their fair share of disagreements during the filming of the show. This sometimes made the romantic scenes a bit difficult to shoot. While none of their innocent fussings ever resulted in long-term bad blood between the friends and colleagues, the bickering did make for some difficult romantic scenes. Thankfully, the occasional awkwardness never seemed to affect the performance they put on for the fans. 

Kevin James and Leah Remini's fights made their kissing moments tense

The innocent disputes between fictional couple Doug Heffernan and Carrie Heffernan were typically rooted in comedy during episodes of "King of Queens." However, the real-life clashes that took place during the show's production made for awkward moments between actors Kevin James and Leah Remini. During a 2015 episode of Oprah Winfrey's "Where Are They Now?" segment, the Scientologist whistleblower discussed her relationship with James and how they navigated through friction.

"There were times when Kevin and I would argue about something really stupid, and we had to kiss, but we would make no eye contact. Like really stupid stuff, but that's because we loved each other," Remini shared. 

Remini has continuously praised James for being her first and best leading man. Remini admits James has ruined her for life when working with other men on sitcoms who simply didn't display the same warmth as he did. James was even supportive of Remini hiding her pregnancy while taping the show. And as for the comedian, James has always shared these feelings about his adored co-star.

Despite small bickering on set, Kevin James and Leah Remini remain close

Even with a few odd times of conflict at work, Kevin James and Leah Remini have remained pals all these years. In April 2023, Remini shared a selfie with James on Instagram that was taken after she attended one of his live performances. In the caption, Remini penned, "Few things bring me as much joy as reuniting with one of my favorite people on this earth @kevinjamesofficial." Months earlier in June, James also wrote a sweet birthday message to Remini: "HAPPIEST OF BIRTHDAYS TO THIS INCREDIBLE WOMAN! @leahremini, You make me laugh like no other! Could not love you more!"

These days, the TV spouses are on to new opportunities — but not before one last trip down memory lane, courtesy of a new series, new characters, but the original "King of Queens" couple vibe.

They eventually solved their kissing issues

Making a return to TV in 2016, Kevin James created and starred in the CBS series "Kevin Can Wait." In its first season, the character Kevin was married, and Leah Remini was brought on to guest-star in a two-part episode titled "Sting of Queens." Remini played Vanessa, Kevin's former police partner, and the duo had a dynamic not unlike Carrie and Doug, complete with constant squabbles, jabs, and finger-pointing. "When she came on ... it was just the greatest," James shared with New York Daily News. "We thought, 'How can we get her here full-time to be on the show?'" 

The powers that be at CBS made it happen. In Season 2, the wife was gone and Remini was the new leading lady, with Vanessa and Kevin playing business partners running their own security firm. Fans of "King of Queens" tuned in to see one of their favorite TV couples back in action, and they were not disappointed, as the couple's relationship resembled the same one that Carrie and Doug had. As James explained, "It's not necessarily they relate to the characters, it's they relate to the people who we are in a way."

As a bonus, "Kevin Can Wait" eliminated any need for awkward kissing scenes. The characters remained strictly platonic throughout the series, which only lasted two seasons. Less smooching, more bickering.