It’s the 20th anniversary of the deliciously tawdry teen drama Cruel Intentions (a riff on Stephen Frears and Christopher Hampton's Dangerous Liaisons). To commemorate the occasion, Entertainment Weekly assembled an oral history of the film with cast members Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Selma Blair, Ryan Phillippe, and Joshua Jackson. One of the enduring scenes from the movie in which Gellar’s Kathryn and Phillippe’s Sebastian play sexual parlor games with one another and ruin lives in the process comes when Kathryn teaches Blair’s virginal Cecile how to French-kiss.
Naughty and ahead of its time for a kiss between women in a mainstream teen movie, the scene went on to become iconic. Gellar and Blair even re-created the kiss at a performance of the Unauthorized Musical Parody of Cruel Intentions at Rockwell Table and Stage in Los Angeles in 2015. Blair Instagrammed a photo of the two of them and wrote, “Back with my girl. Still my favorite kiss.” Gellar wrote about their reunion kiss, “My lessons paid off!”
No oral history about Cruel Intentions would be complete without a discussion of the kiss. Of course, they touched on it.
Blair told a funny story about the kiss for EW, while Gellar remembered it fondly.
“I’d never kissed a girl before. I remember I was like, ‘What if I really am a horrible kisser?’” she said. “My mother, after seeing it for the first time, told me, ‘Honestly, Selma, did you have to use so much tongue? That poor Sarah, she looks so delicate, and then you just have that Goliath in her mouth.’”
Gellar said of the scene, “All I remember thinking was I could kiss Selma all day! Her skin was so soft.”
“My skin is really sensitive, so when I kiss on camera a lot, it gets raw,” Gellar added.
The cast also discussed just how button-pushing the film was.
“It was so naughty and so funny, but also such a classic, even if it’s not politically correct,” Blair said. “It’s a story that endures, and people do still act that way. They just don’t want people to know about it.”
In honor of the anniversary, Cruel Intentions returns to theaters for one week beginning Friday.