They tell me it's "Throwback Thursday," and though I really have no idea what that is, and I assume it's just another day Hallmark has conjured up to sell greeting cards, they ("they" being Avery, of course) said it might be fun to, on Thursdays, post excerpts from my memoirs and YouTube clips which go along with specific excerpts. Sure. That sounds fun. What was not fun, however, was the filming of this specific clip.
If you've read Scenes From Highland Falls, you know that this was the first time George and I ever had to kiss. It was 1994, and we'd already been best friends for more than 15 years. You may ask: how can a girl be that close to Clooney for that long and never be romantically involved with him? To that, I say: Eww! He's George! I don't see what a lot of the world seems to see. I mean, HE'S GEORGE! I know too much, and I've seen him at his worst. But I love the guy, so when he asked me to do a cameo for this pilot he was filming, I agreed. But let's be honest...I didn't expect it to get picked up. George's pilots never got picked up. And besides, originally my character, Carol Hathaway, died in the pilot. No kissing required.
Well, that changed, didn't it? And then, to the shock of no one except for George and me, Doug and Carol were a huge hit, and we had to kiss. A lot.
(Special "thanks for nothing" to Avery for this painful slideshow...)
We giggled pretty much every time, and became gag reel legends. "ER" Christmas parties each year were filled with minutes upon minutes of clips of George and me trying to get through our love scenes. And trust me - as horrible as it was to do, it was even worse to watch. So, with that in mind, here is a clip of the very first time I had to kiss my best friend, and an excerpt from Scenes From Highland Falls in which I describe how that came to be. Okay...I'm covering my eyes now...
That bond was tested to some extent when we received the script for the seventh episode of the first season. On the "ER" lot, George’s trailer was right next to mine, and more often than not we spent our down time on the set together in one trailer or the other. That day, however, he was in his and I was in mine when the scripts were handed out. I’ll never forget it. I sat in my trailer, reading the script, drinking a cup of coffee, but when I got to a particular line, I ran out of my trailer, in my robe and slippers, and said, to no one in particular, “You have got to be kidding me!”
The funniest part, in retrospect though not at the time, was that George had barged out of his trailer at the exact same time and said, “Hell no!”
For you see, we had both read in our scripts: Hathaway leans in and kisses Ross.
We looked at each other and ran together to the production office to tell anyone who would listen that the kiss would not be happening. They assured us it would and I threatened to walk, which just made George laugh.
Okay, we decided - we could handle it. We were adults and we were actors. Each of us had done a fair amount of screen kissing, this would be no different. But it was so different. We giggled the whole time and I had never felt so uncomfortable in my entire life. Finally, on the fourteenth take, George just went for it. The kiss lasted six seconds, and somehow it ended up coming across as somewhat hot and sexy on television. George and I just laughed more afterward, glad it was over and that we wouldn’t have to do that anymore. But, you see, that episode gave "ER" its highest ratings yet, and it became very clear to the world, though George and I wanted to believe otherwise, that Doug and Carol would be doing more kissing in the future. George was nominated for an Emmy for that first season, and I won one. Nevertheless, we didn’t like where it was heading.
Chapter 1 - "Keeping the Faith"