Neal McDonough has been in the acting business for a long time, but his path hasn't always been easy, mostly because he refuses to do sex scenes or even make out with another actress onscreen. Recently, he talked about the time he was fired from the show Scoundrals for not wanting to do a sex scene, as well as how his career has been affected in general by not agreeing to onscreen kisses.
I was [surprised], and it was a horrible situation for me. After that, I couldn't get a job because everybody thought I was this religious zealot. I am very religious. I put God and family first and me second. That's what I live by. It was hard for a few years. Then [Band of Brothers producer] Graham Yost called me and said, 'Hey, I want you to be the bad guy on Justified. I knew that was my shot back at the title.
A lot of people know Neal McDonough from his work on Justified, playing the highly unromantic Robert Quarles, an antagonist in the third season of the FX series. He only got the gig after years of combatting the idea that some people in Hollywood thought of him as, well, too religious for Hollywood.
Yes, Neal McDonough says that faith is a big part of his life. In addition, however, he also just has a lot of respect for his wife Ruvé Robertson and says he doesn't want any playacting at lovemaking due to his his respect for her.
When [creator] Marc Cherry signed me, I said, 'I'm sure you know, but I won't kiss anybody.' He was like, 'But this is Desperate Housewives!' I said, 'I know.' He paused for about five seconds and said, 'All right, I'm just going to have to write better.' And we had a great time.
Neal McDonough's Desperate Housewives role occurred during 2008 and 2009 and the actor ended up being on 24 episodes of the series in full. After a few tough years, the role in Justified came around in 2012.
Then Neal McDonough went on a bit of a tear, taking a bunch of short guest stints, but then also taking larger TV gigs in Mob City, Public Morals, To Appomattox, Suits, and of course Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow.
In 2019, you'll be able to see him in The Jesuit, Sonic the Hedgehog on the big screen and in Project Blue Book on TV.
Just don't expect him to change his mine and try a sex scene for kicks anytime soon.