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Hallmark, kissing, and COVID-19 -- in the new reality of filming in a post-coronavirus era, the protocol for filming a kissing scene has dramatically changed behind the scenes. Hallmark movies are no exception, and one of their stars, Jesse Metcalfe, has explained the “rigorous” guidelines by which a tender Hallmark kissing scene is now performed.

Jesse Metcalfe is still allowed to kiss a fellow human. Unlike The Bold and the Beautiful, which has turned to “latex mannequins” and the cast’s real-life significant others to get the job done. Hallmark has a different plan, as Metcalfe explained. The actor has an upcoming movie (Ships in the Night: A Martha’s Vineyard Mystery), and there will be a kiss! On filming said interlude, Metcalfe told Variety:

I do have one kiss in the movie. We’re going through a rigorous protocol. We both got COVID tested again. And then, we’re using a topical spray on our faces that I guess kills the virus. And we’re also using a special mouthwash after the kissing scene. Everyone can have their own opinion about that and the effectiveness of that, but there’s definitely quite a protocol surrounding intimacy while filming.

Coronavirus testing, topical spray, and a special mouthwash are all part of Hallmark’s protocol, according to recent kisser Jesse Metcalfe. The on-screen lip-lock could not have stricter guidelines, save for a mouth barrier and a COVID-zapping robot. Regardless of either, Hallmark is doing its part to keep its cast and crews safe.

The family-friendly network is on the lower end of having to worry about how to do on-screen intimacy. Chesapeake Shores’ Jesse Metcalfe shared that he only had a single kiss in his upcoming Hallmark movie, which as a long-time Hallmark viewer, does not seem related to coronavirus restrictions. Like a Highlander, there can usually only be one peck per film.

The Hallmark movie formula usually includes a near-kiss followed by a misunderstanding/disagreement at the 1:45-mark that threatens to derail the burgeoning couple. After that issue gets settled around the 1:55-mark (post-commercial cliffhanger), the couple shares the much-anticipated kiss the whole TV film has been building towards. Of course, Ships in the Night: A Martha’s Vineyard Mystery is different because it is part of a movie series.

I have not seen one of the A Martha’s Vineyard Mystery movies yet. So Jesse Metcalfe and his love interest may have already shared a kiss before, and possibly navigated the intimate terrain I just mentioned (or not). Either way, the coronavirus is being taken seriously as Hallmark restarts production, and it is not alone.

Hallmark’s When Calls the Heart is using safety precautions as it resumes filming. One of the show’s stars, Erin Krakow, even shared a picture from the set replete with her wearing her mask. Elsewhere, actor Ryan Paevey, who is a Hallmark regular like Jesse Metcalfe, talked about having to quarantine ahead of filming his upcoming Christmas movie.

So let the kissing commence. Hallmark has thought of everything before letting its actors share that often one-off kiss that fans usually wait for an entire movie to see. Build up is critical! As a long-time Hallmark viewer, I remember when there was more than one peck allowed to punctuate a film. But in the age of COVID-19, one kiss is probably all we need.

Ships in the Night: A Martha’s Vineyard Mystery will arrive at some point. Afterward, enjoy this fall’s premieres. For a limited time, you can stream Jesse Metcalf in the first season of Hallmark’s Chesapeake Shores on Amazon Prime Video. The show’s brief engagement ends on August 31. You can watch the kisses of When Calls the Heart on Netflix (along with some 2020 additions).

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