Acting rookie Beyoncé Knowles, 21, admitted she was jittery about her kissing scenes with co-star Cuba Gooding Jr. in The Fighting Temptations (opening Sept. 19). Did her 34-year-old Oscar-winning leading man do anything to help the "Bootylicious" beauty relax?
"We worked all night on it," Gooding jokes to TV Guide Online. "Sure, she was probably a little nervous before kissing me, but she's kissed guys before. I think it was more like, 'Oh no, I'm performing for the peanut gallery of crew members and everybody else.'
"She's young, she'll get over it," he laughs. "When you are married for [nine] years [like me], you look forward to that kind of thing. Lord. She was wonderful."
But in the past, the outrageous actor has shown more than just the money before doing love scenes. "That's why they call me Butt-naked," he reveals. "That was my nickname for a long time on movie sets, because when I had a love scene, I would do the craziest things in the world. [Many people] take their sexual energy and put it into worrying about what to do logistically. I would run butt-naked through the set. Just to show them, 'Who cares? Let's get rid of [these concerns] and let's get back to the process.'"
Despite his antics, Gooding remained on his best behavior for Temptations, perhaps because much of the film takes place in a church — and the set was chock full of music performers, including many gospel legends. "Being on the set with all that musical talent was amazing," he admits. "Screw the movie. Take it and throw it in the trash. Don't look at any performances in it. But to walk into the sound stage and have my ears perk up, and I'd run around, and there is Beyoncé and the O'Jays harmonizing. I'd want to start crying. Or to see Shirley Caesar looking at the light and then all of a sudden this voice comes out, and I'd want to just stand there [all day]."
Did he ever get the urge to join in this film's heavenly choir? "Hell no!" he scoffs. "If I opened my mouth, 'They'd be like, 'What are you doing? Stick to acting.'"