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  • Chemistry between co-stars.

    I was reading a thread about chemistry between actors and how important it is to have chemistry to sell the relationship.

    I figured out how hard it is for me to notice chemistry (or the lack of chemistry); people need to point at actors and tell me that the chemistry is great before I start noticing how natural the relationship looks. TV couples that lack lots of chemistry are easier for me, but still difficult for me. I'm probably the only person who never noticed the lack of chemistry between Sarah Michelle Gellar and Marc Blucas. And now, after I heard about it, I still can't see it.

    When somebody points it out and I rewatch some scenes starring those actors, I can see chemistry. But only because I know that it is there.

    So what I wanted to know;

    Do more people have this problem? Or is it very easy to recognize chemistry between actors?

    How important is chemistry for you if you watch tv (or a movie)?

    Which co-stars do have the most chemistry according to you?

    Are there actors who have lots of chemistry accoring to everybody, but you can't see it?


  • #2
    For me what I see on screen is the chemistry between two characters. How well the actors get along is something I don't think about at all.

    I'm not really sure if that chemistry thing is not entirely subjective. If you don't like a pairing, you will rather ignore the metaphorical sparks between them, especially if they are subtle at first. Or if you think a pairing is/would be nice, you see or interpret things the way you would like them to be.
    For example, someone I know thinks there is some chemistry between Spike and Giles in Season 4, which I don't see at all (or rather of the spark of annoyance kind ).

    Something I didn't notice at first viewing was the "sparkage" between Qui-Gon Jinn and Shmi Skywalker in The Phantom Menace; I was far too focused on other characters in that scene to pay any attention to it. I only noticed it when I saw it again on DVD later on, and then I wondered why I hadn't noticed because it was fairly obvious really. But, well, I simply had paid no heed to it.

    As for the Buffy and Riley thing... their relationship works for some time, but compared to Angel earlier on and Spike later on it just is a lot less exciting, so I can see only too well where that no chemistry thing comes from. It really isn't a exciting pairing, so to say.
    Sin is what I feast upon
    I'm forging my crematorium
    Your tomb is waiting here for you
    Welcome to my ritual

    -Judas Priest, Death

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    • #3
      As a writer and (occasional) actor, I take a lot of stock in actor chemistry. Yes, the characters have to have chemistry, but that lies mostly in the writing. Sometimes you put two actors together who really just have no chemistry together.

      I find it generally easy to recognize actor chemistry, but it is something I look for while watching. If we're talking Buffy, I have to agree with Nina that I never saw a lack of chemistry between Sarah and Blucas. What I saw was a lack of character chemistry, the actors seemed quite complimentary.

      Sarah and David Boreanaz had unbelievable chemistry, as did Sarah and James Marsters (though this took a little longer to build). Seth Green and Alyson Hannigan had great chemistry, as did Nicky and Charisma. Alyson had very good chemistry with Amber Benson and very little with Iyari Limon (part of the reason their romance was widely disliked, I think).

      I find that I discover chemistry between actors mostly in throwaway scenes where certain characters don't actually have much to do. For instance: it's easy to notice chemistry when you have your two main, attractive characters having a lovely or dramatic moment together. However, when you get a big group scene and one little trade-off between two characters sparks an overwhelming response from the viewer, it's probably because you are noticing actor chemistry (or just bloody good writing). An instance of this (again keeping it Buffy) is ASH with James Marsters: whenever those two were onscreen together, the actors just had a field day. Alexis Denisof and Stephanie Romanov on Angel, also had a wonderful onscreen chemistry.

      If we're talking other shows, here's some pairs that I feel have great chemistry:

      David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel (Bones)
      David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson (X-Files)
      Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell (Battlestar Galactica)

      Some actors with no chemistry (or chemistry that I could never see):

      Joshua Jackson and Ana Torv (Fringe)
      Kristen Bell and whoever that guy was playing Duncan Kane in the first two seasons of Veronica Mars
      Regis and Kelly.
      Last edited by bknick; 01-12-08, 05:41 PM.
      You've got to get behind the mule in the morning and plow.

      www.myspace.com/brettknickerbocker

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      • #4
        Yes, I feel that the chemistry between actors does have some effect on how their relationship looks on screen, though it's hard to say how much.

        For example I thought that the relationship between Anya and Xander felt natural, her tactless oddball character notwithstanding. And I remember hearing that Emma Caulfield confirmed that she and Nicholas Brendon loved working together.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the replies until now.

          To answer my own questions;

          I think that chemistry plays a role in making an on-screen relationship work. If I notice (the lack of) chemistry between actors, it changes the relationship. But likeI said in the OP, I'm not very good in noticing chemistry. In the most cases I buy the relationship anyway.

          What interests me the most are actors who have chemistry with almost everybody. I believe that DB and JM are two of those actors. I never saw the chemistry failing when one of those two was involved. (Only Ats season 3; DB & CC were lacking something extra, but they showed in season 5 that there was lots of chemistry ... so it's forgiven. The same could be said of JM and SMG who had lots of chemistry in season 2, 4 and 5 but kind of lost it in 6 and 7. In both cases I blame the writing.)

          Some co-stars with great chemistry;

          Vincent Kartheiser & Elisabeth Moss (Pete & Peggy in Mad Men)
          Kristen Bell & Jason Dohring (Veronica & Logan in Veronica Mars)
          Lauren Graham & Alexis Bledel (Lorelai & Rory in Gilmore Girls)
          and of course;
          David Boreanaz & Emily Deschanel (Booth & Brennan in Bones)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Nina View Post
            Thanks for the replies until now.

            To answer my own questions;

            I think that chemistry plays a role in making an on-screen relationship work. If I notice (the lack of) chemistry between actors, it changes the relationship. But likeI said in the OP, I'm not very good in noticing chemistry. In the most cases I buy the relationship anyway.

            What interests me the most are actors who have chemistry with almost everybody. I believe that DB and JM are two of those actors. I never saw the chemistry failing when one of those two was involved. (Only Ats season 3; DB & CC were lacking something extra, but they showed in season 5 that there was lots of chemistry ... so it's forgiven. The same could be said of JM and SMG who had lots of chemistry in season 2, 4 and 5 but kind of lost it in 6 and 7. In both cases I blame the writing.)

            Some co-stars with great chemistry;

            Vincent Kartheiser & Elisabeth Moss (Pete & Peggy in Mad Men)
            Kristen Bell & Jason Dohring (Veronica & Logan in Veronica Mars)
            Lauren Graham & Alexis Bledel (Lorelai & Rory in Gilmore Girls)
            and of course;
            David Boreanaz & Emily Deschanel (Booth & Brennan in Bones)
            Are you talking about chemistry in a romantic way? Or any kind of chemistry, like a bond between brothers or friends? Because that?s important.

            I?m watching Supernatural now and the two actors that play the brothers are amazing with each other and they have screen chemistry. If they hadn?t, the show would be a failure.

            Chemistry is important in either way, I remember watching Fantastic Four and just being disgusted with how much screen time Jessica Alba and Ioan what?s-his-last-name had and I though they didn?t have any chemistry at all, so the movie didn?t work for me. On the other hand, Chris Evans and Michael Chilko had great chemistry with each other.

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            • #7
              Good thread.

              How important is chemistry for you if you watch tv (or a movie)?

              Vital. Heck, RPattz and Kristen even made Edward/Bella work for me, which I found unbearably stereotypical and contrived in the book.

              Which co-stars do have the most chemistry according to you?

              James Marsters/Sarah Michelle Gellar. David Boreanaz/Julie Benz. James Marsters/David Boreanaz. Seth Green/Alyson Hannigan.

              Are there actors who have lots of chemistry accoring to everybody, but you can't see it?

              Nnnnnnnot really. However, there are cases where I can see the actors' chemistry, but not the characters', if that makes any sense. David and Sarah had great onscreen chemistry, but "when I look at them, nothing happens", as West Side Story's Maria would say, because I'm not fond of the characters' dynamic.
              Last edited by Enisy; 04-12-08, 03:48 PM.

              (set made by Francy for me)

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