Sure, the story of a high school teacher falling for what he believes to be a teenage girl hasn’t aged particularly well. But in the rom-com taxonomy, “Never Been Kissed” remains a forever classic even 20 years later.
To ring in the anniversary, Josie Grossie herself reunited the cast of the 1999 film on “The Drew Barrymore Show” this week, including Molly Shannon, David Arquette and her on-screen love interest Michael Vartan.
After bringing the “Alias” alum on stage, Barrymore and Vartan reflected on the iconic scene at the end of the movie when her character challenges him to meet her at the baseball mound and kiss her for the very first time. (In case you need a refresher, this happens after she comes clean about being an undercover reporter tasked with impersonating a high school student for a story. You know, journalism!)
Vartan, who apparently hasn’t seen Barrymore since the film premiered, revealed that for over two decades he’s been harboring a secret about the kissing scene, which he confessed got him a bit, well, excited.
“So I get up to the [pitcher’s] mound, we embrace and we start kissing, and you really kissed me,” Vartan said. “I mean, you really kissed me. I was not ― I was not ready for it in the least. And I am a man — I was a very young man back then. And you know, I had feelings ― the feelings were just, they just happened, and I very quickly realized I was in a very bad spot because I was wearing very, very loose, sort of like slacks.”
“And I thought, ‘This is going to be a disaster when they cut, I must preemptively end this,’” he continued, as a clearly flattered Barrymore began blushing and twirling her hair. “So, what I did is, in a panic, I just yelled, ‘Cut!’ and bent over and said, ‘Oh, guys, sorry. My back. I put my back out playing ball.’”
Vartan said he was eventually “able to compose myself” and get on with the scene. But then he and Barrymore upped the ante with some decidedly flirty energy.
“But you’re a very good kisser,” Vartan said, to which Barrymore responded: “You know, you weren’t married at the time. So yeah, I went for it, because you were single, and I felt like I wasn’t going to offend anybody.”
Vartan also confessed that he kept the “beautiful little fern” Barrymore gave him as a gift at the end of the film’s shoot, which he named after her. It’s since grown upward of 15 feet.
“I’ve literally kept a picture of Drew in my phone for 20 years in the odd chance that I would run into you and say, ‘Do you know what this is?’” he said of the gift.
Listen, if their love fern can thrive after all these years, Vartan and Barrymore’s very obvious and still-present chemistry can, too.
Watch the “Never Been Kissed” scene below.
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