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The 3-way kiss scene in 'Challengers' wasn't in the original script, director says

Eve Crosbie   

The 3-way kiss scene in 'Challengers' wasn't in the original script, director says
  • Warning: This article contains spoilers for "Challengers," which was released in theaters on April 26.
  • One of the most memorable moments from the tennis drama was not in the original script.

It turns out that the three-way kiss scene between Zendaya, Mike Faist, and Josh O'Connor was not in the original script for "Challengers."

Instead, it seems that the scene from the tennis drama, which was released in theaters on April 26, was added sometime during rehearsals.

The sequence comes shortly after teenage tennis prodigies Tashi (Zendaya), Art (Faist), and Patrick (O'Connor) meet for the first time and set in motion the complicated love triangle that ends up affecting their lives both on and off the court.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about the scene, director Luca Guadagnino said that the moment wasn't in screenwriter Justin Kuritzkes' original script for the movie.

"I don't think that was in the script at the beginning. Not at all," the filmmaker said.

"We discussed at length with Justin the concept that the triangle needs to flesh out the possibility that all the corners touch," he added.

Guadagnino said he and Kuritzkes then developed the draft, workshopping that pivotal hotel room scene to enhance its "usefulness and fun."

"For me, it was all about staying there, staying with them, staying with the jokes, staying with the moment of embarrassment, followed by the moment of excitement, and eventually to show the geometry the movie sets up in that moment, the power that she had over them," Guadagnino continued.

It's unclear exactly who first came up with the kiss idea.

Zendaya, who also serves as a producer on "Challengers," said that while the original script was "absolutely brilliant," she knew "Luca wanted to infuse his own things into it."

Meanwhile, her costar Faist said the trio went through six weeks of rehearsals in Boston, fine-tuning the script and discussing the characters and their scenes.

"Luca had very firm ideas in terms of what should change, how it should change, why it should change in certain aspects, how to add things, how to add layers and complications of aspects of the story and these characters without actually changing dialogue so much," he said.

"So it did evolve; it did change. And that's not abnormal. But there were definitely things that were added and shifted," he added.

Zendaya, O'Connor, and Faist committed to an intense training regime to prepare themselves for their roles as tennis stars in the film, Business Insider previously reported.

The trio spent hours playing tennis, studying players, and working out to look like pros.

Brad Gilbert, the film's tennis consultant, told BI that Zendaya had "a lot of the same DNA as a tennis player, the focus and the grit, determination to do what she's doing and transform herself into the character."

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