Moonlighting With

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The Chemistry on Moonlighting
As explained by Cybill Shepherd

Cybill has never hedged on the chemistry issue, declaring openly right from the start that there was indeed this sexual attraction and tension between her and her co-star, Bruce Willis. Read into her comments what you will, but there is no denying that to her the chemistry involved more than just good acting--it was grounded in reality.

Click to play Good Morning America Interview Sept 1985Cybill and Bruce sat for an early interview with Joan Lunden of Good Morning America, September 24, 1985. The main discussion concerned the relationship of their two characters and their own personal chemistry. Both Bruce and Cybill talked about their first audition together and how intense the chemistry was from the start.

Cybill Shepherd US magazineUS magazine did a cover story on Cybill in Jan. 13, 1986 where she was asked to rate various men. When tossed the name of Bruce Willis, she responded: "He's got a really off-the-wall quality. The chemistry we had, the sexual attraction we had instantly, was also undefinable. I thought, he is really cute. And he looked me in the eye and said, "I can't do this scene. You're too beautiful."

Bruce Willis Rolling Stone InterviewWhen Rolling Stone magazine in March 1986 did a cover story on Bruce Willis, Cybill was interviewed in the process, she made the following comments: "The first time Bruce and I were in a room together, there was a reaction. Sparks flew, if you will. He's attractive and funny which not too many people have had. Cary Grant epitomizes it, maybe William Powell, but Bruce has a different quality from anyone I've ever seen. People misunderstand the chemistry thing. The chemistry's not between Maddie and David. The chemistry's between Cybill and Bruce. And that is what we use. That sexual attraction between two people can't be faked or acted. It's there or it's not."

Interviewed in 1986 during the filming of Sleep Talkin' Guy and asked specifically about the sexual electricity that she and Bruce have on camera, Cybill explained, "Well, we have a basic, raw, animal attraction to each other. There's no question about that. And that was always there." When asked about the rumors of their discord at times, her reply was, "It definitely goes up and down. There are times when we hate the sight of each other, times when we feel like hitting each other over the head with a two-by-four. Usually whenever we have a scene in which we're supposed to be angry at each other. As the scene approaches, both of us get real irritable. Like we'll fight about camera blockings and just not give in. We really get into it. Occasionally one of us will even walk off the set."

Interview Magazine with Cybill ShepherdInterview, November 1986: "...I'm a firm believer in tease. I think a lot of Moonlighting's success is based on it. The L.A. Times labeled us 'The Carrot and the Shtick.' It makes it better doesn't it, to tease you before you do it? Sometimes the longer the better?'" When asked the question about if all the fans have to look forward to is teasing on Moonlighting, Cybill answered, "Oh, I think they'll, [Maddie & David] 'do it.' It's inevitable though Glenn Caron, our producer, hasn't told us when...Just because you 'do it' doesn't mean you run out of things to tease about. What about 'doing it' again?..." Then the question was asked "How does it feel knowing that your flirting is responsible for getting half of America hot and bothered on Tuesday nights?" Cybill replied, "Isn't it amazing!"

Cybill & Bruce Moonlighting MagicFrom Cybill & Bruce: Moonlighting Magic by Barbara Siegel and Scott Siegel, 1987: "Usually screen tests are just a jerk-off, but we had a great chemistry...He's become a superb comedian and a wonderful actor. I really think he's marvelous." The feelings are reciprocated. Cybill has a photo of Bruce with the following inscription: "To Cybill--my first, funniest and most beautiful leading lady." This is not to say that they always get along. They don't...Cybill doesn't deny that she and Bruce have had their differences. "The relationship between us as actors is like a marriage," she explained. "That means there are times when we really hate each other's guts. We've had some difficult periods, but we've managed to survive them and have always gotten back to the fact that we have a lot of affection for each other."

Click for video clipOn "Cybill" there was a two-part episode from the third season titled "Going to Hell in a Limo" in which the plot and some of the characters were loosely based on Cybill's experience on "Moonlighting." The clip here is from part I which originally aired on Nov. 11, 1996 and shows Cybill's first meeting with her male co-star and a subsequent scene from their sci-fi TV show "Lifeforms" (which seems to be a cross between "Moonlighting" and "The X Files"). This scene is significant in that it is all about Cybill's chemistry with her leading man. Click icon to play video clip. (Requires RealOne player.) Cybill tells the producer as they audition actors for her co-star: "He was it! Come on! We have chemistry! My knees are shaking. Trust me. These knees don't lie."

Bruce & Cybill between scenes during The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice

Miss Cybill Shepherd

Other places on this site you can hear Cybill comment
on the sexual chemistry between her and her co-star:
  • Video clip of "Good Morning America," Jan. 1986
  • Video clip of "Good Morning America," Feb. 1987

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