Actor Neal McDonough, known for his roles in “Band of Brothers,” “Minority Report” and “Desperate Housewives,” has a strict “no love scene” rule, and it’s cost him a job or two.
The Catholic celebrity opened up about his deeply held convictions during a recent interview with Closer Weekly, revealing he was dropped from ABC’s short-lived “Scoundrels” series in 2010 because he refused to perform sex scenes with co-star Virginia Madsen.
“It was a horrible situation for me,” he said. “After that, I couldn’t get a job because everybody thought I was this religious zealot. I am very religious. I put God and family first, and me second. That’s what I live by. It was hard for a few years.”
Was McDonough’s rule new?
The 52-year-old actor, though, has had the policy against love scenes for many years.
When he starred in ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” from 2008 until 2009, he refused to even kiss other cast members.
“When [creator] Marc Cherry signed me, I said, ‘I’m sure you know, but I won’t kiss anybody,’” McDonough recalled. “He was like, ‘But this is ‘Desperate Housewives!’” I said, ‘I know.’ He paused for about five seconds and said, ‘All right, I’m just going to have to write better.’ And we had a great time.”
Why does he have the rule?
McDonough married South African model Ruvé Robertson in December 2003. The pair has five children together. He said he won’t kiss any co-star “because these lips are meant for one woman” — his wife of 16 years.
McDonough met his now wife many years ago when he was in England filming “Band of Brothers,” the 2001 HBO miniseries.
“It was St. Patrick’s Day, and we literally bumped into each other on the street, locked eyes and that was it,” the actor recalled. “The next morning, I called the woman I was dating at the time and said, ‘I’m sorry, it’s not going to work out with us anymore — I just met the woman I’m going to marry.’”
What is he doing now?
Despite his rocky season after being bumped from “Scoundrels,” McDonough is back in action, working on a new History Channel show, “Project Blue Book,” investigating UFO conspiracy theories spanning the 1940s to 1970s.
He said the show’s content does not at all conflict with his Catholic faith.
“Who are we as human beings on this planet to say that God might not have plans in other places?” he asked. “To think it’s just us is a bit myopic. If you believe in spirits, why can’t you believe there might be extraterrestrials? Who knows?”
As for his “no love scene” policy, McDonough said he’s glad he’s stood by the rule. Because he stayed true to his personal convictions in 2010, McDonough explained, his career “has been phenomenal ever since.”
“Almost 20 years, five kids and just one heck of an awesome life later, to have her as my partner in everything, I’m just the most blessed guy I know,” he said. “That’s why I go to church every day and say ‘thank you’ to God for everything he’s given me. And most importantly, thank you for giving me Ruvé, because, without her, I most certainly would not be talking with you right now.”