The Disturbing Story Behind the Iconic Spider-Man Kiss; Kirsten Dunst Opens up

The Disturbing Story Behind the Iconic Spider-Man Kiss; Kirsten Dunst Opens up
Image credit: globallookpress

There was no romance on the set when it came to filming the scene.


  • Spider-Man and Mary-Jane's kiss in the rain is one of the most iconic moments in cinema.
  • Kirsten Dunst has some unpleasant memories from her time on the set.
  • The making of the kiss was stripped of all romance due to its complexity.

In 2024, there are thousands of movies of all genres, but there are only a few iconic movie scenes. From Rose and Jack's embrace on the bow of the Titanic to Tony Stark's sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame, these scenes are few and far between. In this sense, Mary-Jane Watson and Spider-Man's upside-down kiss in the rain from Marvel's 2002 film is arguably one of the most iconic moments in cinema.

Before Marvel's multiverse, there was a time when different studios produced superhero movies. For example, Sony Pictures' Spider-Man trilogy starring Toby Maguire is still considered by many fans to be the best adaptation of the graphic novels about the titular superhero.

Sam Raimi's film series was filled with both action and romantic drama, culminating in the aforementioned kiss between Toby Maguire and Kirsten Dunst's characters. But while it looked beautiful and heartfelt on screen, it was a 'miserable' experience in real life.

Have you ever wanted to recreate the iconic Spider-Man kiss?

Mixed Feelings

Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy is not only the most beloved by fans, it was also extremely successful financially, grossing over $2.5 billion at the box office. Kirsten Dunst appeared in all three films, but her role as Mary-Jane varied from movie to movie. And while the actress mostly enjoyed her time on the set, there were a few moments that upset her.

About a month ago, Kirsten Dunst revealed that she was called a nickname on the set of Spider-Man – a 'girly-girl'. Although it was pretty innocent, it made the actress feel uncomfortable, but unfortunately, she never dared to speak up. And it seems that the kiss in the rain wasn't too pleasant either.

Unromantic Reality

Mary-Jane and Spider-Man's kiss didn't become iconic by accident. It turns out that the movie's director gave the actors some useful instructions that helped shape the beautiful moment. However, the process of filming the kiss was completely unromantic.

'I remember Sam Raimi giving me a book of famous kisses to be inspired but also he really wanted to make it special even though it was kind of miserable actually doing it,' Kirsten Dunst shared in a recent interview. 'It was pouring rain, freezing, Tobey couldn't breathe so it was almost like I was resuscitating him.'

And that's just the actress' perspective. It was probably even worse for Toby Maguire, who had his legs hanging in the air and blood rushing to his head. It's no wonder he couldn't breathe under those circumstances. It's more surprising that he managed to stay conscious and be there for one of the most iconic kisses in cinema.

Sources: Marie Claire, YouTube.