'Desperate Housewives' Actor Neal McDonough Says He Refuses to Kiss His Co-Stars
By Paige Gawley
There's one thing actor Neal McDonough won't do for a role.
The 52-year-old actor -- who's appeared on shows including Desperate Housewives, Suits and Arrow -- recently told Closer Weeklythat he won't kiss anyone who's not his wife, Ruvé, due to his "devout" Catholicism.
“I won’t kiss any other woman because these lips are meant for one woman,” he said of Ruvé, whom he wed in 2003.
The actor is known for his role of Dave Williams -- husband to Nicollette Sheridan's Edie Britt -- on Desperate Housewives , but his no kissing rule was a bit of a shock to the show's creator, Marc Cherry.
"When 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."
Though Cherry was understanding about McDonough's stance, the same can't be said for Scoundrels, an ABC show that ran for one season in 2010. The show, McDonough claims, fired him after learning that he wouldn't agree to onscreen sex scenes.
"It was a horrible situation for me," he admitted. "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."
Eventually, Graham Yost, whom McDonough worked with on Band of Brothers, offered him a role on Justified. "I knew that was my shot back at the title," he said.
Since his unfortunate experience with Scoundrels, McDonough thinks his career has only improved.
"I think my acting got so much better because I really appreciated it," he said. "I took a shot on the chin, but I was not going to lose the fight. And it worked. My career has been phenomenal ever since."
In spite of his flourishing career, the thing that matters most to McDonough is Ruvé and their five children -- James, 4, Clover, 7, London, 8, Catherine, 11, and Morgan, 13.
"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 gushed. "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."
"God gave me this talent of being an actor, and I’m not going to waste it," he added. "That’s just who I am. I love working, and with five kids and a fantastic wife, I want to make sure I’m taking care of everyone. That’s what my dad did, and that’s what I’m going to do."