Benedict Cumberbatch and Reese Witherspoon and other people who aren't together inexplicably kiss for entertainment

Other names to feature include Kristen Stewart, Chadwick Boseman and Timothy Spall

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The Independent Online

Benedict Cumberbatch, Reese Witherspoon, Rosario Dawson and Kristen Stewart are among the non-couples who appear in a series of videos passionately kissing.

The New York Times project features this year’s best actors in nine kisses. Witherspoon is seen in a seemingly Buzz Lightyear-inspired dress enthusiastically kissing Cumberbatch, who is, naturally, dressed in a Mask of Zorro ensemble.

Steve Carrell and Laura Dern appear sitting on a bench, before hungrily lunging for one another; Rosario Dawson and Jenny Slate celebrate New Year’s Eve by tenderly embracing; and Kristen Stewart takes on the somewhat strange guise a groupie by running on stage and jumping on top of Chadwick Boseman. He looks bemused, but understandably pleased.

David Oyelowo and Timothy Spall engage in a hand war, before stealing a quick, repressed kiss. Spall quickly straightens his tie afterwards and the pair smile shyly at one another.

Other couples include Patricia Arquette and Jason Schwartzman,  Julianne Moore and John Lithgow, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Miles Teller. The films are all directed by Elaine Constantine.

The inspiration for the idea is unclear.

Earlier this year a viral video of strangers kissing was proved to be a hoax, and in fact an advert for LA women’s fashion label Wren Studio.