Actors live in a world where half of what they do is completely made up. They follow a script and pretend to be another person for a while, immersing themselves in a new life and backstory to create a convincing performance. Sometimes, however, the emotions that they portray on the screen end up spilling over into real life.
It probably was not too hard for the actors and actresses listed here to make their on-screen romance sizzle, as by the time it hit cinemas, they were already embroiled in the real thing. These are the screen couples who ended up being real-life couples after shooting wrapped, finding themselves irresistibly attracted to one another. Not just a fling, these romances even ended up staying the distance, proving that sometimes eyes can meet across a movie set and lead to true love.
Some of these couples even had to break up with long-term partners or spouses to commit to their newfound relationship, which is a constant danger for the loved ones of actors – after all, you never know what is going to happen when your other half spends all day kissing someone else for a living! These 10 couples show that on-screen romances sometimes go all the way.
10. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Let’s get this one out of the way now – after all, no on-set romance list would be complete without Brangelina! The story is one that everyone knows well by now: while filming spy comedy Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Brad and Angelina had more on their minds than just portraying the on-screen husband and wife. In fact, they would go on to be a real husband and wife – something that just had to sting for Jennifer Aniston, who had been half of a golden couple with Brad Pitt for seven years until he took on this role.
They have denied that anything actually happened while they were filming, though they both admit that it was on set that they fell for one another. Of course, this is not the first time Jolie has fallen for a co-star: she met Johnny Lee Miller, Jenny Shimizu, and Billy Bob Thornton while filming, and all three of them ended up as high-profile relationships for her.
9. Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy
Claire Danes took on the role of Ann in 2007’s Evening, at a time when she was dating Billy Crudup (someone she coincidentally met on a movie set, causing him to break up with his pregnant long-term girlfriend). In the movie, her character is chased by Hugh Dancy’s Buddy, a young man who is utterly infatuated with her and even ends up dying in a car crash after he tries to stop her leaving with someone else. It seems that he did not have to use all of his acting skills to appear smitten with the actress: he was in fact already falling for her, and they ended up getting together as the film wrapped.
It looks like they made the right move, however, as sparks flew not just on set but off it as well. They ended up getting engaged, and then married one another in a secret ceremony in 2009. Claire gave birth to a baby boy named Cyrus in 2012, so it looks like this couple is here to stay.
8. Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott
The made-for-TV movie they met on the set of was not highly rated, even at the time of release, which somehow makes this whole story a little bit worse. Tori Spelling was married to Charlie Shanian in 2005 at the time of filming, while Dean McDermott had been with his wife Mary Jo Eustace for thirteen years. They even had a child together, but it looks like this was far from both of their minds when things started getting steamy on set.
Once the movie wrapped, neither of them wanted to let the romance go, and they ended up breaking up with their partners to become a new couple. There was a silver lining, however: it seems like it was all worth it, as they ended up getting married just one month after Spelling’s divorce was finalised and went on to have four children together. You might recognise their names from a reality TV show that follows their lives, and although McDermott is rumoured to have had an affair, many believe that might just have been a publicity stunt.
7. Eddie Cibrian and Leanne Rimes
This one is highly publicised, mostly because it broke up a couple of homes in the most brutal way. When made-for-TV movie Northern Lights was put together, the cast included Cibrian as the male lead and Rimes as his feisty love interest. This was in 2009, and before filming began, Rimes was married to dancer Dean Sheremet. Cibrian had two children with his wife, Brandi Glanville – which only makes the rest of the story all the more uncomfortable.
The cold weather and isolated conditions of Dawson City, their filming location, soon had the two leads seeking comfort in each other. Not long after filming wrapped they decided that they never wanted to part, and broke up with their respective spouses instead. They then made their relationship public, which has not been easy: they have had to endure a public feud between Rimes and Glanville with a lot of name-calling and mud-throwing.
6. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner
Famously, Ben Affleck became one half of the “Bennifer” celebrity romance after meeting Jennifer Lopez on set of Gigli. That relationship was not set to last, however, with media pressure and several film flops putting undue strain on their partnership.
However, Affleck was not above giving it another go. When he met Jennifer Garner on the set of the film Daredevil, the thought of becoming Bennifer again must have crossed his mind. The two got together, and were married in 2005. Despite the rocky relationship they have now, they still have three children together – and Affleck’s career has taken a turn for the better, with a series of flops and embarrassing box office results seeming to be behind him.
5. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton
Elizabeth Taylor was notorious for marrying, divorcing, and marrying again many times throughout her life – she ended up with eight husbands in total, all of them falling for her beautiful and famous eyes and hoping they could be the one to last. Throughout her final days, however, she always claimed that Richard Burton was the one big love of her life. They met while filming the historic epic Cleopatra, in which Burton played her lover Marc Anthony – and went on to marry and then divorce not once, but twice.
They also acted alongside one another in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, a film in which their on-screen relationship was said to mirror their real-life circumstances. Burton himself was married five times, moving on from Taylor and famously dismissing her beauty by pointing out a few of her shortcomings.
4. Courteney Cox and David Arquette
In the classic horror movie Scream, Cox was cast as a ruthless journalist, while Arquette’s Dewey was a wimpy and dim local officer. His attraction towards her was evident both on screen and off, as the pair quickly became a couple. Not only did this make the next few sequels great viewing with the real sexual dynamic between the two, but it also made big headlines, as Cox was by then already uber-famous for starring in the TV show Friends.
Sadly, their marriage was one that did not last. 14 years after their wedding in 1999, they decided to call it quits. Still, the union produced a daughter named Coco, and was by all accounts a very happy one until the beginning of the end. The pair have managed to remain friends after all of this, and are raising their daughter together even while Arquette moves on to have a baby with his new partner.
3. Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds
Poor Reynolds has been unlucky in love. He was engaged to Alanis Morissette and then married to Scarlett Johansson, but by 2011 he was single again. The timing might be a little suspicious, however, considering that he first met Blake Lively while filming Green Lantern in early 2010 – but did not announce that he and Johansson were divorcing until the end of the year.
Whatever the circumstances may be, Lively and Reynolds now appear to be in a committed relationship. They bought a home together and got married in 2012, and in 2014 their first daughter together was born. It looks like they might be able to go the distance – that is, so long as Reynolds does not fall for another leading lady!
2. Warren Beatty and Anette Bening
Beatty was a massive star in the 1950s and continued to see success for decades, bagging his fair share of glamorous women at the same time. He was well-known for a long string of relationships with stars like Madonna, Cher, Joan Collins, and Brigitte Bardot. All of that was set to change, however, when he filmed Bugsy in 1991 opposite Anette Bening. He was 50 years old and she was 32, but they hit it off instantly and fell deeply in love.
This one is definitely a success story, as their 1992 marriage has remained rock steady and produced four children. Stephen, Benjamin, Isabel, and Ella can all attribute a clever casting decision to the reason behind their births.
1. Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell
These two met on set in 1983, while filming Swing Shift. In the movie, Hawn is seduced by Russell’s musician character while her husband is overseas. In reality, Hawn had just divorced her second husband Bill Hudson when she met up with Russell on set – the second time they had worked together. This time, sparks flew, and they decided to get together for real.
Their relationship has stayed the distance, and although they have never been married, they have had a child together and remained a strong couple. Hawn’s first two children are by Hudson, yet they consider Russell to be their father as he has remained a constant in the family. There are now rumours that they might marry soon!