There is something about the sibling connection because when people grow up together there is a bond formed over weird relatives, family traditions, and awkward phases. A brother or sister can be a person’s best friend and greatest enemy all at the same time.
In the film Donnie Darko there is a fun familiarity that adds to the believability of the Darko siblings, most notably because the actors who are playing siblings, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Jake Gyllenhaal, really are brother and sister. This relationship feels very authentic because it actually is.
But what about people who pretend to be siblings? Actors who portray family members need to display a particular brand of closeness, rivalry, camaraderie, and friction in order to be believable to their audiences. It’s a complicated blend needed to have a chemistry akin to those pretending to be lovers, but with the distinct distance and familiarity of people who spent 100 hours on a frustrating car trip together when they were 11-years old.
That being said, actors who play siblings often end up working in very close quarters together, sharing many intimate and emotional scenes. Sometimes this closeness, like any working relationship when you spend a great deal of time with someone, can create great friendships. Other times it goes beyond friendship and into the realms of romantic relationships. Some actors may have played siblings, but maybe you’ll notice an additional bit of chemistry after you find out just how much things heated up off screen, particularly with these 15 pairs of siblings who hooked up in real life.
15. Tommen & Myrcella Baratheon – Game of Thrones
It seems very fitting that the pair who met playing the Baratheon siblings started dating while portraying siblings who are a result of relations between twin brother and sister, Jamie and Cersei Lannister on the hit HBO series Game of Thrones. After Buzzfeed was the first outlet who reported rumours about the two teens dating others took a quick dig into the Dean-Charles Chapman (Tommen) and Nell Tiger Frees’ (Myrcella) social media accounts and determined that the duo spend a lot of time together (spoiler alert) particularly since this was first reported during a time when one Myrcella had been offed in the series. The two routinely post “miss you” messages to each other along with numerous photos of the pair cuddling, tying each other’s shoes, and other mushy teenage love related pics. Just leave it to the Baratheon/Lannister’s to make sure everything is family first, including dating!
14. Dexter & Debra Morgan – Dexter
Secretive serial killer Dexter Morgan has a thirst for blood and revenge in this highly popular series. When he was orphaned at three years old after his mother was brutally murdered in front of him, Dexter is adopted and raised by policeman Harry Morgan alongside his adoptive sister Deborah. On screen, they have a protective and complicated relationship, as Dexter works to hide his penchant for serial killing and his sister works as a police detective investigating local crimes (some of which link to her brother). These TV siblings hit it off when they began working together and started dating in 2007. They eloped on New Year’s Eve in 2008, and Jennifer Carpenter stood stoically by her husband, Michael C. Hall during his diagnosis and treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2010. Fortunately, Hall went into remission, but the couple ended up amicably divorcing in late 2011. The pair worked together for another two years, before the show ended. In a panel event for conclusion of the show Jennifer Carpenter said of the duos real life relationship, “Our marriage didn’t look like anyone else’s, and our divorce didn’t either, so…I said it before, just because the marriage ended doesn’t mean the love did.”
13. Ferris & Jeanie Bueller – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
In the 1986 cult classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, young Ferris is dating Sloane Peterson, but in reality, the fourth wall breaking “righteous dude” only had eyes for his sister, Jeanie. Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Grey met while filming the movie and had an instant connection, but tried to keep their relationship under the radar. The two managed to keep their relationship out of the spotlight, until tragedy hit the couple. While vacationing in Ireland together, the two were involved in a car accident when Broderick crossed into the wrong lane of traffic in their rented BMW colliding head on with a local mother and daughter (aged 63 and 28) killing them instantly. Broderick, who was hospitalized following the accident, was later convicted of dangerous driving which haunted the couple long after their relationship had ended. A few weeks following the tragedy, Dirty Dancing was released and Grey became instantly famous, although she has since said that her grief and the survivor’s guilt experienced following the crash was the reason she withdrew from acting for some time.
12. Meadow & A.J. Soprano – The Sopranos
While there were rumours flying the pair who played brother and sister on the HBO hit series denied any romantic involvement with each other, Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Robert Iler were reportedly spotted getting quite friendly in a Las Vegas nightclub one night during the filming of the 2007 final season. The pair really grew up on the show beside one another and have maintained denial of any romantic involvement, routinely stating that they are “best friends” and nothing more. During a 2007 interview, around the time the show ended, the two were asked about monumental changes experienced while growing up on the show together, going from teens to young adults in their early twenties since the show had first premiered. Sigler teased her television brother saying, “You’ve gotten quite a bit more handsome since then,” and Iler replied “I was always handsome — under all the fat.”
11. Alex & Justin Russo – Wizards of Waverly Place
The two have never admitted to anything to being but friends. However, many believe the duo were keeping a secret romance under wraps while staring on the Disney Channel show, Wizards of Waverly Place, a fantasy teen sitcom. Selena Gomez and David Henrie played siblings, but that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t an offset feeling that was “more than just friends”. During much of the time of filming (2007-2012), Gomez was romantically linked to a young Justin Bieber, but the two co-stars were often seen hanging out in a way that would appear to be closer than pals or siblings. Following Gomez’s breakup with Bieber, the star went on a very public dinner date with former co-star David Henrie, with many suspecting the motive being revenge on her ex who reportedly would get quite jealous when Gomez spent time with Henrie. A source told HollywoodLife.com that although this wasn’t really a date, Selena wanted to make sure Bieber got jealous, having said, “Selena could have kept this dinner quiet but she wanted Justin to know about it.”
10. Bright & Emily Abbott – Everwood
While Everwood wasn’t as popular or well known as other WB teen dramas, that doesn’t mean there weren’t bright young stars on set in the series that ran from 2002-2006. Chris Pratt and Emily VanCamp played siblings on the show, and dated in real life, breaking up in 2007. When asked about dating his TV sis, Pratt said, “We’ve pretty much gotten used to the response of, ‘Eww that’s weird. That’s creepy. You just kissed your sister’. The people who know us are happy, and probably expected it to happen eventually. We thought it was weird for six months, but it had more to do with just trying to hide our relationship from the set. I don’t know why, and looking back on it, it was foolish.” He added, “It never really weirded us out that we played brother and sister, because, you know, it’s all fiction.” It turns out that Emily VanCamp seems to really have a thing for “brotherly love” and has also been romantically linked to Dave Annable who portrayed her brother on the aptly named series Brothers and Sisters.
9. Marsha & Greg Brady – The Brady Bunch
In the 1970’s, The Brady Bunch was a popular and wholesome take on the new reality of blended families that people everywhere happily related to. While the concept of the show was very leading edge at the time, family values were the cornerstone to the show’s success. Turns out the Brady siblings got along even better off set than they did when the cameras were rolling. Most notably Maureen McCormick (Marsha) was romanced by her onset brother Barry Williams (Greg). The two shared a romantic moment while filming episodes in Hawaii and McCormick has said, “It was our first kiss, and it was long, passionate and deep…a tiny part, admittedly – said to myself, `Oh my God! I’m kissing my brother. What am I doing?’”. In her memoir, McCormick wrote that (at the time) she had hoped that she would lose her virginity to Williams, but it never came to fruition. Rumour has it sparks also flew between TV siblings Bobby and Cindy (who used to make-out in the dog house), and a comment made by McCormick about having kissed her TV sister Jan, left some bad blood between the former TV siblings.
8. Jessie & Eli Stammer – Once and Again
In a show about second marriages, there is bound to be some drama surrounding children from previous marriages, after all it is called baggage for a reason. Only this tension was from the duo who played blood relatives, and siblings on the show. Evan Rachel Wood briefly dated her TV brother Shane West in 2002, towards the end of the series, while on a break from her on again, off again, boyfriend Marilyn Manson (who later became her fiancée). Maybe Wood should have stuck with Stammer. After ending her engagement with Manson she married English actor Jamie Bell in 2012, and the pair separated in 2014 after just two years of marriage. It is believed that Shane is currently single, having also been previously romantically linked to actors Rachael Leigh Cook and Monica Keenan. Perhaps they can rekindle the old “family” flame.
7. Max & Isabel Evans – Roswell
Back in 1999, Katherine Heigl and Jason Behr were cast as siblings in the popular, but short-lived, series Roswell. Heigl auditioned for three roles on the show before landing the role of Isabel. The two dated and were even engaged before they called it quits, although there are varying reports saying that their romance fell flat sometime between 2001 and 2003. Heigl is now married to Josh Kelley, and at the time of this article was expecting her third child with Kelley. The actor was also previously romantically tied to Joey Lawrence, yes the “Woah” guy from Blossom, from 1996 to 1999. Jason Behr married actor KaDee Strickland (best known for her role of Dr. Charlotte King on the series Private Practice). Behr and Strickland met while filming the horror flick The Grudge in 2004 and have been together ever since. They have one little boy named Atticus.
6. Adam & Sarah Braverman – Parenthood
Lauren Graham and Peter Krause met when she first arrived in Hollywood in 1995. He invited her over to play a board game, but things never went any further. Graham has blamed this on them both being fairly shy people. Years later, they were cast to play siblings Adam and Sarah on the hit series Parenthood. The two fell hard for each other shortly after being cast as siblings in 2010 and have been an item ever since. Graham is very proud of how long they’ve managed to maintain a relationship as celebrities saying, “We are really happy, I feel like close to five years in Hollywood, it’s like, aren’t we married already really? It’s good the way it is.” Krause has joked about mixing business with pleasure, “We keep the two things separate. We don’t call each other by our character’s names at home or anything. Come on!”
5. Brenda & Brandan Walsh – 90210
Twins are known for having a magic connection; it turns out the actors portraying fraternal twin siblings really felt that magic something both on and off set. When fans go back and watch early episodes of 90210, they might notice a little extra tension between co-stars Jason Priestly and Shannen Doherty. While Priestly has never come out and said that he hooked up with his TV twin, the two were spotted making out on the red carpet at the 1991 Emmys. He has said in his memoir, “Various combinations of people slept with each other over the years.” Doherty however has given more details, previously gushing about a crush on Priestly, although things haven’t always been great between the two. During a 2015 radio interview on how Priestly had portrayed Doherty as a demanding diva in his memoir she said, “’I love Jason, but you know he had a car accident … a racing accident, and I think maybe parts of his memory got altered from that.” Since the radio interview Shannen has said that she and her former TV bro kissed and made up having said, “He just said he loves me,” after a call with her “bro” Brandon.
4. Keith & Laurie Partridge – The Partridge Family
This 1970s musical show stars Shirley Jones as a widowed mother, who embarks on a musical career with her five children. The show was very loosely based on real life band, The Cowsills, who were quite popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. David Cassidy and Susan Dey portrayed the two oldest siblings on the show, and hit it off when the cameras weren’t rolling, having dated for a while during the show’s run, but things got awkward in the years to follow.
Cassidy, despite his wholesome TV image, was not the person he appeared to be and, when asked about demands he’d make of his female fans he said, “I found I could tell them to get down on their knees and bark like a dog or act like a choo-choo train, and they’d do it gladly.” In his 1994 autobiography, C’mon, Get Happy…Fear and Loathing on the Partridge Family Bus, Cassidy talks about rejecting his TV sister in the bedroom saying, “Susan lacked the slutty aspect of a female that I always found so attractive.” Dey even refused to attend a 2010 show reunion because of Cassidy.
3. Stranz & Fairchild Van Waldenberg – Blades of Glory
In their over the top portrayal of uber competitive Olympic Ice Skating duo and siblings Stranz and Fairchild Van Waldenberg, they come off a little creepy. Their obsessive and weirdly familiar demeanor isn’t a coincidence, because Will Arnett and Amy Poehler were married to each other during the filming of the 2007 comedy. While in many movies this level of brotherly and sisterly love would be off-putting, it really adds to the absurdity of the film. Much to many fans dismay the two split in 2012, although they have managed to focus their efforts on parenting together. Poehler wrote, “I am proud of how my ex-husband Will and I have been taking care of our children. I am beyond grateful he is their father, and I don’t think a ten-year marriage constitutes failure. That being said, getting a divorce really sucks.”
2. Edward & Rosalie Cullen – Twilight
Two sets of the adopted Cullen children in the hit Twilight series hooked up over the course of filming. In the Twilight series, vampire Rosalie Cullen is Edward’s sister and jealous of Bella Swan and her humanity, feeling as if she was robbed of her own opportunity to have a family when she became a vampire. In real life, actor Nikki Reed found her co-star and adoptive brother played by Robert Pattinson just as attractive as Bella Swan. The pair dated during the filming, but later Pattinson broke things off in 2009 to pursue his onscreen love interest, Kristen Stewart. We have to wonder if this thwarted romance helped build the tension felt between Nikki and Kristen in the films. In addition to this star crossed romance, Kellan Lutz (Emmet Cullen) was rumoured to have been dating his onscreen sister, the sweet and psychic Alice Cullen, played by Ashley Greene.
1. Boone Carlyle & Shannon Rutherford – Lost
Like plotlines on the hit TV series Lost weren’t complicated enough, having two actors who are playing step-siblings made things even more dramatic. Life imitates art as the step-siblings ended up in bed together both on and off screen. In 2006, when actors Maggie Grace and Ian Somerhalder were written off of the show the two continued to date for around a year. Today, they remain close and Maggie Grace has proudly stated that she and Somerhalder remain friends, and that this continued friendship is a feat worthy of boasting. Maggie Grace said, “I haven’t dated too many actors. I did when I was really young, for a couple of years, but it’s nothing against actors. Ian Somerhalder and I are still very good friends. You can certainly reconcile schedules with actors but it takes some doing, and I just don’t have that energy.”