The entertainment world is a pretty small one, even with the fields of music, movies, TV, theatre, fashion, and sports combined. The paths of celebrities in these fields cross and intersect at least once in their professional and even personal lives, until they’re all connected in a six-degrees of separation kind of web.
We’ve heard countless stories of celebs meeting and falling in love when working together, Brad and Angelina probably being at the top of our lists. Because you’re spending almost 20 hours a day filming together for a certain number of months, plus traveling together to promote your project and attending premiers and launches, it’s inevitable that a bond is formed and a consequent romance blooms. And this situation can either make or break a relationship. When things are coming up rosy, being around your partner 24/7 is fantastic. But when the relationship heads downhill and ends, being forced to see your ex on set can be draining and depressing. Here are some of our favorite celebrity couples who had the misfortune of breaking up while they were on set together.
12 Leighton Meester and Sebastian Stan
Gossip Girl fans not only enjoyed the relationships that were being developed and destroyed on-camera, but also the numerous hook-ups that were happening behind the lenses. Despite the fact that those who worshipped Chuck and Blair wished that Ed Westwick and Leighton Meester would get together in real-life, it wasn’t going to happen because they were both seeing other people. In 2008, Meester started dating Sebastian Stan, who played recurring character Carter Baizen. But the relationship ended two years later, when Stan was just about wrapping up his role on the show.
11 Blake Lively and Penn Badgley
Perhaps the most high-profile off-screen relationship in Gossip Girl was the romance between Blake Lively and co-star Penn Badgley, who played Serena and Dan on the show. The couple seemed to be so in love, constantly being snapped looking all cozy and affectionate. But the relationship ended after almost three years, while the show was still ongoing. They had to continue working together for a good two years post break-up, until the show finally ended with their characters getting married.
10 Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev
Hard-core followers of The Vampire Diaries were ecstatic when news leaked that Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev were dating in real life. It wasn’t that surprising, since their chemistry as Damon and Elena sizzled right through our TV screens. But like all good things, it wasn’t meant to last. The couple called it quits after dating for more than three years, but vowed to remain best friends off-screen and colleagues on the show. Any hopes of them getting back together have been dashed with the recent announcement that Somerhalder just tied the knot with girlfriend Nikki Reed.
9 Katie Holmes and Joshua Jackson
Though most Dawson’s Creek enthusiasts hoped Katie Holmes would get together with James Van Der Beek because they felt Dawson and Joey were meant to be, that’s not how it went down. Rather, Holmes entered into a relationship with Joshua Jackson, who played Pacey, Dawson’s male best friend. Holmes even went so far as calling Jackson her first love. But the couple split early on and by the time the show ended with Joey getting together with Pacey, the real-life couple had long been broken-up.
8 Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki
In a classic case of beauty and the geek, avid followers of The Big Bang Theory were delighted when Leonard and Penny, played by Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco respectively, got together on the show. But unbeknownst to the public, the two actors had actually carried on a secret relationship behind the cameras for almost two years. But they parted amicably and promised that they would remain friends and continue to be professional on set.
7 Rachel Bilson and Adam Brody
Their characters Seth and Summer in the teenage hit show The OC made for such a cute couple, that the show’s viewers hoped against hope that Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson were together in real-life. And when news leaked that the couple had been dating since the show’s first season started in 2003, fans couldn’t have been happier. But sadly, the romance fizzled out after three years, though they still had to continue playing the role of onscreen couple for one more season until the show was cancelled.
6 Jennifer Morrison and Jesse Spencer
They tried to keep it as low-key as possible, but news eventually leaked that House co-stars Jennifer Morrison and Jesse Spencer were in a relationship, which started when they were filming the first season. The pair got engaged in 2006, but sadly called off the engagement and broke up just a few months before the wedding. And what made the whole break-up cringe-worthy? Morrison and Spencer were featured in In-Style Weddings magazine as a couple on the brink of wedded bliss right around the time the break-up was announced.
5 Sophia Bush and Chad Michael Murray
One Tree Hill co-stars Sophia Bush and Chad Michael Murray had a bit of a whirlwind courtship when they started dating around the time they were filming the show’s first season. They surprised many when they decided to tie the knot only two years later at the tender ages of 25 (Murray) and 24 (Bush). But alas, they soon discovered that they should have paid heed to the saying, “marry in haste, repent at leisure.” The couple separated five months later with Bush filing for annulment, under grounds of fraud. Despite this sad ending, the erstwhile spouses had to continue working together on the show for seven more years.
4 Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter
It must have been a bit disturbing for two actors to play siblings onscreen, but carry on a romantic relationship when the cameras stopped rolling. Such was the case of Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter, who played the titular character Dexter and his adopted sister Debra respectively. The couple started dating into the filming of the first season and married in secret in 2008. But after nearly two years of marriage, the couple filed for divorce. The split was said to be amicable, so they were able to keep working together on the hit show for three more years.
3 Jennifer Garner and Michael Vartan
Throughout the five-season run of the TV hit show Alias, Jennifer Garner had gone through three relationships, the one with co-star Michael Vartan sandwiched in between two marriages. When her marriage to Scott Foley ended in 2003, she rebounded by dating Vartan. Unfortunately, the relationship was short-lived and she soon moved on to Ben Affleck. By the time she was wrapping up the series (a portion of which was a wedding between Sidney and Vaughn, Garner’s and Vartan’s characters), she was already pregnant with Affleck’s child.
2 Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson
The only time there was ever any public acknowledgment of a relationship between Twilight stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson was when everything crumbled to pieces. There was much speculation that the couple had fallen in love on set, but they never confirmed the rumors—until Stewart was caught in a clandestine affair with director Rupert Sanders and she made a public statement, apologizing profusely to Pattinson. But the damage had been done and by the time they had to start promoting the last film in the Twilight franchise, they had broken up.
1 Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult
Jennifer Lawrence has been linked to several famous men from Bradley Cooper to Chris Martin, but the only relationship that she confirmed having was with Nicholas Hoult. The pair met during filming of X-Men: First Class and started dating soon after. But citing reasons such as conflicting work schedules and not having enough time for each other, Lawrence and Hoult called it quits in 2014, soon after their second X-Men movie together (X-Men: Days of Future Past) was released.