Stars of Hollywood have long recognized falling in love on set as an “occupational hazard”. While some attempt to stay away from on-set romances, many have succumbed to such relationships. In fact, many of Hollywood’s most famous romantic pairings got their start after meeting at work. Check out this list of some of the most memorable Hollywood romances that got their start on set and those who had some pretty scandalous beginnings!
Rachel and Ryan in The Notebook
The Notebook has become known as one of the most epic love stories set to paper and later, film. In the film adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel, the couple is played by Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling. The two fell in love on set and later were awarded “Best Kiss” during the 2005 MTV Movie Awards where they re-enacted their very romantic on-screen kiss. The beloved Canadian couple split ways around 2007 and have both moved on. Gosling settled down with actress Eva Mendes and the couple has two daughters. However, many diehard Rachel and Ryan fans hold out hope that the two will one day reunite.
This isn’t the only romance that ended and devastated friends. #7 Even got the attention of POTUS.
Richard and Elizabeth in Cleopatra
One of the most fabled love stories in Hollywood has always been, and likely will always be, the story of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. The two first met on the set of the film Cleopatra where Elizabeth played the titular role and Richard played her on-screen love, Mark Antony. They had a famously tumultuous relationship and married and divorced several times. Ultimately, Richard succumbed to his alcoholism which tormented him for most of his life at the relatively young age of 58. Elizabeth later said, “I was a fool to marry so often. If I had my time over again, I would never do that. The truth is I now don’t give a damn about most of those men. Richard is the only one I truly loved and still care about. I shall miss him until the day I die.”
Heath and Michelle in Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain is one of the most heartbreaking love stories filmed in the 2000s and was completely groundbreaking in the showing of an on-screen gay love story. It also spawned a real-life heartbreaking love story between stars Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams. The two embarked on a whirlwind romance which culminated with the birth of their daughter Matilda. The couple separated, and it was widely rumored that Heath was struggling with various issues. The issues later became well publicized after the shocking death of Heath Ledger at the young age of 28. Since his death, Michelle has raised their daughter on her own and has also reportedly stayed very close to Heath’s family.
Johnny and Winona in Edward Scissorhands
Johnny Depp’s most recent marriage to much younger actress, Amber Heard, ended with public turmoil and allegations of domestic violence. Before Amber, Johnny had been engaged, married, and in relationships with many high-profile women but one of the first was Winona Ryder. Johnny and Winona met on the set of the film Edward Scissorhands. The two became engaged and Johnny even got a tattoo on his arm that read “Winona Forever”. After they broke up several years later he had it changed to “Wino Forever”. Over the years the couple has had their equal shares of drama. Although, Johnny briefly settled with girlfriend Vanessa Paradis and raised two children together. Winona has since found love with Scott Mackinlay Hahn, the founder of a socially conscious clothing line.
Goldie and Kurt in Swing Shift
Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell are one of Hollywood’s most beloved (and long-lasting) golden couples. The two first met on the set of the movie Swing Shift in 1983. The couple has never married despite spending thirty-four years together. They share one son named Wyatt, and Goldie’s children Kate and Oliver consider Kurt to be their father. Goldie revealed the secret to her long-lasting relationship with Kurt to People Magazine, and it was no singular factor. She said, “Love, gratitude, compassion; because sometimes every man or every woman will drive their partner crazy. Family. Fun. Laughs. Sex. If you don’t nurture that, and remember, you’re done.”
Warren and Annette in Bugsy
For many years, Warren Beatty was a notorious womanizer (The Carly Simon song “You’re So Vain” is allegedly about him) known for his flings with various women throughout Hollywood. That is until he met Annette Bening on the set of the gangster film Bugsy. Warren said of his first encounter with his future leading lady, “When I met Annette over lunch for Bugsy, I felt immediately that this was going to change my life. I remember losing interest in the garlic chicken I was eating within 20 seconds. And the garlic chicken had been very good!” The two married in 1992 and share four children together, two sons and two daughters.
Kristen and Robert in Twilight
Perhaps one of the most devoted and absolutely crazy fandoms that ever existed is that of the film and book series Twilight. The love story between human Bella and vampire Edward was so intensely loved that fans totally lost it when it was revealed that off-screen actors Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson were a real-life couple.
The two later broke up in 2012 after Stewart was photographed gallivanting with her Snow White and the Huntsman director, Rupert Sanders, who was married at the time. They both issued public apologies to their unwitting partners. Since then Pattinson was engaged for a time to singer FKA Twigs and Stewart has primarily dated women. Some fans have found it hard to let their favorite love story go and swear that Rob and Kristen are still secretly together.
Matt and Minnie in Good Will Hunting
In the early 1990s, Matt Damon along with his best friend, Ben Affleck, shot to fame after they wrote an Oscar-winning script, Good Will Hunting in which they also starred. The film launched their career and it also started a relationship in the case of Damon. He formed a relationship with his onscreen love Minnie Driver. She later recalled the beginning of their love saying by the time they filmed, “I was completely in love with Matt. I was blown away by his commitment to me as an actor, he was cute and intelligent and altogether a really charming package. I was young and I fell for him – it’s an occupational hazard.” The relationship later ended in a less than desirable way after Damon was a guest on Oprah’s talk show and claimed to be single which was news to Driver.
Natalie and Benjamin in Black Swan
On the set of the film Black Swan, Natalie Portman began working with the French ballet dancer Benjamin Millepied. Seeing as she portrayed a ballerina in the film and Millepied was working as the on-set choreographer, the two worked quite closely together and ended up falling in love. Years before she even met her future love Portman spoke about her desire to raise her future children in the Jewish faith. She said, “A priority for me is definitely that I’d like to raise my kids Jewish, but the ultimate thing is to have someone who is a good person and who is a partner.” They welcomed a son named Aleph in 2011 and later married in a Jewish ceremony in 2012, so Natalie fulfilled her wish of finding a good partner who also happened to be Jewish. The happy family more recently welcomed a daughter named Amalia in February of 2017.
Jude and Sienna in Alfie
Jude Law first met Sienna Miller on the set of their film Alfie in 2003. They became entangled in a love affair, as Jude was married to his wife Sadie Frost at the time. Sadie and Jude later split and Jude and Sienna embarked on a “proper” relationship and became engaged on Christmas Day in 2004. However, Law was again thrown into scandal after he got caught having an affair with his children’s nanny and ended up issuing a public apology to Miller. She decided to publicly stand by her man before the couple called it quits around one year later. However, their relationship was seemingly difficult to quit because they later reunited in December of 2009 before parting ways again two years later.
Courtney and David in Scream
Courtney Cox and David Arquette met on the set of the now iconic horror film, Scream. The two fell in love and married in 1999. They welcomed a daughter, Coco, five years later. They also formed a production company together called Coquette Productions, a cheeky name inspired by their daughter. The couple was known for being very “normal” and down to earth and seemed to have a fantastic relationship. Sadly, fans hearts were shattered around the globe after the couple announced their split in 2010. They later divorced in 2012 and have both since moved on to other loves. Cox and Arquette remain a fantastic example of an amicable divorce and co-parenting which must be a wonderful thing for their daughter.
Uma and Ethan in Gattaca
Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke met on the set of their 1997 film Gattaca. The two married a year later and share two children together, a daughter named Maya and a son named Levon. The couple later divorced in 2005. Uma later spoke to Oprah about the split calling it “excruciating” and also said that her self-esteem was “pretty mangled.” It was later reported that Ethan was in a relationship with the couple’s former nanny Ryan Shawhughes. Ethan and Ryan later married and had two children of their own. Ryan and Ethan reportedly do not believe in monogamous relationships according to an interview he gave back in 2013. However, when it comes to Uma and Ethan the former couple and co-parents seem to be in a better place.
Next, fans’ favorite couple from the ’90s, and they’re still together!
Sarah and Freddie in I Know What You Did Last Summer
Teen movie king and queen Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. first met on the set of the slasher film I Know What You Did Last Summer in 1997. However, the two did not fall in love until three years later. They married in 2002 and share two children together. Freddie revealed why their relationship works in an interview with E! News. He said, “We were just friends. That’s one of the reasons I think our relationship has always been so good,” he admitted. “We were just friends for a good two years before we ever went on a date… We ended up being the perfect balance. But it didn’t happen until years after and there was a solid foundation built, and that’s probably the main reason why we’ve always been cool and groovy.”
Jennifer and Justin in Wanderlust
Everyone’s favorite Friends star Jennifer Aniston first met husband Justin Theroux on the set of the film Wanderlust and they soon embarked on a relationship together. They later ended up purchasing a home before becoming engaged in 2012. After Jennifer’s previous very public relationship disaster with Brad Pitt, fans were rooting for her to find love. Jennifer and Justin got married in 2015 however, they sadly announced their separation in February of 2018. The couple said, “We are two best friends who have decided to part ways as a couple, but look forward to continuing our cherished friendship.” Cue the tabloids beginning to print their stories about Brad and Jen reuniting!
Brad and Gwyneth in Seven
Golden couple Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow first met on the set of the creepy film Seven back in 1994. The couple became engaged but called off the marriage in 1997. Both of them went on to several high-profile relationships. Brad with marriages to Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth with relationships with Ben Affleck and Coldplay singer Chris Martin. Their relationship was highlighted in 2017, after Gwyneth revealed that she was harassed by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. Brad allegedly threatened to beat up Harvey over the incident. His threats apparently worked as Harvey reportedly left Gwyneth alone thereafter.
Reese and Ryan in Cruel Intentions
Back in the late 1990s Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillipe were the hottest couple in Hollywood. The two young stars met on the set of the film Cruel Intentions and fell in love. The two married in 1999 when Reese was twenty-three and Ryan was twenty-five. They welcomed two children together, a girl named Ava and a boy named Deacon. The couple parted ways in 2007. Although Reese says she would never change anything about her life, she said, “I got married when I was 23 and I had two kids by the time I was 27. I don’t know, sometimes it’s good to know yourself [first].” She also says she has passed on the message to her daughter saying, “I’ve said to my daughter, I think you know, at 25, you start to know yourself a little bit better.”
The next on-set relationship crushed the dreams of many women.
Channing and Jenna in Step Up
Beloved dance couple Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum are known as actors now, but they both got their start as dancers. It turns out their craft lead them to meet one another after they were cast in the dance film Step Up in 2006. Their chemistry was undeniable in the film and it obviously carried over into real life. They married in 2009 and welcomed a daughter in 2013. In 2018, Jenna revealed the “secret” to their happy marriage in an interview with Health Magazine. She said, “I think a couple needs to be conscious and to want to do the work and be willing to look at the parts of you that need work. Both of us have been pretty aware and willing to do that…But we’re not perfect! Are you kidding?”
Miley and Liam in The Last Song
In 2009, Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus met while filming an adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel The Last Song. The two embarked on a three-year-long relationship and later became engaged in 2012. However, they split only one year later before marrying. Miley soon completely altered her public persona, cutting off her long brown hair and bleaching it blonde. She also became known for her wild performances that included “twerking” and constantly sticking out her tongue. In 2016, rumors began to abound that the two had re-connected and soon Miley confirmed on the Ellen DeGeneres Show that the two were again engaged. This go ‘round the two lovebirds seem to be enjoying a much more private romance, keeping much of their private life out of the spotlight.
Ryan and Blake in The Green Lantern
In 2010, Blake Lively met actor Ryan Reynolds on the set of their film The Green Lantern. Although Ryan was still married at the time to Scarlett Johannsson, apparently some attraction was there between Ryan and Blake. Ryan’s marriage to Scarlett ended in 2011 and he and Blake soon began dating. The two married only one year later in 2012 and have since welcomed two daughters together named James and Ines. The two are both active on social media and often trade good-natured barbs at one another, giving the public a bit of insight into their funny relationship.
Angelina and Brad in Mr. and Mrs. Smith
When Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt first got together, they were both recognized as two of the most beautiful people in the world. The two met on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith and while they allegedly kept their distance during filming and press for the movie, they later admitted they fell in love while filming. Brad told The New York Times, “Not a lot of people get to see a movie where their parents fell in love.” The only problem is that Brad happened to be married to Jennifer Aniston at the time, although they quickly separated. Angelina and Brad remained together for over a decade but split in 2017.