Picture it: You’re in the most romantic setting in the world, reciting the most romantic lines to someone whose entire personality has been concoted to be as attractive as humanly possible. It’s simply no wonder that movie stars fall in love on-set. Two people – who, by the way, have already passed a chemistry test – spending that much time together? Well, it’s bound to happen.
But while sparks fly sporadically (a publicity-perfect fling is a dime a dozen), the real thing is harder to come by. Below are 11 couples whose on-screen dalliances resulted in actual, real-life marriage.
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck
A love story 20 years in the making: finally, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez have tied the knot. Anyone alive during the early Noughties will recall the tabloid frenzy surrounding “Bennifer” when they were first spotted kissing in 2002. Their story is irresistibly starry: married pop star meets Hollywood golden boy on a film set is practically a movie in and of itself. Nevermind the fact that the film in question was the box office bomb, Gigli.
Their second film together (another rom-com – 2004’s Jersey Girl) fared slightly better, but not by much. In the decades since then, the couple went through cheating rumours, a broken engagement, and finally a much-fawned over reunion in 2021. Now they’re married, and every Nineties child can rest easy believing in true love.
Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany
Given their A-list status, it’s surprising – and impressive? – how hush-hush Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany keep their relationship. The transatlantic pair (Connelly is from New York; Bettany from London) have been married for over 10 years. They first met on the set of 2001’s A Beautiful Mind, for which Connelly won an Oscar. While she played the wife of Russell Crowe’s character, it was Bettany who piqued her interest – though, the pair didn’t strike up a romance until a year later, when they reconnected at the 2002 Bafta Awards and began their relationship.
Bettany has been open about his immediate attraction to his now-wife, admitting to having a crush on the movie star after seeing her in David Bowie’s Labyrinth. In 2003, they married and went on to work together twice again: in 2009’s Charles Darwin story Creation, and in 2015 when Bettany cast Connelly in his directorial debut Shelter. The couple, who live in Brooklyn, share two sons and a daughter.
Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth
Falling in love on the set of a Nicholas Sparks adaptation is practically a given, and the author’s knack for sad-sob romance certainly did the trick for Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth. The pair met in 2009 on the set of The Last Song, in which they played teenagers who fall in love during a summer in a quiet beach town. The truth wasn’t far off. In the same month of the film’s release, the pair confirmed their relationship. Since then they’ve had an on-again-off-again romance, which culminated in a 2012 engagement that ended a year later.
In 2016, however, they rekindled the flame and confirmed they were, in fact, not only back together but soon later engaged again. In December 2018, the couple got married. Nicholas Sparks, himself, chimed in with his well-wishes on Twitter. A year later, though, the pair announced in separate statements that they were separated, with Hemsworth filing for divorce in August 2019 . Alas, not every romance can end like a Nicholas Sparks novel.
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds are arguably the ruling Hollywood It-couple, so it’s hard to believe that their origins lie on the set of a movie as terrible as Green Lantern. The DC Comics adaptation starred Reynolds as the titular hero, and Lively as his love interest, Carol Ferris.
While Reynolds has admitted to regretting his part in the critically panned film, it did introduce him to his future wife. They didn’t date immediately, given that Lively was seeing her Gossip Girl co-star Penn Badgley at the time and Reynolds was married to Scarlett Johansson. But one year, one break-up and one divorce later, Reynolds and Lively were together. In 2012, they married and have since become a staple duo on red carpets and Instagram Lives. The pair share three daughters.
Samira Wiley and Lauren Morelli
While Samira Wiley and Lauren Morelli didn’t star opposite one another, the couple did fall in love on the set of Orange is the New Black, in which Wiley starred as Poussey Washington and Morelli was lead writer. At the time, Morelli was married to producer and writer Stephen Basilone, but in a 2016 interview said that she immediately “had a crush on” Wiley after seeing her audition tape for the series. It was on the set of OITNB that Morelli realised she was gay. In a 2014 essay, she recalled Wiley – who was a friend at the time – helping her work through her feelings about her sexuality. The couple got married in Palm Springs in 2017 and announced the birth of their first child together last year.
Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis
Mila Kunis was just 14 when she met Ashton Kutcher on the set of That ‘70s Show, on which they played on-and-off-again couple Jackie and Kelso. It was on the set of the sitcom that Kunis had her first kiss in a scene with Kutcher, who hadn’t known this was the case at the time.
“I’m so glad I didn’t know that or it would’ve been too much pressure,” he told People in 2001. After the show ended in 2006, the two actors went their separate ways. Kutcher married Demi Moore, while Kunis dated Home Alone star Macauley Culkin for nine years between 2002 and 2011.
They reconnected, however, in 2012 at the Golden Globe Awards and began dating. A few months after Kutcher and Moore’s divorce was finalised in 2013, Kutcher popped the question and Kunis said yes. Months later, Kunis revealed she was pregnant during a guest appearance on Ellen. The two married in 2015 in a private ceremony on the fourth of July.
Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz
Another Hollywood couple to fly under the tabloid radar are Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz. While it has been reported that they first met in college, it wasn’t until they starred opposite one another in the 2011 thriller Dream House that they began dating. Despite Weisz’s reservations about marriage, it took only six months before they tied the knot at an intimate ceremony in New York.
“I never thought I would get married,” Weisz told The Evening Standard in 2018. “It was not an ambition of mine. It was the opposite. I couldn’t relate to romantic comedies – marriage seems to be the whole point of them. Then it just happened, happily, at a more mature moment.” The couple share two daughters.
Jada Pinkett-Smith and Will Smith
While many of the names on this list are notoriously private about their relationships, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Will Smith have – in recent years, at least – been extremely candid about theirs. To this date the couple have never starred opposite one another, but they did meet on the set of Smith’s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Pinkett-Smith was unsuccessful in her audition for a role as Smith’s character’s girlfriend – but years later the coupled married for real.
Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy
Claire Danes has been gracing our screens since she was 15 and starring in the cult classic series My So-Called Life. She met her IRL leading man years later on the set of the 2007 film Evening, in which Danes starred opposite Hugh Dancy as characters caught up in a love triangle.
Fortunately, real life was less complicated and the two became fast friends when filming on Rhode Island. “There was one day when we were bicycling by the water and it was sparkly and idyllic, and I just had this dumb epiphany, like, I’m really just happy,” Danes told Marie Claire in 2017. The couple tied the knot in 2009 and had their first child in 2012. Their second son was born in 2018.
Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer
If two people were ever going to fall in love, it’d be on the set of HBO’s steamy vampire series True Blood. The hit show, which starred Anna Paquin as a waitress in a small-town and Moyer as a centuries-old vampire, became a fast hit with Twilight fans who had grown up. Equally fast was the relationship that blossomed between Paquin and Moyer who started dating almost immediately after filming began in 2007. Two years later, they got engaged and then married in 2010. It was quite literally love at first sight, according to Moyer who spoke about falling for his future wife. “By day three or four – oh, this is going to sound so syrupy –but I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. It was within seconds, really, and it just became a thing,” he said.
Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr
It was the romance of the Nineties – and it’s still going strong decades later. Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr met in 1997 on the set of the teen horror film I Know What You Did Last Summer. It was only three years after, though, that they actually began dating in 2000. Once they did get together, it was pedal to the metal. They got engaged in 2000, with a wedding in Mexico following a year after that. By the time they starred together again in 2002’s live-action Scooby Doo, the two were newly-weds and soon-to-be parents. Well, soon-ish. They welcomed their first child in 2009 and a second in 2012.
Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender
These two are so far out of the spotlight it’s easy to forget they’re married. The pair began dating after meeting on the set of the 2016 drama The Light Between Oceans, following which they made rare red carpet appearances together but mostly kept their relationship on the down-low. Rumours of a breakup swirled in 2015, but Vikander stamped them out when she kissed Fassbender at the 2016 Oscars ceremony after winning the award for her role in The Danish Girl.
It wasn’t until Vikander told Vogue herself that she and Fassbender were married that anybody had a clue. They secretly tied the knot at a ceremony in Ibiza in 2017, and welcomed their first child in 2021.
Stephen Graham and Hannah Walters
Ok, they didn’t meet on-set, but Stephen Graham and Hannah Walters have shared the screen in numerous productions since tying the knot in 2008. The pair met and started dating when they were students at Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama in London. Since then, they’ve kept their relationship low-key. Recently, they starred as husband and wife in BBC’s brilliant prison drama series Time, and as chefs in last year’s incredibly stressful watch, Boiling Point.