In Hollywood, it’s not uncommon for the actors playing a couple onscreen to transition into a real-life romance, even when they’re in a relationship with someone else.
The latest example is Fargo Season 3’s Ewan McGregor and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who were photographed kissing at a London coffee shop in photos published Sunday. The Moulin Rouge star and his wife of 22 years, production designer Eve Mavrakis, share four kids, and, according to People, separated in May. Winstead and her husband of seven years, writer and director Riley Stearns, announced, quite amicably, they would be ending their marriage the same month.
Here are a some other couples who began dating amid controversy after hooking up on screen.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Who can forget the drama that went on when the stars of sexy, 2005 action film Mr. and Mrs. Smith stars became a real-life couple (just as he ended his marriage to Jennifer Aniston)? Jolie later explained what happened to People this way: “Because of the film, we ended up being brought together to do all these crazy things, and I think we found this strange friendship and partnership that kind of just suddenly happened. I think a few months in I realized, ‘God, I can’t wait to get to work.’ … Anything we had to do with each other, we just found a lot of joy in it together and a lot of real teamwork. We just became kind of a pair.” Jolie insisted in the same interview that she and Pitt were only good friends until the official Aniston split in January 2005. Pitt and Jolie eventually married before breaking up in 2016.
Billy Crudup and Claire Danes
The 2004 movie Stage Beauty paired Danes with Crudup, who was living with six-months-pregnant girlfriend Mary-Louise Parker. When Crudup left Parker for Danes, the younger actress faced public backlash. “I just was in love with him and needed to explore that and was 24,” Danes told Howard Stern in 2015. “Didn’t quite know what those consequences might be. It’s OK. I went through it.” Danes and Crudup split in 2006.
LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian
There could easily have been a TV movie made about the coupling of Rimes and Cibrian on the set of the 2009 Lifetime movie Northern Lights. She left her husband of six years, Dean Sheremet, and Cibrian ended it with Brandi Glanville, his wife of seven years and the mother of his two kids. “I understand why people are disappointed in me, especially since I grew up as America’s Sweetheart,” Rimes told Shape in 2010. “I think any relationship is hard to get out of, and I don’t think the way I did it was right.” Rimes and Cibrian married in April 2011, and they’ve yet to stop feuding publicly with his ex. In fact, Glanville and Sheremet have become friends and co-starred in the reality show My Kitchen Rules this year.
Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott
Lifetime movies have a way of wrecking relationships, as appeared to be the case when Spelling, married to Charlie Shanian, and McDermott, wed to Mary Jane Eustace, co-starred in the 2005 TV flick Mind Over Murder. Spelling would later reveal the two had fallen head over heels for each other and had sex the first night they met. They married in 2006, and, despite some very public struggles on various reality shows over the years, the couple are still together and share five children.
Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe
Months before the 2000 movie Proof of Life hit theaters, the tabloids were all over Ryan and Crowe. Amid rumors the stars were getting cozy while shooting on location in the Ecuadorian jungle, Dennis Quaid, Ryan’s husband and the father of her son, Jack, filed for divorce. The movie flopped — something that was blamed on the romance — and Ryan, known for her roles in rom-coms such as Sleepless in Seattle, was treated like “the Scarlet Woman,” she told ABC in October 2000. Alas, she and Crowe were dunzo by December.
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton
Old Hollywood is filled with tales of movie stars falling in love on set, but the most infamous has to be the story of Taylor and Burton when they starred together in 1963’s Cleopatra. The paparazzi could not get enough of the two on the set together, playing the title character and Mark Antony — this even though she was married to Eddie Fisher (Carrie’s dad) and Burton was married to wife of 14 years, Sybil Williams. The affair so captivated the world that it was condemned by the Vatican. The relationship lasted through two marriages — two! — from 1964 to 1974 and from 1975 to 1976, during which they made Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, a movie about a bitter, hard-drinking couple, which had some similarities with the real-life couple known for arguing in public.
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