Some of the hottest Hollywood couples began as costars. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt first began their love story on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds met on the set of The Green Lantern, and Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher grew up together on That 70’s Show, proving that the production set may be the hottest spot in Hollywood for singles. Yet, what remains the oddest way for a celebrity couple to meet is when one of them plays the other person’s on-screen parent.
Hollywood has a tendency to cast actors to play parts pretty far away from their actual age. Jennifer Grey famously portrayed an 18-year-old in Dirty Dancing when she was actually in her mid-20s. Ryan Reynolds also played a high schooler on Just Friends when he was 29, and Rachel McAdams scored her iconic role of the queen of high school, Regina George in Mean Girls, at the age of 26. (Similarly, actors can sometimes play much older than they really are.)
But what happens when celebs are spotted off-camera dating their on-screen parents? A whole lot of confusion.
Angelina Jolie played Colin Farrell's mom in Alexander
Prior to meeting now ex-husband Brad Pitt on the set of the Mr. and Mrs. Smith, actress Angelina Jolie was rumored to be dating her co-star Colin Farrell.
Jolie and Farrell played mother and son, Olympias and Alexander, in their 2004 film Alexander, but off-camera the two were allegedly far from a mother-son relationship. Rumors surfaced in 2004 that the two Hollywood celebs developed a romantic relationship while on set.
“He knows when he needs to take care of business,” said Jolie at the time, according to People. “I think that’s why he should be allowed and excused to be as wild and crazy as he wants.” Both Farrell and Jolie denied they were romantically connected, despite the alleged couple being spotted spending the Christmas holiday together in Egypt. “Angelina and I work together,” said Farrell in response to the rumors. “Do you go out with people you work with?”
Fifteen years later, rumors of the romantic pairing resurfaced after the two spent more time together following Jolie’s divorce to Brad Pitt, according to CloserWeekly.
John Travolta almost married his TV mom, Dianna Hyland
Actor John Travolta fell madly in love with his co-star Dianna Hyland on the set of The Boy in the Plastic Bubble in the 1970s. Hyland played Travolta’s mother Micky Lubitch in the TV series, and she was 18 years older than him. The two remained together until Hyland’s tragic death in 1977 at the age of 41.
“I have never been more in love with anyone in my life,” Travolta told People following Hyland’s death. “I thought I was in love before, but I wasn’t. From the moment I met her I was attracted. We were like two maniacs talking all the time on the set of Bubble. After a month it became romantic.”
Travolta and Hyland reportedly vacationed together frequently, with the Grease actor admitting, “I had more fun with Diana than I ever had in my life.” The actor continued, “The odd thing is just before we met I thought I would never have a successful relationship. She told me that she too had thought the same thing. Then, bam.”
In 1977, Travolta’s career was taking off with the release of Saturday Night Fever, yet his personal life was seemingly falling apart. “I picked out a house, and Diana and I were planning on moving in right after this movie. If she was alive, it is very possible I would have married her.”
The Hairspray actor also shared he always feels Hyland is with him: “Diana always wanted the world for me in every possible way.”
David Tennant married Doctor Who's daughter, Georgia Moffett
Actors David Tennant and Georgia Moffett began their sci-fi love story on the set of Doctor Who.
The couple’s romance began when Moffett guest-starred in “The Doctor’s Daughter” episode of Season 4 of Doctor Who, according to Refinery29. Tennant played the doctor, and the actress played Jenny, his daughter. The couple welcomed their first child together, Olive, in 2011 (Moffett previously had one son), and they married in 2012. Tennant and Moffett went on to have two more children following their marriage.
“Because Doctor Who had run through my life like a stick of rock, to end up marrying the daughter of one of the doctors, it all felt a bit stupid — there were a lot of things against it,” said Tennant in an interview with Gaby Roslin, per The Independent.
Tennant’s wife, Georgia Moffett, admitted their marriage would never be if it weren’t for her falling “into stalker category.” The actress revealed, “Had I not worked quite so hard, it might not have happened.” She continued, “Thank goodness I did though. I just made a decision.”
Joely Richardson dated her on-screen son, John Hensley
David Tennant and Georgia Moffett weren’t the only on-screen science-oriented characters to develop an off-screen relationship. Rumors swirled in 2004 that Nip/Tuck‘s Joely Richardson and John Hensley were an item outside of production, despite playing mother and son on set.
Richardson played Hensley’s mother Julia in the drama series, according to Entertainment Weekly. The couple reportedly began a romantic relationship on set despite Richardson being 12 years Hensley’s senior.
In 2005, media reports claimed the couple split after a year of dating, despite neither actor ever confirming their relationship status. A spokesperson for Hensley at the time stated, “They are just good friends.”
According to Insider, Hensley did publicly praise his co-star, claiming “Joely is pretty damn incredible.” The actor continued, “She’s in a different league altogether. And every time I step on the set with her, I feel I learn something.”
David Mann couldn't kiss his wife on the Meet the Browns set
With over three decades of marriage under their belt, David and Tamela Mann have become an example in Hollywood on how to make an industry marriage work. In fact, in 2018, the couple decided to give fans insight into how they made their marriage work despite working together on screen.
“The divorce rate in the entertainment industry is well over the standard [rate in the nation],” said David in an interview with EURWeb. ” We just wanted to share how we did it. One of the ways is, she’s my priority and I’m her priority.”
Although the two originally met long before their stint on Meet the Browns, the actor played Tamela Mann’s father in the popular sitcom, but with a few simple on set rules.
“She is like, ‘When you put that makeup on, you are Mr. Brown, you’re not my husband,'” said David to CNN. “So, she doesn’t want me kissing on her and stuff. She says ‘it’s like a dirty old man kissing and hugging on me.'”
In addition to following his wife’s on-set requests, the couple revealed the biggest thing that has made their marriage work was David’s dedication. “I didn’t have to worry about being in the middle,” said Tamela. “It was us and then everybody else.”
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