Passions and infidelities in Hollywood: films that broke up marriages and formed new couples. Sometimes, what starts in the film sets as fiction becomes irrepressible
When the public notices a lot of connection of the stars on the screen, they can’t help but speculate about the nature of the actors’ relationship outside the set… is that Real Chemistry? Did you enjoy that kiss in that scene? One does not choose where to meet the love of one’s life, but the situation becomes complicated when both, or one of them, is already married.
Exactly that happened in these films that ended the marriages of their protagonists and started new romances.
We all know the story of how Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt fell in love at first sight on the set of the film Mr. and Mrs. Smith when he was still married to one of Hollywood’s most beloved women, Jennifer Anniston. But his was not the only story of when scenes of love and sex transcend fiction.
“Days of Thunder”: Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman
When Days of Thunder began filming in 1989, Tom Cruise was already having a hard time with his then-wife Mimi Rogers, whom he had married in 1987. The love affair on the set of Cruise with his co-star Nicole Kidman did not help and they divorced barely a month after filming.
A year later, Cruise, 28, and Kidman, just 22, got married on Christmas Day 1990 at a secret wedding that took place in Colorado.
Over the next decade, the Hollywood couple worked together, on projects such as Far and Away – the story of two young Irish people going to the United States at the end of the 19th century – and Stanley Kubrick’s film, Ojos Bien Cerrados (1999). That last Kubrick film, which was about a marriage in crisis, caused controversy inside and outside the dressing rooms.
In February 2001 Cruise filed a divorce suit against Kidman citing “irreconcilable differences” between the two and requested joint custody of his two adopted children: Isabella, now 26, and Connor, 24.
Cleopatra: Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor
When Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton began filming Cleopatra in 1961, they hated each other. She called him “gross and rude” while he nicknamed her “Miss Tits”. However, when it was time for their first kiss in front of the cameras, they forgot everything. The director Joseph Leo Mankiewicz cut the scene several times, but they could not stop kissing.
However, there was great detail: both were married at that time. Taylor was with her fourth husband, Eddie Fisher, and Burton was married to Sybil Williams. Once the real passion between the protagonists was revealed, their marriages ended. They married in 1964 until 1974, then divorced and remarried in 1976.
“The Misfits”: Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller
Marilyn Monroe and playwright Arthur Miller were married four years when they joined professionally on the set of The Misfits, but the pressure of the film proved too much for the couple. Miller wrote the film for his wife, but she resented his constant rewriting and flagrant sexism of the time.
According to the biography of Monroe, The Passion and the Paradox of Lois Banner, the actress had nicknamed Miller as a “peaceful monster” at the beginning of their marriage. It was not long before the couple divorced.
The Misfits turned out to be the last film that Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable filmed before their respective deaths. Gable died 12 days after the filming was completed; Monroe died a year after the film was released. Some critics say that the performance of the actress in the said film was the best of his career.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
No doubt Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s production was key to Brad Pitt’s marriage to Jennifer Aniston imploding. Although Aniston cited “irreconcilable differences” in his divorce statement just a few months before the film’s premiere, Pitt later said that he “fell in love” while filming the film with Jolie.
Suddenly, the rumors of a flirt on the set seemed to be true. Jolie also confirmed that the sparks flew during the filming, despite her hesitation to pursue a married man.
A month after the separation with Aniston, a paparazzi portrayed Jolie and Pitt on vacation with Jolie’s adopted son, Maddox, in Africa. So was born the couple that the press dubbed Brangelina.
“Daredevil”: Benn Affleck and Jennifer Garner
When Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner began filming Daredevil in 2002, both were in pairs. Affleck was committed to the singer Jennifer Lopez, while Garner was married to Scott Foley, known by the serious Felicity.
Although neither party admitted an affair on the set, Affleck confirmed that he and Garner fell in love while filming the superhero movie. “That’s where I found my wife,” he said. “We met in Pearl Harbor, which people hate, but we fell in love with Daredevil.”
A year after Daredevil debuted in February 2003, Affleck ended his commitment to Lopez. Two months later, Garner divorced Foley. The two made their first public appearance in a Red Sox game in October 2004.
“Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley: Kenneth Branagh and Helena Bonham Carter
Kenneth Branagh could not avoid being attracted to his Frankenstein co-star, Helena Bonham Carter, when he was still married to Emma Thompson during filming in 1994. Ken & Em, as they were dubbed by the British press, met in the 1987 BBC Fortunes of War miniseries. Thompson divorced Branagh shortly after news of his affair with Bonham Carter became known.
Among all the memorable scenes from Love Actually, Emma Thompson opening the gift of her husband and discovering that it is not the necklace that she had seen but a CD of Joni Mitchell is in the heart of everyone who sees the film.
“That scene is very popular because everyone has experienced something like that,” the actress said long ago. “Ken broke my heart and I know what it’s like to find a necklace that is not for me.” It’s not exactly like that, but we’ve all gone through a similar situation (…) Helena and I made peace years and years ago.”
“Green Lantern”: Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds fell in love with the set of Green Lantern (Green Lantern). Shortly after filming finished, Lively broke up with Gossip Girl star Penn Badgley and Scarlett Johannson divorced Reynolds.
They got married in 2012 and very soon they will be the parents of their third child.
“Dream House”: Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig
In 2011, Rachel Weisz was paired with Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky when he began production of Dream House (behind the walls) with Daniel Craig. His attraction was undeniable. None of them admits that Dream House is the reason why their respective relationships ended, but Weisz is sincere about where she was wrong before meeting Craig: “I worried about so many things and it cost me to feel happy (…) Once You arrive at forty, you know where to look”
Weisz and Craig were married only seven months after filming the film at a secret wedding in New York, and last year they were the parents of their first daughter in common.
“Stage Beauty”: Billy Crudup
Actress Mary Louise Parker was seven months pregnant when actor Billy Crudup left her for her Stage Beauty co-star, Claire Danes, in 2005.
Parker spoke about it in her 2015 memoirs: “I’m pregnant and lonely, it hurts to even breathe,” the actress wrote in her publication, while Danes was sincere: “I was in love with [Crudup], and I needed to explore that and I had 24 years … I did not really know what the consequences would be.” The relationship lasted until 2006.
“By The Sea”: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
The relationship Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie began its fall during the filming of the movie By the Sea. During the promotion of the film, Jolie told the press that the film, which narrates the disintegration of a marriage, was a “test” for their relationship, but in retrospect, it seems more like a documentary.
A year after the premiere of the film, Jolie filed for divorce after ten years of relationship and six children in common. They separated in the middle of a scandal after the actress accused her then husband of exercising violence against one of their children. Later, the actor acknowledged that his alcoholism destroyed his marriage.