Teen People: On Set Romances

TeenPeople: On Set romances On Set Romances
April 2005

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Celebrity Couples: On-Screen And Off!

Sometimes On-Set Sparks Turn Into Real-Life Romance, But Is That Always A Good Thing? Here Stars Spill All.

Teen People: On-Set Romances by Sona CharaipotraWhen Sophia Bush got the part of feisty Brooke on One Tree Hill, she knew she’d landed her dream role. Little did she know she’d also meet the man of her dreams. And as quickly as you can say “Action,” her on-screen chemistry with costar Chad Michael Murray led to some serious off-screen fireworks. “Did you see the episode where Brooke and Lucas make out at the bar? What do you think?” Sophia asks, giggling. “We started hanging out all the time as friends, then we realized things clicked.”

And while Lucas and Brooke’s fling fizzled, Chad and Sophia’s love sizzles. Yet the now-engaged costars did think twice before hooking up. “It’s weird because your entire life is on the line,” says Chad. “You’re like, ‘Okay, if she doesn’t like me, I’m [screwed] because I have to work with her for the next six years.”


From small-screen sweeties such as Chad and Sophia to feature-film flames like Jude Law and Sienna Miller, on-set romances have always been hot. Remember Britney and Justin, who became acquainted on the set of the Mickey Mouse Club as tweens. “It’s like sleep-away camp,” says publicist Lizzie Grubman, who repped Britney when the relationship went public. “It’s an intense situation, and you’re bonding with that person. It’s natural to fall in love.”

That’s certainly what happened to Jude and Sienna while filming the romantic comedy Alfie. “When [the director] yelled cut, they didn’t stop,” says one on-set witness. “They gave their best when the cameras stopped rolling – lots of giggles, hugging.”

But while Jude proposed to Sienna, most on-set romances poop out pretty quickly: Kirsten Dunst and Tobey Maguire; Brittany Murphy and Ashton Kutcher. And though high-profile coupling can score tons of publicity, they’re also risky. “It’s no different from having five classes with someone you’re dating,” says TV producer Christopher Keyser, who worked on Party of Five. “And then you break up and still have to see the person every day. It’s hard for actors because they have to pretend to like each other – and worse, kiss.”

And sometimes falling for a costar can make for awkward moments on the set even before a split – especially when your real-life love has to make out with another actor. Just ask Michael Copon, who cozies up to Sophia on One Tree Hill this season as the mischievous Felix. “There was one [kissing scene] where we were holding the position for, like, 20 minutes. Then we both looked up at the same time and just busted out laughing,” Michael recalls. “But it was uncomfortable for me. So we had a straigt-up talk in the beginning. Chad said, ‘Thanks for respecting my girl.’ And I’m like, ‘No problem, man.’ Since then, everything’s been swell.”

Chad, for one, accepts that kissing strangers is just an occupational hazard he and Sophia are going to have to deal with. “I would love to go to work and make out with my fiancée,” he says. “But I don’t think that’s how the cards are going to play out.”


Off-set cameras also put pressure on dating costars. While Chad and Sophia work the red carpet as a pair, The O.C.’s Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson won’t even admit they’re together. “Fans don’t always like it when their favorite celeb has a boyfriend or girlfriend,” says publicist Grubman.

That’s one reason on-set hook-ups aren’t generally encouraged. “Most producers prefer that that life not imitate art,” says producer Keyser. “But you can’t tell someone not to fall in love – and you can’t keep them in love.”

Take Jennifer Garner and her Alias costar Michael Vartan. The two dated, split and then got hot-and-heavy on-screen – even though Jen is now with Ben Affleck (her Daredevil costar). Sounds like a drama in the making, right? Not necessarily. “Jennifer and Michael are perfectly fine working together after the split,” says Grubman. “If you’re adult about the relationship, then it should all work itself out.” Whether that’s wishful thinking almost doesn’t matter. The public’s fascination with celebrity romances is only growing. Stay tuned.

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