10 On-Screen Pairs That Became Real Life Romances

10 On-Screen Pairs That Became Real Life Romances
Image credit: New Line Cinema, Legion-Media, FX, HBO

Sometimes, the script can't contain the sparks.

1. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams (The Notebook, 2004)

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Who could forget the gut-wrenching love story between Noah and Allie in The Notebook? The chemistry between Gosling and McAdams was off the charts, leading the film to gross over $115 million worldwide. After the director, Nick Cassavetes, helped them work through their initial animosity on set, the pair began dating in real life, mirroring their passionate on-screen relationship.

Alas, unlike the movie, they didn't grow old together and Ryan Gosling, as we all know, ended up with Eva Mendes (we'll touch more on that later), but the fervor of their relationship contributed to the film's status as a modern classic, currently holding an 85% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

2. Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem (Vicky Cristina Barcelona, 2008)

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Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona featured an ensemble cast, but the standout performers were undoubtedly Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem. Their volatile on-screen relationship was a stark contrast to their real-life romance, which began during filming.

The movie, with its budget of approximately $15 million, went on to gross $96 million worldwide, and Cruz's performance earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Today, Cruz and Bardem are still married and are considered one of the most glamorous couples in Hollywood.

3. Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer (True Blood, 2008-2014)

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HBO's hit series True Blood was known for its sexy, supernatural storylines, but the real magic happened off-screen. Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer played Sookie Stackhouse and vampire Bill Compton, whose complicated relationship was at the heart of the show's narrative.

Despite the show's supernatural setting, their chemistry was undeniably real, leading to a real-life relationship that culminated in marriage in 2010. They even became parents to twins in 2012. Since the conclusion of the series in 2014, they've continued to work together professionally, forming a production company named CASM.

4. Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling (The Place Beyond the Pines, 2012)

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Eva Mendes was Ryan's co-star in The Place Beyond the Pines. They portrayed a tumultuous couple connected by an unplanned pregnancy. As their characters struggled with their relationship on screen, Gosling and Mendes began dating off-screen. Despite being intensely private about their relationship, they're known to be still together and have two daughters.

The film holds a 78% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has grossed over $35 million worldwide, but its true legacy may be as the starting point of one of Hollywood's most elusive couples.

5. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys (The Americans, 2013-2018)

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The Americans was a critical darling throughout its six-season run, earning a 96% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It was known for its intense espionage plotlines, but the love story between its main characters, Elizabeth and Philip Jennings, played by Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, became one of the show's main draws.

As their characters navigated a fake marriage that became all too real, Russell and Rhys began a relationship off-screen that's still going strong. They welcomed a son in 2016 and continue to be one of the most low-key yet beloved couples in Hollywood.

6. Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds (Green Lantern, 2011)

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The Green Lantern may not have set the box office on fire, only earning around $219 million globally against a $200 million budget, but it ignited a real-life romance between co-stars Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds. On-screen, they played Carol Ferris and Hal Jordan, a pair with a complicated romantic history.

Off-screen, Lively and Reynolds started dating a year after the film was released. They married in 2012 and have three daughters. Despite the film's lukewarm 26% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it's safe to say the stars found something quite valuable on the set.

7. Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender (The Light Between Oceans, 2016)

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The Light Between Oceans was a melodramatic tale of love and loss, where Vikander and Fassbender portrayed a couple dealing with the aftermath of a miscarriage. The film, while not a massive commercial success, brought the two actors together off-screen. Fassbender noted that their chemistry during filming was 'frightening.'

They started dating and married in 2017, maintaining a low-key relationship away from the public eye. With a 62% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the film may not have been a blockbuster, but it was the genesis of a beautiful real-life love story.

8. Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon (Bull Durham, 1988)

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In Bull Durham, Robbins played Nuke LaLoosh, an enthusiastic but clueless rookie pitcher, while Sarandon portrayed Annie Savoy, a seasoned baseball groupie. The film, budgeted at approximately $9 million, went on to gross $50.8 million and has a respectable 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite their characters' turbulent relationship on-screen, Robbins and Sarandon hit it off behind the scenes and ended up dating for 21 years. The couple, sadly, split in 2009, but their relationship remains a notable Hollywood romance.

9. Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell (Swing Shift, 1984)

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The '80s were a decade full of neon, legwarmers, and the start of one of Hollywood's longest-lasting relationships. Swing Shift might not have been a box-office hit, but it served as the springboard for the romantic relationship between Hawn and Russell.

They played a woman and a soldier finding love during World War II, and as it turned out, the sparks were flying off-screen as well. The couple remains together to this day, serving as a reminder that some Hollywood romances do have happy endings – although they are still not married, can you imagine that?..

10. Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart (To Have and Have Not, 1944)

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A throwback to Old Hollywood, Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart's romance began on the set of To Have and Have Not. Their on-screen chemistry was so electrifying that it translated into a real-life marriage that lasted until Bogart's death in 1957.

The film is a classic in every sense of the word, holding an 95% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and is perhaps best remembered for Bacall's famous line, You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and...blow. It seems Bogart did know how to whistle after all.