What if you’re an actor recently split from another actor, only to find that your ex has just been cast opposite you in a project you can’t turn down? It’s the very definition of awkward. Or worse still, what if you and a co-star have dated and had a messy split but are still contracted to appear together on a show? And while meeting your ex at an office party is bad enough, just imagine having to walk the red carpet with them! These aren’t situations that any of us would envy, but that’s what happened to these unfortunate celebrities.
20. Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony
When Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony parted ways in 2011 after seven years together, it may have made their 2012 reality show ¡Q’Viva! just a little bit less of a good idea. And while the pair claimed that any animosity displayed on screen was deliberately embellished during post-production, it nonetheless looked pretty real.
19. Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder
Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder were lovers on TV show The Vampire Diaries and lovers in reality, too – for a while. In 2013, though, they parted ways amicably – and given that they still had to continue playing a beloved TV couple on screen, it was definitely best that things hadn’t gotten ugly.
18. Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake
Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake were a very popular celebrity pairing until their reportedly rather messy split in 2006. And yet the two seemed to put their differences aside in 2011 when they reunited for the film Bad Teacher. “We’re adults. Of course we could work together,” Diaz told Playboy that year.
17. Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco
Big Bang Theory co-stars Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco got together while filming the show but broke up in 2009 while the popular sitcom was in its prime. And while they remained friends, it still must have been awkward filming their characters’ wedding scene in season ten.
16. Jennifer Carpenter and Michael C. Hall
Jennifer Carpenter and Michael C. Hall fell in love in 2007 when they played adoptive siblings on Dexter. In fact, they made their whirlwind romance official when they married that same year. But it was all over by 2010 – after which the Dexter writers decided, rather embarrassingly, that their characters should be in a relationship. The actors saw the storyline through, though, albeit with difficulty.
15. Blake Lively and Penn Badgley
Gossip Girl stars Blake Lively and Penn Badgley hooked up in 2007 and split in 2010, but the show still had to go on. In 2015, meanwhile, Badgley told Watch What Happens Live that his then-girlfriend had given him both his best on-screen kiss and – after they broke up – his worst.
14. Sophia Bush and Chad Michael Murray
Sophia Bush and Chad Michael Murray met on the set of One Tree Hill and married in an idyllic ceremony in April 2005. But, sadly, it didn’t work out, and the pair divorced just one year later. What’s more, although they managed to keep things professional on set, they fell into somewhat of a frosty relationship once the show was done.
13. Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson
Apparently, when Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson got together in 2004, the producers of The O.C. told them that even if they split their characters would remain a couple. And by 2006 they had indeed split; they remained professional, however, and stayed friends.
12. Milo Ventimiglia and Hayden Panettiere
Heroes stars Milo Ventimiglia and Hayden Panettiere got together in 2007 and made it work for two years. Still, when they split in 2009, they at least didn’t have to worry about any kissing on screen – as their characters were uncle and niece. Not that it seems to have been easy for Ventimiglia, though: when asked by E! in 2016 about dating co-stars, he remarked ruefully, “Don’t s**t where you eat.”
11. Jennifer Morrison and Jesse Spencer
Jennifer Morrison and Jesse Spencer of House fame got engaged in 2006; the following year, however, they broke up before ever making it down the aisle. “We are still very close, and we look forward to continuing to work together on House,” their split statement read. But then their characters themselves ended up getting married and then divorced, which can’t have been an easy pill to swallow…
10. Evangeline Lilly and Dominic Monaghan
Evangeline Lilly and Dominic Monaghan weren’t a couple on Lost, but they were very much together off screen from 2004 to 2009. However, a 2013 tweet from Monaghan implied that their breakup was bitter, with some infidelity on Lilly’s part. Unfortunately, too, at the time the pair still had to work together – for despite Monaghan’s character being killed off, he continued to appear in the show.
9. Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher
Carrie Fisher revealed in 2016 that she and a married Harrison Ford had enjoyed a fling in 1976 while filming the first Star Wars movie. And while she also asserted that she didn’t wreck his marriage in the process, the set of 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back must still have been a strange place to be.
8. Megan Fox and Shia LaBeouf
Playing a couple in 2007’s Transformers led to Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox hooking up in real life. There was just one problem: Fox was most likely still dating Brian Austin Green at the time. And so while both Fox and LaBeouf returned for the sequel, she was gone for the threequel.
7. Will Forte and January Jones
Will Forte dated January Jones, his co-star on The Last Man on Earth, for five months in 2015. And to make things even more potentially awkward for the couple post-split, they were eventually joined on the show by Jason Sudeikis – a previous ex of Jones and the best bud of Forte. Still, there’s been no tension reported on that set, so perhaps they’ve all approached the situation like grown-ups.
6. Crystal Reed and Daniel Sharman
Obviously a show called Teen Wolf is going to be brimming with hormones. And nowhere was this more apparent than in the case of Crystal Reed and Daniel Sharman, who dated between 2011 and 2013. Somewhat excruciatingly, though, the pair had to get intimate with each other on screen just four months after their split. Awkward.
5. Jennifer Garner and Michael Vartan
Before she formed a power couple with Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner dated her Alias co-star Michael Vartan. The showbiz pair lasted from 2003 to 2004, right up until Affleck came along. And then, come 2005, Vartan’s character was killed off on the show. Coincidence… or not?
4. Bella Thorne and Gregg Sulkin
Bella Thorne and Gregg Sulkin seemed like the perfect young couple until they split in 2016 after a year together. But then it turned out that Sulkin had been cast to star in a TV movie that Thorne was executive producing – making her basically his boss! Yikes.
3. Katie Holmes and Joshua Jackson
Katie Holmes and Joshua Jackson dated on the set of Dawson’s Creek from 1998 to 1999, before splitting because they were, reportedly, “heading in opposite directions.” But they still had to kiss on TV – and though at the time Holmes claimed that it wasn’t hard for her, it probably was.
2. Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick
Don’t get involved with a Kardashian unless you’re happy to remain linked to them forever. For example, Scott Disick was in an on/off relationship with Kourtney Kardashian for ten years, beginning in 2006. But even during the times they were off he had to show up on the set of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Not easy.
1. Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart
Twilight franchise stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart were a golden couple… right up until Stewart cheated on her co-star with a married film director in 2012. By then the Twilight filming was over, but they still had one last promo tour to go. And to their credit, they managed to struggle through it.