It’s a special thing when two movie stars who are married to each other in real life play a married couple in a film. Even though they’re actors playing fictional parts, there’s a special sort of spark knowing that at the end of the day, they’re a real celebrity couple.
Here are 18 married couples who starred in movies while they were either married or just before they got hitched.
John Krasinski and Emily Blunt — “A Quiet Place”
Part of the appeal of “A Quiet Place” was seeing this beloved Hollywood couple flex their acting chops together. Not only did the married couple play a married couple in the movie, but Krasinski directed his wife in the supernatural thriller about a monster that hunts when you make a sound.
Two years before the film premiered, Krasinski told E! News, “I would rather act with Emily than direct [her]. I don’t know if I need that responsibility. She’s so good and I’d be so scared to screw it up. But happy to be in scenes with her because that would be really fun. We’re always up for doing something, it’s just gotta be the right thing.”
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Pitt — “By the Sea”
The couple fell in love on the set of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” but weren’t a bona-fide married couple until their 2015 flick “By the Sea.” Interestingly, Jolie Pitt also wrote and directed the film which followed a long-term couple dealing with marital issues. The real couple announced their own divorce a year after the film was released.
Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon — “Cruel Intentions”
Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon were dating while they filmed “Cruel Intentions,” but Witherspoon got pregnant with their first child – Ava Phillippe – right before the movie came out, and they got hitched shortly after the film’s premiere. They have since divorced but their love-story is forever up there with Hollywood’s iconic couples.
Will Arnett and Amy Poehler — “Blades of Glory”
The couple played an ice dancing duo of siblings named Team Van Waldenberg in the 2007 Will Ferrell comedy “Blades of Glory.” Their off-screen romance made them Hollywood darlings, but the couple divorced in 2016. You can watch a clip from “Blades of Glory” here.
Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman — “Eyes Wide Shut,” “Far and Away,” and “Days of Thunder”
For a good decade, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman were one of the most high-profile couples in Hollywood and starred in not one – but three – movies together as a married couple. Their most famous film together was “Eyes Wide Shut,” and despite their successes as a movie-star couple,Kidman recently told Red Magazine, “I look back now [on that marriage] and I’m like, ‘What?'”
Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez — “El Cantante”
“El Cantante” was a biopic about the Puerto Rican salsa legend Hector Lavoe, and while it starred a real-life musical couple – Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez – this film didn’t make it particularly big in Hollywood.
The couple divorced in 2011.
Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard — “CHIPS” and “Hit and Run”
One of the reasons Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard are such a beloved couple is their working relationship on and offscreen. The pair played a boyfriend and girlfriend on a road trip in the 2012 comedy “Hit and Run,” and then a married couple in the 2017 feature “CHIPS.” Shepard wrote and directed both films.
Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan — “10 Years”
The obvious Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan film to reference is “Step Up,” but that’s the film where they met. They didn’t appear in a movie together as married people until 2011’s “10 Years,” where they play a couple who return to Tatum’s hometown for his 10-year reunion.
Warren Beatty and Annette Bening — “Love Affair”
After meeting on the set of “Bugsy” in 1991, the couple got hitched the following year and played lovers in the 1994 film “Love Affair.” Now, 26 years later, their real-life love affair is still going.
Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan — “Flesh and Bone”
The couple were married from 1991-2001 and along the way they starred in the 1993 thriller “Flesh and Bone.” Though they ultimately didn’t work out, Quaid previously told “Today,” that “[It was] my most successful relationship.”
Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor — “Zoolander” and “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story”
This funny couple starred in 2001’s “Zoolander” and 2004’s “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story” during their 17-year marriage.
Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly — “Creation”
The married couple joined forces for the biopic about Charles Darwin’s life. He played Charles, she played his wife Emma. The film didn’t leave a huge mark on Hollywood, but the couple is still going strong and have been married for 15 years.
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith — “Ali”
Smith starred in the Muhammad Ali biopic as the iconic boxer and although “Vulture” lamented that Pinkett Smith’s part as Muhammad Ali’s wife Sonji Roi was “not a very meaty role” – they hold the distinction of being one of the few couples on this list who are still married.
Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy — “Bridesmaids”
“Bridesmaids” will forever be Melissa McCarthy’s breakout role, but a lot of people still don’t know that the “air marshal” character was played by her husband Ben Falcone. Since then, Falcone has directed several McCarthy films (“Tammy,” “The Boss,” and “Life of the Party”) and often has cameos in all his wife’s films.
Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz have starred in nine films together, several of which as a married couple.
Though they didn’t get hitched until the following year, Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz played ex-spouses in Woody Allen’s 2009 film “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” Their chemistry sizzled off the screen and Cruz won an Oscar for that performance.
Since then, they have starred in several film together including 2017’s “Loving Pablo” and the upcoming release “Everybody Knows.”
Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor — “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
They were Hollywood’s most famous and aspirational couple at the time, but the real-life lovers duked it out in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” as a mean married couple who couldn’t stand each other.
Madonna and Sean Penn — “Shanghai Surprise”
If you don’t remember “Shanghai Surprise,” you’re not alone. The 1986 film starred Madonna and Sean Penn a year after their wedding, and despite their star-power, the film was a flop. Flavorwire critic Jason Bailey wrote of the film, “It feels, more than anything, like the duo went looking for a movie they could co-star in, and this was the only script that was lying around.”
Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh — “Much Ado About Nothing”
This low-key thespian couple married in 1989 and starred in three films together – “Much Ado About Nothing,” “Dead Again,” and “Peter’s Friends.” They ended up divorcing in 1995 after Thompson said Branagh had an affair with fellow actor Helena Bonham Carter.
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