11 Beloved Movie Couples Who Clashed Behind the Scenes
They may have had great chemistry on the screen, but things on set were tense.
When you watch a movie, you're seeing months and months of work by hundreds of people edited down into two hours of footage. So when you watch characters bond, develop a relationship, or fall in love—unless there is a very clear lack of chemistry—you'd probably assume they also clicked as colleagues off-camera. But in some actors who've played beloved movie couples clashed behind the scenes and, in some cases, for years after the director called "cut."
The Notebook, Dirty Dancing, and Notting Hill are some of the most beloved romantic films, but each involved varying levels of tension between its two leads. There are even some really classic films — I'm talking Casablanca and Breakfast at Tiffany's level classic — that were full of drama and disdainful remarks when the actors were working but still came together in the end. In one case, an on-screen couple even ended up in a serious relationship after starting off on the wrong foot.
So read on to find out about 11 movie couples who clashed behind the scenes, whether that was because of incompatible personalities, awkward interactions, or requests that their co-star be replaced with someone else, stat. And to see IRL pairs when they first fell in love, check out 13 Photos of Celebrity Couples When They First Got Together.
Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams
Let's start out with one of the most infamous stories of on-screen romantic partners not getting along off-screen. When Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams began filming 2004's The Notebook, Gosling disliked working with McAdams so much that he wanted her switched out for another actor. "[T]hey were really not getting along one day on set," director Nick Cassavetes told Vh1. "Ryan came to me, and there's 150 people standing in this big scene, and he says, 'Nick come here.' And he's doing a scene with Rachel and he says, 'Would you take her out of here and bring in another actress to read off camera with me? … I can't. I can't do it with her. I'm just not getting anything from this.'" Cassavetes said McAdams and Gosling ended up going in a room together, screaming at each other, and getting it all out. "The rest of the film wasn't smooth sailing, but it was smoother sailing," Cassavetes said. But that wasn't the end of their entanglement—the actors then dated until 2007.
For celebrities who almost gave up on acting entirely, check out These Huge Stars Almost Quit Hollywood.
Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes played Romeo and Juliet in Baz Luhrmann's 1996 adaptation. It was love at first sight for their characters, and the actors were actually pretty fond of each other overall. But filming was sometimes tense. "I think it was crush-y for sure," Danes said on the podcast Armchair Expert of already being a fan of DiCaprio when she was cast. She explained that she was young and had no interest in actually trying to pursue him. Plus, as she learned, "We're really different people. I remember at one point he was just really frustrated, and he said, 'How can you be so still?' And I said, 'How can you be so active?!' But he is. He has a very kind of frenetic energy."
Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart
It sounds like things were tough on set for Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart when they were making Casablanca. According to the book We'll Always Have Casablanca by film historian Noah Isenberg, Bergman and Bogart were not close on set, thanks in part to Bogart's relationship with his wife. "He was going through a nasty period with his wife–actress Mayo Methot–and there were a lot of gin-fuelled rages," the book explains (via Express). Apparently, Bergman would ask Bogart to dinner so they could bond, but he repeatedly turned her down or ignored her. According to Ingrid, a biography of Bergman by Charlotte Chandler (via Today), the only thing they had in common was how much they didn't want to film the movie, because when they showed up to work the script wasn't even finished.
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Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze
The classic lift. The dance practice in the lake. "Nobody puts Baby in a corner." All of these iconic moments from Dirty Dancing happened despite stars Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze not always being on the same page. Swayze explained to AFI that the movie took advantage of their real dynamic, where he was a professional dance instructor and she was an often giggly student. "They just took pieces of Patrick and Jennifer working together attempting to be a dance team and my real frustration," he said. "I'm trying to keep this girl serious. I'm trying to keep her from crying, trying to keep her focused to get past her fear and her ego." As for Grey, she said in the documentary I Am Patrick Swayze (via Meaww), "I believe tension is much hotter-looking than just love. And I think there was a very complex dynamic between Patrick and myself for the whole movie. You know you see a cartoon and there is a fight and just you can't tell who's who and it's just a ball, it was a little like that with him and me… whatever our issues were, we had them, but they weren't talked about."
Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant
Fans might love Anna and William in Notting Hill, but since filming, things have been slightly contentious between stars Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. During a 2015 episode of Watch What Happens Live, a caller asked Grant if he was still in touch with Roberts and he said (via Us Weekly), "I've probably made too many jokes about the size of her mouth. She might hate me by now." So, what did he say? Well, during a 2004 episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, he said (via Digital Spy), "Very big-mouthed! Literally, physically, she has a very big mouth. When I was kissing her I was aware of a faint echo." When Oprah Winfrey said, "She's one of the nicest people I ever met," he added, "Wouldn't go that far." But, in 2005, Roberts was already forgiving him, according to Female First. "I had a blast on Notting Hill," she said. "Even though he is cruel about my looks, he is a great talent, so it would be fun [to do another movie]. He's forgiven now."
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Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis
Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis starred in the comedy Some Like It Hot together in 1959. But, according to what Curtis has said in the years since, there was some sort of drama between them, it's just not quite clear how it all went down.
"She did have difficulties," Curtis told Entertainment Weekly in 2001. "Showing up late. Spending all morning on one or two lines of dialogue. There was nothing laid back or amusing about Marilyn on that movie. She was drinking a lot on the set. I know she was drinking champagne out of coffee mugs when we were doing that scene [on the train]." He also famously said that kissing her was like "kissing Hitler" but later claimed it was sarcasm. On top of that, in his 2009 book, he said they had an affair during the shoot and she had a pregnancy that resulted in a miscarriage. With Monroe not around to confirm or deny anything, we'll never know just how much of this is accurate.
Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard
Breakfast at Tiffany's ended up giving Audrey Hepburn her most iconic role, but her relationship with her on-screen love interest George Peppard was not a positive one. According to the book Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman by Sam Wasson (via the Daily Mail), "Peppard referred to [Hepburn] disdainfully as 'the Happy Nun.'" Producer Richard Shepherd says in the book, "I must say there wasn't a human being that Audrey Hepburn didn't have a kind word for except George Peppard. She didn't like him at all. She thought he was pompous."
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Richard Gere and Debra Winger
Debra Winger and Richard Gere starred in An Officer and a Gentleman in 1982, but she was not impressed. Their co-star, Louis Gossett Jr. wrote in his book An Actor and a Gentleman (via ABC News), "The onscreen chemistry between the two of them was terrific, but it was a different story once the camera was turned off. They couldn't have stayed farther apart from each other."
In a 2002 interview with the Guardian, Winger addressed reports that she called Gere things like "brick wall," saying, "The only remarks that ever made print were those that ruffled a few feathers. I run into Richard Gere quite a lot and he half jokes: 'Are you still saying terrible things about me?' We had a moment in our life which was not good, but everyone has to get it into perspective." In fact, in 2011, she ended up presenting an award to him at the Rome Film Festival.
Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson
It was a big deal when Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson were cast to play Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in the 2015 Fifty Shades of Grey adaptation. So, it was also a big deal when they appeared to have zero chemistry and gave uncomfortable interviews when promoting the first film. In one particular interview they joked about hating each other, but it was hard to parse their real feelings through the awkwardness.
In the time since, though—and with the release of two more movies in the franchise—they've made it clear that they do get along and maybe just have a particularly sarcastic friendship. While promoting the second movie, Dornan told Entertainment Tonight, "I was only cast five weeks before we started filming the first movie, and that's when I met Dakota [Johnson] for the first time. [Now] it's been three years, [and] Dakota and I are very close. We've got a great sort of love and respect for each other. We're great friends and I think that makes it easier, you know?" So, this one might have been a case of fans just misinterpreting things. As least as far as we know.
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Pierce Brosnan and Teri Hatcher
They might be a lesser remembered on-screen pairing, but one James Bond and "Bond girl" really didn't get along. On the set of Tomorrow Never Dies, Pierce Brosnan was upset that Teri Hatcher was late for work, but later he found out that there was a good reason. "The Teri Hatcher incident was blown out of proportion," he told Playboy (via Commander Bond). "She was late to the set because she was newly pregnant. I did not know that until the end of the day." In regards to rumors that she'd purposely slapped him hard during a scene, he said, "She didn't slap me. I didn't slap her. I was vexed because I had a call time of 6 or 7 a.m., and we didn't do any work until three or four in the afternoon. No one told me her situation until afterwards. By that time I'd already shot my mouth off and cussed and moaned and groaned. That's all it was, a storm in a teacup."
Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall
Lastly, we have a on-screen couple that was not romantic, but is definitely beloved. Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall starred in Sex and the City for six seasons on HBO and in two movies. But while Carrie Bradshaw and Samantha Jones were best friends, the actors have been publicly butting heads for years. First, there was said to be a feud because of Cattrall asking for more money on the show, but, as reported by Elle, both women said things were fine between them and that reports were making up something that wasn't there. But, in more recent years, there actually has been drama, linked, in part, to Cattrall not wanting to do a third movie and saying that she and the other cast members were "never friends." She and Parker also got into a kerfuffle over Parker posting her condolences on Instagram after Cattrall brother's died. In response, Cattrall wrote, "Your continuous reaching out is a painful reminder of how cruel you really were then and now. Let me make this VERY clear. (If I haven't already) You are not my family. You are not my friend. So I'm writing to tell you one last time to stop exploiting our tragedy in order to restore your 'nice girl' persona." In conclusion, give up hope for that third movie for good.