Nothing says “awkward” quite like having to work with your ex, especially if it’s right after the split. When you’re far from recovering, it’s hard enough just having to bump into them, so you cautiously avoid that from ever happening. But what if say you’re a celebrity who needs to play a romantic role with your ex onscreen? Yup, talk about rubbing salt to wound.
Here are some celebrity couples who were faced with that very challenging experience of having to work alongside the person they just broke up with and vice versa. One thing’s for sure, they pretty much aced the whole acting aspect of it!
1. Chad Michael Murray and Sophia Bush
This former couple met on the set of “One Tree Hill” in 2003 and married 2 years later.
After just 5 months of apparently not-so-wedded bliss, the pair separated and filed for annulment after rumours had surfaced that Chad allegedly cheated on Sophia with Paris Hilton. Despite what was probably an extremely unpleasant situation they had to continue working together every day and pretending to date, while the actress had to watch her ex start multiple relationships with other females on the show until he finally left in its seventh season.
2. Jack White and Meg White
Initially, this couple pretended to be siblings so that their relationship wouldn’t draw attention away from their band, The White Stripes, but Jack and Meg were actually husband and wife, having wed back in 1996. In fact, Jack even took her name – his surname was Gillis.
They remained married for 4 years, eventually splitting right before the band hit it big, but continued working together for more than a decade before disbanding.
3. Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart
You’d have to have been living under a rock not to know that these 2 starred opposite each other in “Twilight“, and were also together in real life. Conveniently, Kristen and Rob fell in love while filming the saga.
But the relationship came to a quick end shortly after the actress was caught cheating on her lover with the director from another film she starred in, Rupert Sanders from “Snow White and the Huntsman”. Although they’d already finished filming the last instalment, the former couple was obligated to promote the final movie together – and, since it was the big finale, they were forced to spend a lot of time doing it. Definitely awkward to say the least.
4. Michael Vartan and Jennifer Garner
After getting divorced in 2003 from her former co-star Scott Foley, Jennifer Garner had a rebound relationship with her “Alias” co-star, Michael Vartan, which, not surprisingly, only lasted a year. The show, however, continued for 6 years, which was probably rather difficult for at least one of them.
Some said that Michael maintained his affection for Jennifer, while she had clearly moved on. During the last season, she was even pregnant with new husband Ben Affleck’s baby who was born on 1st December 2005. That’s gotta hurt.
5. Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco
Johnny and Kaley still star opposite each other on “The Big Bang Theory”, – and, their characters Leonard and Penny recently got engaged on the show. In real life, the pair dated secretly offscreen before eventually coming clean about it in 2010 after they’d already broken up. They insist that they’re still friends and just didn’t want to talk about their relationship as they were afraid it would spoil the perception of their characters on the show.
The actress moved on a while ago, marrying pro tennis player Ryan Sweeting last fall, while the 39-year-old actor is now dating actress Kelli Garner.
6. Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson
Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson met on the set of “The O.C” in 2003, playing Summer and Seth on the hit TV show. The pair began dating in real life soon after, but after 3 years, they split up, while “The O.C.” continued on until 2007. They had to continue to working together, and on the show, the couple ultimately ended up together.
A few years later she confessed to Lucky magazine that it wasn’t a very comfortable situation, explaining, “I just had absolutely no idea that all that – being on The O.C., dating Adam – was going to end up being so invasive”.
7. Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony
It seems that Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony had a rather amicable split. After a 7-year marriage and becoming parents to twins Max and Emme, they separated in 2011, but it didn’t stop them from working together on the show they created.
They continued working on “Q’Viva! The Chosen”, a talent show competition focused on finding star Latin performers – at least until the series ended the following year.
8. Penn Badgley and Blake Lively
“Gossip Girl” co-stars Penn Badgely and Blake Lively dated from 2007 to 2010, but the series didn’t go off the air until 2012. At that point, their characters, Serena and Dan, had gotten married on the show, while in real life the actress had just married Ryan Reynolds.
During an interview with Elle in 2013, Penn revealed that they didn’t remain the best of buddies. He said that while they were “ultimately professional,” they weren’t exactly friendly, meaning he didn’t attend the wedding or purchase the newlyweds a gift.
9. Katie Holmes and Joshua Jackson
Katie Holmes became famous for her role on “Dawson’s Creek” long before she married Tom Cruise. In fact, she’s said that her first “big, real-life romance” was with her co-star on the show, Joshua Jackson. The pair dated back in 1998, when the actress was just 19. In the September 1998 issue of Rolling Stone, she opened up about her love life revealing, “I had really good luck this past year and I had a really wonderful, amazing experience”. When she was asked if that “amazing experience” was with Joshua, she confessed, “I’m just going to say that I met somebody last year, I fell in love, I had my first love, and it was something so incredible and indescribable”.
Unfortunately, the love didn’t last long as the couple broke up shortly afterward but had to continue their onscreen relationship
10. Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake
Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake dated for nearly 4 years, breaking up in 2007. As so many couples often comment, they said that although they ended their romantic relationship, they did so mutually, and as friends.
While they weren’t working together at the time, they were forced to reunite a few years later for the comedy flick “Bad Teacher”, – amidst rumours that the “Charlie’s Angels” star was interested in wooing him back. Obviously, Jessica Biel AKA Mrs. Justin Timberlake, won out, but it might have made for some awkward moments on the set.
11. Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev
“The Vampire Diaries” couple Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev were a couple in real life for 3 years before breaking up in May of 2013. At the time, they said they would “continue to work together and remain best friends, which is where the relationship started”.
Of course, they’re still a couple on the show which was renewed for a sixth season earlier this year, but they appear to be handling it rather well, being true to their word.
12. Tony Kanal and Gwen Stefani
“No Doubt” frontwoman Gwen Stefani started dating bassist Tony Kanal shortly after the band was formed back in the 80s. Just before they were about to hit the big time, Tony ended their tumultuous 7-year relationship. It was said to be an extremely difficult time that almost caused the demise of “No Doubt”. Gwen wrote their iconic hit, “Don’t Speak” shortly after Tony broke up with her.
The pair now say that performing the song together every night was a “brutal, torturing experience,” and that they were asked about it in every interview, opening the wound on almost an hourly basis.