We all heard about Kristen Stewart’s fling with married director Rupert Sanders a while back. Despite the controversy surrounding their affair, it should be known that this isn’t the first time the line relationship between an actor and director has evolved into love affair. To prove it, here are 15 noteworthy director-actor romances from past and present.
Sam Taylor Wood and Aaron Johnsonp
Director Sam Taylor-Wood met British actor Aaron Johnson when they made the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy together. The two had already had two children together by the time they tied the knot this summer and both agreed to take the surname “Taylor-Johnson.” The real kicker: director Wood is 23 years his senior!
Rachel Weisz and Darren Aronofskyp
Critical darling director Darren Aronofsky met British actress Rachel Weisz while making the heady sci-fi flick The Fountain. While the pair seemed like a great match, Weisz eventually broke off their five-year-engagement, eventually marrying James Bond star Daniel Craig instead.
Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter
The only person who Tim Burton seems to be more infatuated with than Johnny Depp is his longtime partner Helena Bonham Carter. The pair began dating after filming Burton’s Planet of the Apes (2001) and have been inseparable both onscreen and off ever since.
Joe Coen and Frances McDormand
Joel Coen, one half of the sensation cinematic duo know to moviegoers as The Coen Brothers, met Frances McDormand on the set of Blood Simple in 1984. The pair were married that same year and have been “collaborating” onscreen and off for nearly 28 years.
Julie Dreyfus and Quentin Tarantino
Though Quentin Tarantino has a reputation for being notoriously shy about his private life, the actor was at one time romantically linked to French beauty Julie Dreyfus. The pair worked together on Kill Bill: Volume 1 and Inglourious Basterds.
James Gunn and Jenna Fischer
Cult writer/director James Gunn recently made headlines when it was announced he would be helming Marvel’s upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy. Before he made it big, Gunn was probably most well known as husband to The Office star Jenna Fischer. The two linked up on Gunn’s superhero indie The Specials and married in 2000. They worked together both on Gunn’s horror film Slither and Fischer’s low-budget comedy LolliLove, but ended up splitting on good terms in 2007.
Diane Keaton and Woody Allen
Sure, Woody Allen made more headlines for divorcing Mia Farrow to get with his underage, adopted stepdaughter Soon-Yi Previn. However, everyone knows Diane Keaton ranks as Allen’s most iconic flame. The pair met while making Allen’s Broadway show Play It Again, Sam. Even though their relationship lasted about a year, Keaton would stay by Allen’s side professionally throughout most of the 1970s. Their collaboration would pique with Allen’s Academy-Award winning Annie Hall (pictured above), which was partially inspired by their love affair.
Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders
We’ve touched on this one already. It’s a prime example of how not all director-actor romances turn into long term marriage or inspire classic movies. This one resulted in a barrage of bitter Twilight fans turning on KStew for cheating on boyfriend/franchise co-star Robert Pattinson. That’s okay, though– rumor has it the pair may be giving it a go again. Then again, Stewart is also set to star in Sanders’ upcoming sci-fi film The Juliet, so perhaps this triangle of love is more complicated than it seems…
Kate Beckinsale and Len Wiseman
Kate Beckinsale and director Len Wiseman often get confused with the previous Paul and Milla, possibly due to the fact their relationship is also rooted in an action/horror movie franchise. The two fell in love in 2003 while making Underworld (much to the chagrin of the film’s co-star, long-time boyfriend Michael Sheen, and Wiseman’s wife!). Nevertheless the two married in 2004 and keep going strong, still collaborating on the Underworld series and the recent Total Recall reboot. To top it off, both remain on good terms with Sheen, who calls Wiseman “a fantastic stepfather” for Lily, the daughter he had with Beckinsale previously.
Robert Rodriguez and Rose McGowan
On a more scandalous note Sin City director Robert Rodriguez separated from his wife Elizabeth Avellan after 16 years of marriage. The reason? A notorious affair with sultry actress Rose McGowan. The pair worked together on Planet Terror, one half of the 2007 horror double feature also involving Quentin Tarantino. Though a relationship with McGowan was seemingly blooming romantically and professionally (she was attached to star in both of Rodriguez’s remakes of Red Sonja and Barbarella), the two finally split in 2009.
Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg, on the other hand, won the romance lottery following his headline grabbing divorce from actress Amy Irving. On the set of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, sparks flew between the blockbuster director and actress Kate Capshaw. They subsequently married in 1991 and have raised 7 children together (biological and adopted!). Well done, you crazy kids.
Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor
While directing and starring in his eventually unaired (but now internet famous) pilot Heat Vision and Jack, Ben Stiller met his future bride Christine Taylor. Since marrying in 2001, the comedic couple have shared screentime in hits like Zoolander, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, and Tropic Thunder. The pair also have two children together, son Quinlin Dempsey and daughter Ella Olivia. Not bad for a couple of funny people…
Tony Scott and Donna W. Scott
Perhaps the most tragic couple on this list, Tony Scott married actress Donna Wilson in 1994 after meeting her on the set of Days of Thunder. The pair remained together for nearly twenty years until their union was cut short by Tony’s mysterious and tragic suicide. The legendary director is survived by Donna and their twin sons, Frank and Max.
Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman
While they may not be the most conventionally attractive couple on the list, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman have been among Hollywood’s favorite couples for 30 years. The pair’s creative relationship dates back to 1973, when the couple co-wrote Danny’s directorial debut short film The Sound Sleeper. Among the couple’s other onscreen collaborations were six episodes of Taxi and the DeVito-directed family favorite Matilda. Unfortunately, the pair recently announced they’d be called it quits for undisclosed reasons. Though they were never America’s sweethearts, a marriage that lasted as long as thirty years is certainly a worthy enough achievement to close out our list on.