Celebrity Exes Who Had To Work Together After A Breakup

When people break up on bad terms, they tend to avoid the places they once frequented with that partner. Businesses like restaurants, bars, and coffee shops become off-limits because nothing is more dreadful than seeing an ex again. However, being a celebrity with an ex that's also famous is just as hard and probably way more challenging to have to face. These exes are bound to see one another on several occasions, from red carpets to award shows, and things can get pretty awkward. What's worse, imagine being that celebrity and continuing to work with that same ex for months and even years after a breakup. 

While briefly seeing an ex can conjure up memories you've been trying to forget, several stars have had to act alongside their exes in movies and television shows. Like the stars on this list, many fell in love on set, only to break up and continue working together as if nothing ever happened. Keeping up with their professionalism, some of these former partners even had to continue working in their roles portraying boyfriend and girlfriend! Yikes. We've got to give a hand to celebs who can look past their former relationship issues, woes, and breakups. 

Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart continue to work together as Betty and Jughead in Riverdale

"Riverdale" co-stars Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse had fans jumping for joy when their television show romance as Jughead and Betty Cooper played out in real life. According to Seventeen, when their relationship was first reported in 2017, both stars played coy. However, walking the red carpet together at the 2018 Met Gala confirmed what fans all hoped for. Still, the couple mainly remained quiet regarding interviews, although they did gush over one another on social media. Reinhart told Who What Wear that year how important it was to keep her relationships closed off from the press. "A relationship is a very intimate thing, and I want it to be between me and him, not me, him, and the world," she said.

So, it came as a surprise when Sprouse shared with his Instagram followers in August 2020 that he and Reinhart were no longer a couple. Stating that they split that March, he wrote, "What an incredible experience I had; I'll always feel lucky and cherish that I had the chance to fall in love." The breakup seemed amicable as Sprouse told fans to be on the lookout for Reinhart's film.

Despite their split, they continued working with one another on "Riverdale" until its 7th and final season, which is set to air in March 2023. 

Katie Holmes and Joshua Jackson dated briefly during Dawson's Creek

Actors Kate Holmes and Joshua Jackson met on the set of their teen drama "Dawson's Creek." The show aired in 1998, but the pair dated briefly, breaking things off after the show's first season the following year, per Harper's Bazaar. Still, Holmes showed much love for her co-star, telling Rolling Stone, "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 that I will treasure it always. And that I feel so fortunate because he's now one of my best friends."

Despite calling it quits, the duo continued working on "Dawson's Creek" until its 6th and final season in 2003. Years later, Jackson recalled being responsible for the love triangle twist at the end of the series in which Holmes' character, Joey, ends up with Percy, played by Jackson, instead of the series' titular character, Dawson. "I had a whole conversation with Kevin [Williamson, the show's creator] about this. Like, 'Look, I get it. This is the idea that you had in your head, but I'm just gonna ask you to watch the tale of the tape, and this is the more interesting end for these characters,'" the actor told Entertainment Weekly in 2022. 

In 2018, Holmes and Jackson proved that no love was lost between them when they joined their "Dawson's Creek" cast for a reunion

Mindy Kaling and BJ Novak's relationship is one of Hollywood's most puzzling

Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak's relationship has confused fans since the duo met on the set of "The Office," in which the star's characters played on-again, off-again love interests. According to People, Kaling and Novak dated from 2004 to 2007. However, they remained close and worked together on the show until 2013. 

In 2012, Novak described his relationship with Kaling as their character's rollercoaster romance on the hit show, but a little less chaotic. "No one, including us, ever really knew, 'Is this dating? Is this not dating?' We were never really dating; we were never really not dating,'" the actor told Vulture, adding, "All you'd know for sure was that you'd always find one of us next to the other, even if we weren't getting along." In 2015, Kaling would also deem her relationship with Novak complicated when she told InStyle that it was "weird as hell." 

Despite this, Kaling proved that their friendship was stronger than ever when she made Novak the godfather to her two children. And although fans would love to see these two stars rekindle their romance, Kaling doesn't see it ever happening. "He's really part of the family, but we've known each other for a long, long time, and I think anyone who's been friends with someone 18, 19 years and at one point dated and now doesn't, they maybe understand this," Kaling told Drew Barrymore on her show in 2022, adding, "You have exes that you wouldn't necessarily marry now."

Kaley Cuoco and John Galecki didn't let their break up affect their hit series

"The Big Bang Theory" stars Kaley Cuoco and John Galecki found romance off-screen when they began dating in 2008. However, their relationship fizzled out after less than two years of dating, but that didn't stop the co-stars from keeping it professional on their hit show. It also didn't hinder the blossoming romance between their two characters, Penny and Leonard, who eventually tied the knot in Seasons 9 and 10. 

The two exes have been very open about maintaining a loving friendship since breaking up. According to People, in author Jessica Radloff's book, "The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series, Galecki explained the two broke up because they wanted different things out of life. Cuoco added that the former couple wouldn't find much to talk about as they both would come home from working the same job. "We really adored each other, and we were lucky because as our breakup was happening, there was no foul play, there was nothing bad about our relationship ... it just ended," she shared.

Jacob Elordi and Joey King remained friendly for the sake of their characters

Joey King and Jacob Elordi's romance began in 2017 when the duo filmed the Netflix film "The Kissing Booth," playing love interests Ella Evans and Noah Flynn. According to Us Weekly, the couple split sometime around November 2018, but they reprised their roles in 2020's "The Kissing Booth 2" and 2021's "The Kissing Booth 3." 

King told Cosmopolitan in August 2020 that although it was challenging shooting scenes with her ex, she didn't want to let her character down. "There's so much I want to say. What's the most, um, correct way to go about this? Elle Evans needs her Noah Flynn, and whatever that means for my personal life, I'll do anything to make sure the story of my character, who I care about so much, is complete," King shared. 

According to Seventeen, both stars praised the other for their work on the films. After the release of the third and final installment of "The Kissing Booth 3," Elordi gave a shout-out to King on his Instagram story with a photo of the two in the first movie, writing, "And one from the start @joeyking. Thank you from all of you." Meanwhile, King tagged Elordi and the rest of the cast and crew in an Instagram post from her first time on set to her last. 

Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult reprised their X-Men roles after their split

Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult's relationship lasted for quite a few years after having met while filming "X-Men: First Class" in 2010. People reported that the couple's romance ended in August 2014, but that didn't mean they stopped reprising their roles as blue mutants Mystique and The Beast. The exes worked together again in 2014's "X-Men: Apocalypse" and 2019's "X-Men: Dark Phoenix." 

A year after the couple broke up and Lawrence finished filming the last "The Hunger Games" movie, she admitted to ABC News' Diane Sawyer that she felt lost. "These movies had been my life for so long, and they had to come first in everything. I was also in a relationship with somebody for five years, and we broke up around the same time I wrapped these movies. Being 24 was this whole year of, 'Who am I without these movies? Who am I without this man?'" Lawrence shared.

As for Hoult, he told Elle how he made it work with his ex while filming their "X-Men" movies. "It's like going back to school after the summer holidays. The reality of [the 'X-Men' franchise] is there are lots of characters, so everyone was together for brief periods, but not every day for four months." However, according to W Magazine, the exes reunited in 2019 for the premiere of the third "X-Men" installment and appeared to be on good terms. 

Sophia Bush and Chad Michael Murray had to work with each other for three more seasons of One Tree Hill

In a 2018 interview with Andy Cohen, actor Sophia Bush described her brief marriage to her "One Tree Hill" co-star Chad Michael Murray as being "22 and stupid." According to People, the former couple wed in April 2005 after meeting on the show. However, they separated five months later, with Bush initially filing for annulment in 2006, which was denied. Their divorce was finalized in December 2006. 

In her interview with Cohen, Bush admitted to feeling pressured to marry Murray. The interview didn't sit well with the "House of Wax" star, who felt he needed to address his ex-wife's comments. A representative for the actor shared (via Us Weekly), "This story is ludicrous. Chad conducts himself in a completely professional manner and would never marry for any reason but love." 

Still, the former spouses had to work through their issues after their divorce for the sake of their hit show. According to Us Weekly, the exes split before the conclusion of the third season, with the pair working with one another for three more seasons. Bush shared on her "Drama Queens" podcast that she put her feelings aside for her character. "But I was always going to put Brooke Davis ahead of everybody and everything else. Nothing mattered to me but being honest for her," she shared.

Rachel Bilson and Adam Brody had to get married on The O.C. after their real-life breakup

Rachel Bilson and Adam Brody met on the set of 2003's "The O.C." and dated during three of the show's four seasons. According to Us Weekly, the co-stars split in real life in 2006 before the series concluded. However, fans watched as their characters, Summer Roberts and Seth Cohen, tied the knot in Season 4. Recalling their wedding scene with Dax Shepard on his "Armchair Expert" podcast in 2021, Bilson shared that writers purposely did it. Still, the exes maintained a friendly relationship over the years. "We still got along really well. I had so much, and still do, love and respect for Adam," she said.

The "Hart of Dixie" shared similar sentiments in an interview with Nylon that same year. "I'm actually grateful that I did have it," she told the magazine about her romance with Brody, adding, "It was definitely a unique experience, and I don't think anyone else could have really understood it had they not been in it, so for that reason, it was super helpful and supportive, and I have total gratitude for the whole experience."

Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony share an unbreakable bond

Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony have kept things professional between them ever since they decided to split in 2011. According to People, the pair married in June 2004, just six months after the singer called off her engagement to actor Ben Affleck. In February 2008, the couple welcomed twins Max and Emme, but they announced their separation three years later. However, between separating and finalizing their divorce in 2014, the two continued to work together. In 2012, they starred as judges on Univision's "Q'Viva! The Chosen."

Working with his ex-wife, Anthony shared at the time, "We're just meant to be in each other's lives on different levels. This is a long story; it's not a short story ... Marriage was just one chapter ... and the kids are another. We've got each other for life." In 2016, it was announced that the exes were working together on a new Spanish album for Lopez, with Anthony acting as executive producer, per Billboard

Rumors floated around that the two were rekindling their relationship after they shared a kiss on stage at the 2016 Latin Grammys. However, the following year, Lopez reiterated that they're nothing more but good friends and great co-parents. She shared on "Live with Kelly," "I'm always gonna be there for him; he's always gonna be there for me."

Nina Dobrev is good friends with her The Vampire Diaries ex and his wife

Romance blossomed on "The Vampire Diaries" set when co-stars Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder, who starred as love interests in the supernatural drama, began a real-life relationship off-screen. The stars started dating in 2010, with Dobrev telling Seventeen that she was wary of dating a co-star, "But sometimes you can't help who you have a connection with, and you can only fight it for so long — which I did for a really, really long time." However, they split after three years of dating and continued to work together until Dobrev departed from the show after Season 6.

The former couple didn't appear to have any bad blood when they both joked about their relationship while accepting the 2014 People's Choice Award for "Best Chemistry." Dobrev even supported her ex when he began dating her friend and "Twilight" star Nikki Reed, whom he eventually married in 2015. All three stars have remained good friends, too. When asked about their friendship dynamic with Andy Cohen in 2019, Dobrev said, "I don't think it's weird at all. I think that's great. I think, 'Why can't everyone be friends?' I think that they have a beautiful baby, and they are happy, and so am I, and what's bad about that? I don't see any problem with that.'"

Jennifer Aniston and Tate Donovan were splitting up when he starred on Friends

Jennifer Aniston and Tate Donovan became an item in 1995, shortly after he broke things off with another A-list star, Sandra Bullock. In a 1997 People interview, the actors gushed about the possibility of marriage with the "Friends" star, stating, "He's so real, so honest, so funny, so kind and considerate. He's all these things meshed into one perfect guy." However, despite their apparent affection for each other, the couple broke up for good in 1998. 

Donovan guest-starred in six episodes of "Friends." The actor portrayed Joshua Burgin, Aniston's character Rachel Green's love interest in Season 4. Years later, he revealed to Us Weekly that he and Aniston were in the middle of their real-life breakup during filming, making things just a little awkward between them. "And so that was tricky to sort of act, and act like we were just meeting each other, and falling in love, or whatever, interested in each other, when we're sort of breaking up. That was just tough," he shared in 2018.

Jennifer Carpenter and Michael C. Hall made things work for Dexter

Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter portrayed the brother and sister duo, Dexter and Debra Morgan, on the Showtime hit "Dexter." However, in real life, these two stars were an actual couple after getting married in 2008. According to Divorce Mag, their marriage was short-lived. Carpenter filed for divorce in the summer of 2010. Their divorce was finalized in 2011. 

The former couple maintained a working relationship after their split, and they continued to work on "Dexter" until its final season in 2013. During an event for the show, Hall and Carpenter were asked about how they managed to work together, with Hall stating, "It's gratifying, honestly. The fact that Jennifer and I worked through whatever was going on with us personally in the way we did and maintained our commitment to telling this story was never in question. It was always what we needed and wanted to do." Following Hall's answer, Carpenter teared up but shared, "Just because the marriage ended doesn't mean the love didn't."

Blake Lively and Penn Badgley had to film a wedding scene after they split

Blake Lively and Penn Badgley's on-screen romance as Manhattan's Upper East Side elite Serena van der Woodsen and Brooklyn "lonely boy" Dan Humphrey on 2007's "Gossip Girl," led the two stars to have an off-screen relationship for quite some time. According to People, the actors were first linked the same year their show began, but it was only confirmed once the two were seen vacationing in Mexico in 2008. However, the couple called it quits sometime around October 2010.

"Gossip Girl" aired its final season in 2012, which meant that the stars had to work alongside one another after their split, even working through their characters tying the knot in the series finale. Badgley said of working with his ex, "We were professional, to be honest, and we should both pat ourselves on the back because anything is complicated in that way ... and we handled it."

In fact, their breakup was a secret to their "Gossip Girl" cast and crew. When speaking to Vanity Fair, the show's writer Joshua Safran commended the stars on their professionalism, despite calling it quits. "They kept it from everybody, which is a testament to how good they are as actors. Because they did not want their personal drama to relate to the show," he said. 

Milo Ventimiglia and Hayden Panettiere met and split while working in Heroes

Actors Hayden Panettiere and Milo Ventimiglia's relationship began sometime around 2007, the same time the stars acted alongside each other in the NBC hit show "Heroes." However, People stated that much of their romance was kept out of the public eye, which may have had something to do with their age difference, with Panettiere having been 18 years old while Ventimiglia was 30. Their significant age gap was also the alleged cause for their 2009 split, with People reporting, "She still has some growing up to do, and he's very low-key. The relationship never seemed like it had legs." Nevertheless, the actors continued to work together until the show's cancellation in 2010.

In an interview with Mr Porter in 2017, Ventimiglia acknowledged his past relationships by stating that he'd never date a co-star again. "There are things that happen in your life that share who you are. Everything I've been through, from jobs to friendships to partnerships, everything has built me to who I am. You learn from it. You learn a better way of doing things," the actor dished.

Despite having laid low for most of their relationship, Panettiere did tell Seventeen (via MTV) in 2009 how she handled her breakup. "My instinct when I go through heartbreak or a bad situation is to talk about it. But that's me; that's not everybody. A lot of people, you know, their instinct is to bury it and distract themselves from it," the actor said.