Actors who broke up while working together

You know your friend who met her husband in the office? Or your brother who met his fiancée during a sales meeting? Sure you do, because although workplace romances are tricky, falling in love with someone you spend a ridiculous amount of time with is just fundamental human nature. We're looking at you, Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton. You too, Michelle and Barack Obama. Oh, and you too, Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes. It happens.

But just like any other relationship, sometimes workplace romances work out and sometimes they don't, and when you add the pressure of fame into the mix, sometimes they're over before they even have a chance to start. Or, you know, somebody cheats. Sorry, Jennifer Aniston

From five-month marriages to sending the love of their lives straight to voicemail, here are a few actors who broke up while working together. And if you still want to ask out Karen from accounts payable after reading this, be our guest. Just know that we warned you. 

Jennifer Lawrence & Nicholas Hoult

Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult reportedly had a fling while filming X-Men: First Class, but by the time X-Men: Days of Future Past wrapped, their relationship was in the past as well. According to Entertainment Weekly, the breakup "was very amicable." The problem? Their successful careers made "it difficult on their relationship" due to the time spent apart. Speaking with Vanity Fair in 2015, Lawrence said her role in the comic book franchise "had to come first in everything," and the split drove her to have an existential crisis. 

"I was also in a relationship with somebody for five years, and that was my life," the Oscar-winner explained. "So my life was this person and these movies, and we broke up around the same time that I wrapped those movies. Being 24 was this whole year of, 'Who am I without these movies? Who am I without this man?'" 

Don't expect the pair to rekindle this romance. Hoult welcomed his first child with model Bryana Holly in 2018.

Michael C. Hall & Jennifer Carpenter

Although Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter didn't see eye to eye on criminal due process on Dexter, the actors fell in love on the set of the Showtime drama in 2007 and got married a year later. Unfortunately, the show lasted longer than their relationship. According to Entertainment Weekly , the couple filed for divorce in 2010 after being "separated for some time."

During the PaleyFest Dexter Fall Farewell event in 2013, Carpenter got emotional when discussing her ex-husband. "Our marriage didn't look like anyone else's, and our divorce didn't either … just because the marriage ended doesn't mean the love did," she said (via Us Weekly). "I'm crying. It's an awkward thing to talk about your personal life in front of a bunch of strangers, but there's nothing but love and respect [between us]. Nothing."

Hall said it was "gratifying" that their personal issues didn't get in the way of their professional relationship.

Nina Dobrev & Ian Somerhalder

"I didn't want to be dating one of my costars — my goal on the show was to be professional," actress Nina Dobrev told Teen Vogue (per Us Weekly). "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." That connection was with The Vampire Diaries co-star Ian Somerhalder.

The couple split in 2013 but worked together on the show until Dobrev's departure in 2015. A source told Life & Style Magazine that the 10-year age gap played a role in the breakup. Somerhalder supposedly started "to talk marriage," while Dobrev was "just getting started on her career." The insider said, "She loves him, and they still talk everyday, but she is just not ready to make that huge commitment yet."

Somerhalder apparently found someone ready to make that commitment in actress Nikki Reed, who said "yes" after six months of dating. Dobrev and Somerhalder have remained friends, and Dobrev regularly hangs out with Mr. and Mrs. Somerhalder. There you have it, folks. Adulting can be quite easy.

Kaley Cuoco & Johnny Galecki

The Big Bang Theory is one of the longest-running sitcoms of all time, and yet nobody knew that two of its stars were dating until they broke up. Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki, who play Penny and Leonard in the CBS hit, revealed in 2010 that they had been an item for two years. "It was a wonderful relationship but we never spoke a word about it and never went anywhere together," Cuoco said. "We were so protective of ourselves and the show and didn't want anything to ruin that." 

The pair has remained close on and off screen. "We're dear friends, still," Galecki told CBS Watch! (per Us Weekly). "Kaley's not just an ex, she's a part of my life." True to his word, Galecki attended Cuoco's wedding to equestrian Karl Cook and posted a sweet tribute to his "fake wife" on Instagram during the reception. "So much love for you both," he said.

Hayden Panettiere and Milo Ventimiglia

While co-starring on NBC's hit sci-fi drama Heroes, Hayden Panettiere and Milo Ventimiglia began dating, despite about a 12-year age gap. A little more than two years later the pair split, partly due to that age difference. "It was a lifestyle conflict," a source close told Us Weekly (via the Daily Mail). "They were in very different places."

Speaking to Mr. Porter in 2017, Ventimiglia claims he didn't like the constant media attention that comes with dating your co-star and claimed he'd "never do it again." He added, "There are things that happen to you in your life that shape 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. It wasn't until my mid to late twenties that the job wears on you, relationships wear on you."

At the time of this writing, Panettiere is single for the first time in nine years, so if NBC wanted to do a Heroes reboot, now might be the time.

Sophia Bush & Chad Michael Murray

Sophia Bush and Chad Michael Murray met on the set of One Tree Hill, got married, then split five months later. Their relationship has been contentious ever since. Sitting down with talk show host Andy Cohen in 2018 (via People), Bush revealed that she was "22 and stupid" when she got hitched and claimed the wedding "was not a thing I actually really wanted to do." 

When pressed on why she went through with it in the first place, Bush replied, "Because how do you let everybody down? … And when you have bosses telling you that you're the only person who gets a person to work on time and 200 people either get to either see their kids at night or they don't because our days start on time?"

Murray heard his ex-wife's interview and had a thing or two to say about it. The actor's rep called Bush's comments "ludicrous," telling Entertainment Tonight: "Chad conducts himself in a completely professional manner and would never marry for any reason but love." Oh, and by the way: "Thirteen years since his divorce from Sophia, he has a very happy family life with his wife and children. He has completely moved on and doesn't feel the need to engage in this type of behavior."

Katie Holmes & Joshua Jackson

Long before Tom Cruise infamously jumped on Oprah's couch to profess his love for Katie Holmes, the actress had another man in her life — her Dawson's Creek co-star, Joshua Jackson. Holmes calls him her "first love," and although she divorced Tom Cruise and is currently dating Jamie Foxx, she still has a soft spot for her old beau.

"I feel so fortunate because he's now one of my best friends," she told Us Weekly. "It's weird; it's almost like a Dawson-and-Joey type thing now." She added, "I respect him as a friend and as a professional."

Jackson, who went on to spend ten years with actress Diane Kruger, revealed that he received an out-of-blue phone call from Holmes after her divorce from Cruise. "Like any old friend, it was like, 'Oh, hi how are ya? What's going on?'; 'I had a kid,'" Jackson recalled. "It was very nice, actually."

Sean Penn & Charlize Theron

Not long after calling Sean Penn "the love of my life" in 2015, Charlize Theron and her fiancé split after almost two years together. According to Us Weekly, the love affair ended after Theron "wasn't responding to his calls and texts," effectively ghosting him. That seemed very scandalous at the time, considering Penn had just directed her in The Last Face and the film's promotional events were ongoing. Maybe the movie's horrible reviews had something to do with the split?

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal in 2016, Theron put all those ghosting rumors to rest. "There is this need to sensationalize things," the best actress Oscar-winner said. "When you leave a relationship there has to be some f***ing crazy story or some crazy drama. And the f***ing ghosting thing, like literally I still don't even know what it is." 

The real reason for the breakup? "We were in a relationship, and then it didn't work anymore. And we both decided to separate. That's it," she said. Well, that's not exciting.