Initially, John Krasinski wasn’t planning offer his wife, Emily Blunt,
a role in the movie he was working on — a little horror project that would go on to become A Quiet Place, which released over the weekend to outstanding box office numbers and a stellar Rotten Tomatoes score. At the time, Blunt had just given birth to their second child and was in the process of filming . But after reading the script, Blunt turned to Krasinski and said she was interested in playing the part of Evelyn Abbot. Eventually, Krasinski would play her on-screen husband, Mary Poppins giving the project an almost poetic symmetry.
There’s an undeniable charm in
seeing a real-life couple act alongside one another — and perhaps even more charm knowing that a member of the couple is directing the movie, too. Naturally, we know whatever we’re seeing onscreen is fictional (even if it seems viscerally real, like in A Quiet Place). But the relationships that have made the movie are completely real.
Krasinski and Blunt are hardly the first to make the leap from romantic couple to working couple, and lived to tell the tale. Here’s what these multi-talented director-actor couples had to say about working with each other — and, for the morbidly curious, also how the movie affected their partnership. Spoiler: It always did, in some way.
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Emily Blunt & John Krasinski
As the story goes, Blunt and Krasinski were introduced by friends at a restaurant and talked until five in the morning — and then,
as Blunt told “That was it!” Years (and two daughters) later, they decided to work together in a new capacity. Blunt wanted to star in the movie Krasinski was writing and directing, called CBS, A Quiet Place. “I just fell in love with this mother. I just identified with her so much, just the fierceness of her,” Blunt told CBS.
To be clear: No one thought that Blunt starring in Krasinski’s movie would be a good idea. “We had so many people be like, ‘You’re gonna be divorced by the end,’”
Blunt told . In fact, the opposite ended up happening. “Actually we were closer. It was kind of amazing,” she continued. CBS
Krasinski and Blunt enjoyed working with each other in a completely different capacity than they had prior. “The movie means so much to us and seeing each other in a professional realm and also allowing that sort of new side that we saw in each other was really bonding, it was like very cool,” Blunt told
Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images.
Brigitte Bardot & Roger Vadim
After seeing her on the cover of
Elle when she was 15, 22-year-old director Roger Vadim decided he was going to propel Brigitte Bardot to stardom. Vadim and Bardot started dating when she was 16, much to her parents’ horror. Bardot’s wealthy Parisian parents tried to send their daughter to England to break up the couple, but their plan failed. Bardot and Vadim got married when Bardot was 18. Four years later, she starred in Vadim’s directorial debut, And God Created Woman, in 1956, a movie that successfully launching Bardot into stardom. People were captivated by Bardot’s performance of a young, unapologetically sexual woman.
However, the movie also proved the end of Bardot and Vadim’s marriage. Bardot had an affair with her co-star on
And God Created Woman, and ended up leaving Vadim. Apparently, this wasn’t a surprise to Vadim: “I’d liberated Brigitte and shown her how to be truly herself. That was the beginning of the end of our marriage. From that moment, our marriage went downhill,” he said.
Photo: RDA/Getty Images.
Helena Bonham Carter & Tim Burton
For 13 years, Helena Bonham Carter and
Tim Burton were a delightful, eccentric presence on the red carpet. The actor-director couple collaborated on multiple projects, which is fitting, considering they met on set of The Planet of the Apes in 2001. After The Planet of the Apes came Big Fish(2001), Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events(2004), Corpse Bride(2005), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory(2005), Sweeney Todd(2007), Alice in Wonderland(2010), and Dark Shadows(2012).
In an interview with
, Bonham Carter opened up about the dynamics of their working relationship, and how it affected their marriage. “It’s not without its pressures, working with Tim. It worked on The Guardian in 2010 Alice in Wonderland. Sweeney was very stressful, very hard on our relationship.” According to Bonham Carter, the relationship dynamics always changed when they were on set. “He’s a partner in our private life, but when he’s directing, he’s the boss. And maybe I confuse that.” The couple — who famously lived in separate but adjoining homes — split in 2014.
Photo: David M. Benett/Getty Images.
Leslie Mann & Judd Apatow
Leslie Mann and Judd Apatow met while she was auditioning for his movie
The Cable Guy in 1996, and they married a year later. In 2005, the couple kicked off a working partnership when Mann starred in Apatow’s directorial debut, The 40-Year-Old Virgin. After that, the collaborations just kept coming. Mann also starred in Knocked Up(2007) and This Is 40(2012), which also starred the couple’s two daughters.
Simply put, they work. “We probably get along better than other people who work together. Usually we only have one bad day a movie. And on that day I’m just very quiet,”
Apatow told . Vanity Fair
Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images.
Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt
The 2015 movie
By the Sea holds an important place in Brangelina lore. Jolie directed the drama, which is about a dissatisfied American couple traveling through France in the 1960s, and starred alongside Pitt. Like the couple they were portraying onscreen, Jolie and Pitt were working through a tumultuous point in their marraige. The couple announced their divorce a year later, in September 2016.
In an interview, Jolie revealed to
Vanity Fair that she had hoped By the Sea would help her marriage. “I wanted us to do some serious work together,” Jolie told . “I thought it would be a good way for us to communicate. In some ways it was, and in some ways we learned some things. But there was a heaviness, probably, during that situation that carried on, and it wasn’t because of the film.” Vanity Fair
Judging by Jolie’s comments, if Jolie and Pitt were to watch
By the Sea, they’d see a different movie than the rest of us would — a movie written in a code only they could understand. “I’m glad we did [ By the Sea] because we did explore something together,” Jolie told . “Whatever it was, maybe it didn’t solve certain things, but we did communicate something that needed to be communicated to each other.” Whatever they communicated to each other will probably be forever lost on us. Vanity Fair
Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images.
Kyra Sedgwick & Kevin Bacon
Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick are known primarily as actors, and also as members of one of Hollywood’s
longest, most beloved marriages — they’ve been together for almost 30 years. Both partners have, at some point, directed the other. Baecon directed four episodes of The Closer, a TV show in which Sedgwick stars. In 2017, Sedgwick made her directorial debut with the Lifetime movie Story of a Girl, in which her husband and their daughter, Sosie, star. The Bacons’ son, Travis, wrote the movie’s music cues.
Sedgwick had wanted to turn
Story of a Girl into a movie for over ten years; eventually, she was given the opportunity to do so with Lifetime. Bacon said he was rooting for her from the start. “I always told her she should direct. She didn’t really listen to me. So when she actually did it, not only did she enjoy it, but she was fantastic at it. I was like yeah, I told you so,” Bacon told ABC.
Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images.
Melissa McCarthy & Ben Falcone
Melissa McCarthy has no complaints about working with her husband, actor Ben Falcone, for his directorial debut,
Tammy. “There was no worst part. The worst was when it ended. Every day was a delight,” she told during press for Wonderwall Tammy. Seriously, though, she raves about working with him. “He’s my favorite person to write with, he’s my favorite person to work with.”
McCarthy and Falcone’s love was palpable on set. Literally. Peter Dinklage, who was also in
Tammy, told “they’re always making out on set.” People that
Photo: Todd Williamson/Getty Images.
Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard
Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard’s
brand is “happily married” — and so that’s what makes their characters’ relationship in CHiPs so surprising. Bell plays Karen, the thoroughly unlikable ex-wife of Shepard’s character. Their characters are decidedly not in love. In fact, Shepard almost didn’t cast Bell, because he thought she was too likable to play Karen; eventually, he was convinced she could play the part.
In her words, Bell had a great experience on set. “It’s quite easy, because I trust him so much. There’s nothing bad about it because he’s my safety net. I know he wants his movie to look good but he wants me to look good,” Bell told
Access Hollywood at the red carpet premiere of . She also said she wanted to work with Shepard “indefinitely, in everything, in perpetuity.” CHiPs
Photo: John Parra/Getty Images.
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