Love is love, but in Hollywood, love can also be business.
Hopeless romantics should proceed with caution, because this may not be the worldview-shattering news you wanted to hear. But, once the rose-colored glasses are gingerly removed and tossed aside in favor of some realism, it becomes clear that if two celebrities benefit from being involved romantically, it actually isn't as cynical as it may seem.
There are plenty of Hollywood A-listers who are still old-school in their dating lives—you know, those who prefer to meet a potential mate spontaneously, date for an appropriate time, and then, to quote the venerable Alan Rickmanin Love, Actually, get married and have lots of sex and babies. There are also plenty of Hollywood A-listers who aren't kidding around here, and are slightly more pragmatic in their approach to love: Why get any soulmate when you could have a soulmate who benefits you professionally? Then there are the truly lucky: The kind of people who meet the first way (you know, old-fashioned-ly?) and then come out of the other side of it having accidentally benefited themselves professionally.
Let's start with the benign: Most actors and singers gravitate towards others in the industry for no other reason than it's just easier that way. The schedules and lifestyles that stars are held to are extremely taxing, and best understood by someone who is under the same pressure. There's also the small matter of worrying that a civilian might be in it for the wrong reasons; what better way to ensure that someone isn't dating you for your money than to date someone with just as much as you?
Once an inter-Hollywood relationship is understood as the lesser of two romantic evils, it's easy to see why the benefits of a romance might go from we understand each other to we can help each other. No one has any definitive proof that anyone in the biz has gotten together solely for business reasons (and we're not exactly in the business of outing people; it is Valentine's Week after all), but there are definitive ways that celebs come out of these relationships all the better for them.
To Change Your Image
Just imagine you are an actor who is known for something. Anything. Being a party-heavy ladies' man, unfit for any role meant for a more wholesome persona. Being incredibly stuffy or uptight, unfit for a role that's more fun (or just the subject of a few good-natured jokes about said uptight-ness). What's a surefire way to reverse this prejudice? Get into a relationship with someone who is the exact opposite of what you're known for.
Suddenly you're pictured at the park playing with your girlfriend's children: Look at that wholesome persona! Or suddenly you're pictured out dancing or goofing around: Look at that fun persona! It's as easy as that. Even just the association with a romantic partner who embodies the qualities that a star wants for themselves can be enough; they don't even necessarily have to change anything about themselves.
This can happen accidentally as well, a lucky byproduct of a totally innocent coupling.
To Promote a New Project
Now imagine you have a huge new movie or song coming out soon. Maybe you've worked tirelessly and put your heart and soul into the project and you'd do anything to make sure that it succeeds. Maybe somebody high up in an office tower, worried about ticket or album sales, has planted a PR idea in your head. Just maybe.
The relationship-that-bolstered-promotion is one of the oldest traditions in Hollywood. As many stars have openly stated, it's fairly easy to fall for someone that you're working with in the biz: Late nights spent together, working out shared passions or, in the case of some movies, actively pretending to be involved romantically, tend to go to a person's head. These couplings are often short-lived; once the constant togetherness and the ensuing press tour are over, all you're left with is the fact that the major thing you had in common is gone. What does last, however, is the public's interest in whatever those two celebs created.
Name a movie in which the two leads were dating, and we'll show you a movie that most people saw because of that relationship.
To Take Over the World
There's an old saying: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts? That can be used to explain why anyone, anywhere gets married. Two people are just, if you'll excuse us Hillary Clinton, stronger together. Why covet a single celebrity when you can cover a celebrity couple?
The possibilities for two beautiful, successful and savvy A-listers are endless. Just the way that two regular people bring out the best in each other, two celebrities can complement each other's talent and popularity to form one hybrid force to be reckoned with. This often results in lucrative business deals, whether it's starring in movies together or going on tour. Sponsorships and endorsements are suddenly worth double, because audiences will automatically associate any product with both members of the couple.
And we can't forget that all-important interest level. In the world of Instagram and paparazzi photos and absolutely zero secrets, movie- and concert-goers need to be fascinated by a celebrity offscreen as well. We're only human, and can't help gushing over romantic vacation shots or mushy social media posts, or delighting in the petty drama that comes with relationships in the real world.
After all, you can't be a power couple if you're not a couple.
Watch a brand-new episode of The Arrangement Sunday at 10 p.m., only on E!