by Billy Nilles | Fri., Apr. 6, 2018 4:00 AM
There's an old adage in Hollywood: Never work with animals or children.
The quote, from one of cinema's pioneering actors, W.C. Fields, is simple enough. It's a mere warning to those in the craft of elements to be wary of, lest they drag down or muck up your production. For many in the industry, however, there's been a long-standing unspoken addition to Fields' list: Your spouse. After all, why mess up a good thing by bringing your significant other into it? (We kid. Generally, the risk runs the other way.)
However, while most actors prefer to keep a clear separation between church and state, there are the brave few who've thrown caution to the wind and added "co-star" to the list of things they can call their spouse. The latest example? John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, who appear together in horror film A Quiet Place, which Krasinski also wrote and directed.
While Blunt admitted to E! News that she was a "bit apprehensive" to play spouses and take direction from her husband of eight years, she said that, in the end, it all worked out swimmingly. (And the film's 97 percent "Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes is proof of that.) "I'm a huge fan of him obviously but we quickly realized how collaborative we were together and we actually worked really, really well together," she said. "We really trust each other. We're very honest with each other. We sort of have a short hand and secret language that ultimately is gonna work for us."
The feeling was certainly mutual. "It was so the opposite of challenging," Krasinski gushed. "It is without a doubt the best collaboration I've ever had in my entire career. There is no one more talented, there is no one more professional...She makes every single day better. Then, on top of that, the personal side of it, having someone you love so much be by your side on the days she's working and the days that she's not...There's never gonna be an experience that I have that's as good as this."
Of course, Krasinski and Blunt aren't alone. And not all couples to have worked together before them were as lucky as these two.
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Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum
The couple, who recently announced their separation after eight years of marriage, met on the set of the 2006 film Step Up. After tying the knot in 2009, the pair shared the screen in another film: 2011's 10 Years, which Channing produced. The film, which had a massive cast that included Kate Mara, Justin Long, Rosario Dawson, Chris Pratt and Oscar Isaac, saw the couple play a couple attending Channing's character's 10-year high school reunion. It only earned a paltry $203,373 at the box office.
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Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard
One of our favorite couples shared the screen in the 2012 film Hit and Run and then made it official in 2013. They didn't act together again—aside from some very funny Samsung commercials—until the 2017 film adaptation of CHiPs, which Shepard both wrote and directed. The film wasn't exactly beloved by critics, but it did go on to gross $26.8 million worldwide on a $25 million budget.
Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise
This infamous couple began dating after meeting during the filming of their first big screen appearance, the 1990 film Days of Thunder, which was also Kidman's American film debut. On Christmas Eve of that same year, they were husband and wife. The following year, they re-teamed to film the Ron Howard film Far and Away. But they would become best known for their third film at the end of the decade, Eyes Wide Shut. The 1999 Stanley Kubrick film gained major attention for the risque sex scenes between the couple. Two years after its release, they were divorced.
Madonna and Sean Penn
Madonna and Sean Penn's love was not long for this world. The pair met in 1984 while she was filming the music video for her hit track "Material Girl" and tied the knot on her birthday in 1985. They went on to star in the 1986 film Shanghai Surprise, which was critically and commercially reviled. Madonna's performance as a missionary nurse hoping to get her hands on a supply of opium for her patients earned her her first Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress. By 1987, they'd anunulled the marriage and in 1989, she filed for divorce.
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Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith
These two lovebirds actually met on set in 1994, when Pinkett Smith auditioned for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The role of Will's girlfriend Lisa eventually went to Nia Long, but the pair struck up a friendship and began dating in 1995. They made it official in 1997, but they wouldn't share the screen until the 2001 biopic Ali, which starred Smith as the titular iconic athlete and his wife as Sonji Roi, the boxer's first wife.
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Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor
These two married in 2000 after meeting on the ill-fated yet legendary TV pilot Heat Vision and Jack and immediately began appearing together on both the big and small screens, racking up a pretty lengthy shared resume. Their first shared credit was the 2001 hit Zoolander. They went on to both appear in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Tropic Thunder and Zoolander 2, as well as episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Arrested Development. Sadly, the comedy power couple announced that they were separating in May 2017.
Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger
While playing lovers in 1990's The Marrying Man, Basinger met her second husband Baldwin and fell in love. (She would be his first wife.) They were married in 1993 and a year later, their next starring vehicle, The Getaway, was released. The film earned horrible reviews and a Golden Raspberry nom for Basinger. The couple wouldn't act together again, save for a voice appearance in a 1998 episode of The Simpsons. They eventually separated in 2000 and divorced in 2002.
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Chris Pratt and Anna Faris
These two met in 2007 while filming the movie Take Me Home Tonight (which wouldn't be released until 2011). They were engaged in 2008 and got married a year later in Bali, eloping on a whim after attending a friend's wedding. They appeared in two more films together that were actually filmed as spouses, 2011's What's Your Number and 2013's massive bomb Movie 43. The latter earned the couple a shared Golden Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Screen Combo. They wouldn't act together again until a 2017 episode of Faris' CBS sitcom Mom. Later that year, in August, they announced their separation and by December, Pratt had filed for divorce.
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Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
These two are perhaps the poster children for meeting and falling in love on set with their 2005 smash hit Mr. & Mrs. Smith. (Sorry, Jen!) They wouldn't tie the knot until 2014 and they wouldn't act together again until the 2015 drama By the Sea, which saw Jolie direct her husband as well. After two years of marriage, they announced their separation in 2016.
A Quiet Place is in theaters now.