These co-stars played best friends or romantic partners on set. But when the cameras stopped rolling, so did the smoochiness. Find out which 12 famous co-stars did not get along in real life.
12. Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic. Castle
These actors played one of fan’s favorite TV couples.
Stana played no-nonsense detective Becket while Nathan was fanciful Castle. The duo solved murders in New York, and sparks flew between them.
Yet, off-camera, it was a different story. According to insiders, Nathan and Stana did get along during the first seasons of their hit show Castle. Some say they even dated. But after a few seasons, the actors were bickering all the time between takes. Soon, they began avoiding each other.
Then, the final blow. After season 8, in 2016, the network decided not to renovate Stana’s contract. ABC cited financial reasons since both she and Nathan were earning about $10 million per episode.
But Stana’s abrupt dismissal fed the rumours that the co-stars had not been getting along.
And fans were outraged. They could not imagine Castle without Beckett. The network gave in, and the series was canceled without a 9th season.
Neither Nathan nor Stana have said what really went down. But two years after being dismissed, Stana did tell Entertainment Weekly she had been hurt and surprised by the way she had been let go from the show.
The co-stars worked together for: 8 years (2009 -2016)
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11. Lea Michele and Naya Rivera. Glee
The actresses played high school students Rachel and Santana. Their characters start as enemies but eventually become friends.
Well, the opposite happened to actresses Lea Michele and Naya Rivera.
When Glee began in 2010, the duo got along. But by 2014 there were plenty of rumours of them fighting on set.
Lea dismissed the rumours in interviews saying: “It’s really unbelievable, the amount of things that can be just completely made up. People like to pit women against each other, and it’s really annoying and really sad.”
But in 2016, after the show ended, Naya published an autobiography* in which she addressed the falling out.
According to Naya, her character started getting “bigger plot lines and more screen time.” And “I think (…) Lea (who was a lead in the show) didn’t like sharing the spotlight.”
By the final season of the show, the co-stars were no longer speaking to one another, according to Naya.
Naya has also attributed the falling out to their similar tempers: “We are both strong-willed and competitive -not just with each other but with everyone- and that’s not a good mixture.”
For his part, Glee’s creator Ryan Murphy told E! that he felt the feud really came down to youthfulness and being part of a hit show. But that he knew they both admired each other’s work.
In recent years, the actresses made efforts to be friendlier. They interacted publicly on social media, and Naya stated in interviews that she thought Lea was “very, very talented” and that she would work with her again.
When Naya passed in 2020 (in a drowning accident), Lea expressed her pain on social media.
The co-stars worked together for: 6 years (2010 -2015)
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10. Blake Lively and Leighton Meester. Gossip Girl
The Gossip Girl stars did not have a complex relationship like the previous couples. They simply never became friends, probably due to their different backgrounds.
Blake Lively’s upbringing is almost picture-perfect. She has a loving, close-knit Southern family. And her four older siblings adore her. One of them thought she would be great as an actress and got her auditions when she was a teen. Blake went to a few and soon was cast as one of the leads in a movie.
Her childhood was easy-breezy, and she has an enthusiastic, happy-go-lucky personality.
Meanwhile, Leighton Meesters’ childhood was struggly. Her parents ended up in jail because of drug charges. So Leighton was born while her mom was in prison and was brought up by her grandmother.
Leighton worked since she was young, mostly doing ads. And she worried about not having enough food or money.
Leighton has said that Blake’s upbringing and hers were so different, that it is no surprise that they could not relate to one another in real life.
Although Gossip Girl lasted six seasons, Leighton and Blake never hung out together.
And when the show ended in 2012, they went their separate ways. They do not even follow each other on Instagram, although both are quite active on the app.
The co-stars may not have been besties like Serena and Blaire, the characters they played on the screen, but while they were on set, the actresses were always polite to one another.
The co-stars worked together for: 6 years (2007 -2012)
9. Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny. The X-Files
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny starred in the TV series The X-Files. They played FBI colleagues who investigate paranormal events, like alien encounters.
The duo had great chemistry on-screen, and the show’s fans were rooting for them to get together. Their characters, Mulder and Scully, finally did in season 8.
But off-camera, “there were definitely periods when we hated each other,” Gillian said in 2015, more than a decade after the show ended. “Hate is too strong a word. We didn’t talk for long periods of time. It was intense, and we were both pains in the arse for the other at various times.”
The couple never got along in real life. David has downplayed it, saying that it was because of the long hours. That after shooting for 16 hours a day, they would both be grumpy, so they stayed clear of one another.
But after they stopped working together every day, their relationship got much better. During the same interview of 2015, Gillian said: “We are closer today than we ever have been.”
The co-stars worked together for: 11 years (1993 – 2002 and 2016 – 2018)
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8. Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. American Idol
This was a feud that played out in front of the cameras.
In 2010, singers Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj made a music video together and got along. So when two years later they were asked to be judges on American Idol’s 12th season, they both accepted.
Yet soon, rumours started circulating that Mariah did not want another woman on the show. Nicki heard them, but she brushed them off as malicious gossip.
However, according to insiders, as soon as the first leg of the show began, Mariah started subtly dissing Nicki because she did not consider Nicki a good singer.
After two weeks of taking the jabs, Nicki exploded. In front of the cameras.
The spat went something like this:
Nicki: “Think it’s a joke? Say one more disrespectful thing to me. If you say one more disrespectful thing to me, off with your head!”
Mariah: “I am not being disrespectful.”
Nicki: “Off with your head. (…) Don’t tell me I’m insecure, don’t tell me I’m inadequate. (…) You’re the insecure one sitting up there running down her résumé every five minutes.
Every time you take a shot at me, I’ma take it back, and if you gotta f- – -g problem, then handle it. I told them I’m not f- – -g putting up with your f- – -g highness over there. Figure it the f- – – k out.”
Mariah: “Do I have a 3-year-old sitting around me?“
The production had to pause for two days to allow the tempers to calm down.
After the auditions ended, Nicki went on The Ellen Show to do damage control. She said that when she realized that Mariah, a huge hero of hers, did not like her, her feelings were hurt. And that she had overcompensated, as a defense mechanism, by acting crazier, which had backfired. But that she could not hold a grudge against Mariah. And that she hoped the second part of the show, the live performances, would go better.
It did not.
The stars kept bickering in front of the cameras, and the tension was palpable.
After one of the live shows, Nicki tweeted: “Why a woman SO successful at her age, is still so INSECURE, and bitter.”
Neither of them returned for the next season of American Idol.
“It was hell”
A few months after the experience, an interviewer asked Mariah if she had liked being on American Idol. She answered: “No. Honestly, I hated it. It was like hell. It was like going to work every day in hell -with Satan.”
And in 2014, Oprah asked Randy Jackson, who co-hosted American Idol with both of them, about the feud. Randy said: “Let’s just say that there weren’t warm, fuzzy feelings. It was definitely difficult.”
It is safe to assume the famous singers will not be collaborating in other projects any time soon.
The co-stars worked together for: less than 1 year, with breaks (2012 – 2013)
7. Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze. Dirty Dancing
These two have been very open about the difficulties they had working together. It pretty much came down to having different working styles.
Patrick and Jennifer met on the set of a movie called Red Dawn. In it, they play youngsters-turned-militia. Patrick took his role to heart. He did military training and ordered everyone around on set. Jennifer could not stand him.
Fast-forward two years, and the pair meets again while auditioning for Dirty Dancing.
Jennifer was wary of working with Patrick, but when they did their screen test, Patrick lifted Jennifer off the ground in a dance move, and their eyes locked. The producers were sold. They wanted both of them, with their chemistry, in the movie.
But Patrick and Jennifer still had the same chaffing dynamic as before. Patrick, a trained dancer, was super serious on set. And he grew frustrated with Jennifer’s giggliness and moodiness.
He was physically fearless, while she -who was not a trained dancer- was afraid to fall during the lifts.
The frustration in their own words
In his autobiography*, Patrick wrote: “She seemed particularly emotional, sometimes bursting into tears if someone criticized her. Other times, she slipped into silly moods, forcing us to do scenes over and over again when she’d start laughing.” He confessed he “didn’t have a whole lot of patience for doing multiple retakes.”
During a later interview, he said: “My real frustration. I am trying to keep this girl serious. Trying to keep her from crying, trying to keep her focused. To get past her fear and her ego.”
The pair argued all the time on set.
Linda Gottlieb, who was the movie’s producer, has chimed in: “He felt like she was a wimp. She was genuine, naïve; you would do a take eight times, and Jennifer would do it differently every time. Patrick was a pro; he would deliver the same thing again and again. She would cry easily, she was emotional. And he sort of made fun of her.”
Jennifer, too, has admitted there was tension between them and that: “there was a very complex dynamic between Patrick and myself for the whole movie. Whatever our issues were, we had them, but they weren’t talked about.”
But she has never said anything bad about Patrick. In interviews, she has even praised him for helping her with the dance steps. She has also said: “He was really strong, and he was very protective, and his heart was very much in it,” and “he was a great dancer, and he was fearless.”
And Patrick went on to say, years later, that Jennifer had done a “truly phenomenal job” and that “in many ways, she made the movie.”
Their on-set relationship might not have been paradise, but their tension-chemistry worked for the movie. Dirty Dancing is considered an ’80s classic.
The co-stars worked together for: 43 days (1986)
6. Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep. Kramer vs. Kramer
Kramer vs. Kramer won 5 Oscars in 1979. But behind the scenes, the production had endured a stressful environment courtesy of actor Dustin Hoffman.
Dustin was 41 during filming, and he was already a big star, having starred in hits such as The Graduate and All the President’s Men. He was also going through a tough divorce and was in the middle of several lawsuits. Perhaps all that tension is what made him abusive on set.
In any case, he did not only annoy his co-star, the twenty-something Meryl Streep, but the whole production.
Stutters and tears
Meryl played Dustin’s on-screen ex-wife, Johanna Kramer.
Dustin did like Meryl for the part; she was actually hired partially thanks to him.
But on the second day of filming -this was one of Meryl’s first movies- their characters had to have a verbal fight, and Dustin decided to slap Meryl. He did not slap Meryl’s character, he truly hit Meryl. It was not in the script, and it was not so the slap would end up in the film; he just wanted Meryl to be angry before their on-camera argument began.
Then, a few moments later, he went for the kill. Meryl’s boyfriend had just died, and Dustin whispered his name to Meryl so she would get more emotional. (Here is the scene in which all of that happened.)
And this was only the second day of shooting. Dustin kept up this behavior with all the actors.
He was so mean to the actress playing his neighbor, that she started stuttering during her lines. That got her fired.
Then, another day, he wanted the 7-year-old boy that played his son to be upset for a scene. So he told the kid, who had grown close to the whole crew, that once the movie was over, he would never see them again. The 7-year-old could not stop crying even after the cameras stopped rolling.
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He may have broken the child and the neighbor, but despite his abusive antics, he did not get to Meryl.
Not even when, during a scene, he shattered a real glass right beside her. He had planned the whole thing but had not told her. Her hair ended covered with glass. Fortunately, she was unharmed. After the scene, she told Dustin: “Next time you do that, I’d appreciate you letting me know.”
Years later, Dustin admitted to author Diana Maychick: “Yes, I hated her guts, but I respected her (for standing up for her character).”
Producer Richard Fischoff said Dustin kept “goading her and provoking her,” using personal things he knew about Meryl to upset her.
While the director of the movie, Robert Benton, who panicked when Dustin slapped Meryl thinking the movie was going to get shut down and everyone was going to get sued, has said of Meryl’s attitude: “I never saw one moment of emotion leak out of her except in performance.”
Meryl kept things professional. And when asked about Dustin’s conduct, she compared him to a child. She said she saw him as one of her kid brothers, who pushed to see how far they could get away with things.
Meryl may have been dignified, but she does not like Dustin. When TV host Andy Cohen asked her decades later, in 2013, to play the game “Shag, marry, kill” with three of her co-stars, she chose to shag Jack Nicholson, marry Robert Redford, and kill Dustin Hoffman.
The co-stars worked together for: less than a month (1978)
5. Claire Danes and Leonardo di Caprio. Romeo + Juliet
Leonardo and Claire played the ultimate romantic couple Romeo and Juliet, in 1996. But during filming, rumour had it that the actors did not get along.
Sources said that the atmosphere was tense on set. At first, the actors fought all the time between takes. But by the end of the production, they were avoiding each other altogether.
Yet, when the actors did the press rounds to promote the movie, they said the usual niceties about one another.
To this day, Leonardo has never addressed if there were problems on set. But Claire has given glimpses of what went on.
She has said they were “very different people.” And that Leonardo was annoyed because she was always “so still,” while she was puzzled as to why he was always “so active.”
17-year-old Claire also thought her 21-year-old co-star was “very immature.” Leonardo has always said that, between takes, he keeps things light on movie sets by making jokes. And in that particular movie, he pulled a lot of pranks, which did not sit down well with Claire.
Meanwhile, Leonardo thought Claire’s more serious demeanor was cold and stuck up.
But. More recently, Claire has also admitted that despite their differences, there was some attraction. “There was definitely a spark, but I don’t think either of us knew how to handle it. So we sometimes sort of ignored each other. It was too big for us to really accept.”
And that while she was attracted to him, “that was just never gonna happen.” Perhaps because they were so different, or like she has said elsewhere because it was highly “inconvenient” since they were working together.
After Claire’s declaration, their co-star, Miriam Margolyes, has chipped in. In her memoir*, she says that “it was painful to watch” them interact.
“It was obvious to all of us that she really was in love with her Romeo, but Leonardo wasn’t in love with her. She wasn’t his type at all. He didn’t know how to cope with her evident infatuation.” So, according to Miriam, Leo ended up being “dismissive” of Claire and “could be quite nasty in his keenness to get away.”
So there you have it, an actual crush accounts for the on-set bickering and the unease between the young actors.
The co-stars worked together for: 3 months (1996)
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4. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. The Notebook
Something similar happened to The Notebook co-stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. Their intense chemistry turned into constant bickering on set. So much so that one day Ryan could not take their animosity any longer.
John Cassavetes, the movie director, spilled the beans years after the film came out. John said: “[One day] Ryan came to me (…) and he says, ‘Nick come here.’ And he’s doing a scene with Rachel. And he says, ‘Would you take her out of here and bring in another actress to read off camera with me?’ I said, ‘What?’ He says, ‘I can’t. I can’t do it with her. I’m just not getting anything from this.’”
Director John did not know what to do. So he finally decided to make the two actors face each other and deal with their frustration. Cassavetes says: “We went into a room with a producer; they started screaming and yelling at each other. I walked out. At that point, I was smoking cigarettes. (…) And it got better after that, you know? They had it out. I think Ryan respected her for standing up for her character and Rachel was happy to get that out in the open. The rest of the film wasn’t smooth sailing, but it was smoother sailing.”
In 2013, Rachel also told The Times that she and Ryan had not gotten along on set: “We weren’t throwing Ming vases at each other so it wasn’t loathing, but our relationship was not what you saw on the screen.”
But to the surprise of everyone who had been on The Notebook’s set -even to their own surprise-, the duo eventually fell in love.
Two years after filming the movie, Ryan and Rachel ran into each other, and this time they clicked. They were in a relationship for almost 4 years.
The co-stars worked together for: less than 1 year (late 2002 – early 2003)
3. Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn. Four Christmases
Reese and Vince’s dynamic on set was like the one of Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. But on steroids.
Reese is a perfectionist who likes to rehearse and go over the lines with her fellow actors. Vince is laid-back, does not like rehearsals, and prefers to improvise. So a match made in hell.
And, according to the people on set, hell it was. The word the crew used to describe how the actors felt about each other was “hate.”
Reese could not even bring herself to do the scripted sex scene with Vince. She ended up asking the producers to please cut it of the movie.
Vince, on his part, skipped all the press conferences to promote Four Christmases. He adduced scheduling conflicts. But perhaps he did it so he would not have to spend more time with Reese. Or maybe so she would have to do all the promotion work by herself. Vince did not even show up at the movie’s premiere.
While Vince has not addressed the feud, Reese has said they got along: “Vince is the funniest person I’ve ever worked with in my entire life.”
During the movie’s premiere, she sings his praises on the red carpet. Did she convince you? (the video is above these lines.)
The co-stars worked together for: a few months (December 2007 – early 2008)
2. Nick Nolte and Julia Roberts. I Love Trouble
This is another relationship that bystanders usually described with the word ‘hate.’
In 1994, Julia Roberts and Nick Nolte starred in I Love Trouble. The movie was supposed to be a romantic comedy, but due to the lack of chemistry between the co-stars, it got re-branded as a thriller.
When the movie was about to come out, the LA Times reported: “Those involved in the production say that Nolte and Roberts didn’t get along. They claim tempers flared early on, peppered with a few Roberts tantrums along the way. Roberts reportedly wasn’t thrilled with Nolte’s machismo, so she would deride and insult her co-star. Some on the set claim that he became so annoyed with her attitude that he would do things to agitate her even more. The discord was so intense, the sources say, the two played more to stand-ins than to each other.”
Representatives, movie studio, and the like, of course, stepped in and said those were rumors made up by the newspapers. They all said in chorus that the co-stars had gotten along and had been very professional on set.
Yet, when the New York Times asked Julia about Nick, she was far more frank. She said they “sort of gave each other a hard time.” And that although Nick could be “charming” when he wanted, he was “disgusting.”
Nick shot back soon afterwards: “It’s not nice to call someone ‘disgusting.’ But she’s not a nice person. Everyone knows that.”
This is one movie where the tension behind the camera did not play well in front of it. And despite the star power of both actors, I love Trouble was not a success at the box office.
The co-stars worked together for: 5 months (1993 – 1994)
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1. Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy. Mad Max: Fury Road
That Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy did not get along during the filming of this 2015 movie is no secret. Both actors have been quite honest about it.
They clashed every minute. In the beginning, there was a lot of fighting, but as Mad Max progressed, they stopped talking to one another.
It got so bad that they were not together in the scenes if they could avoid it. Charlize’s stunt double stood in for her while Tom acted his lines. And Tom’s double stood in for him when it was time for Charlize to act her part.
Her stunt double said of the situation: “There was tension.” While their co-star Zoe Kravitz summed it up in an interview: “They did not get along.”
Months in the desert drove everyone a bit crazy
Charlize was surprised, though, because she knew Tom did not have a reputation as being difficult on set, and she usually gets along with her co-stars.
But this movie was intense for the whole cast and crew. They spent almost 9 months in the desert, isolated, filming a tough action movie that did not have many lines of dialogue.
The leading actors have said that they had to rely on the director’s vision, a vision that was difficult for them to understand. They had to trust him blindly. And both Tom and Charlize felt enormous pressure and fear about what was going to be the outcome (they, especially Tom, were quite relieved when they saw the finished movie and it made sense!).
After the grueling production ended, Tom extended an olive branch. He left a gift in Charlize’s trailer with a note: “You are an absolute nightmare, BUT you are also f- – – – – g awesome. I’ll kind of miss you. Love, Tommy.”
The feud in their own words
Since then, they both have talked about the experience. Charlize has said: “We drove each other crazy, but I think we have respect for each other.”
And she told the New York Times: “In retrospect, I didn’t have enough empathy to really, truly understand what he must have felt like to step into Mel Gibson’s shoes. That is frightening!
And I think because of my own fear, we were putting up walls to protect ourselves instead of saying to each other, ‘This is scary for you, and it’s scary for me, too. Let’s be nice to each other.’ (…) I was incredibly scared because I’d never done anything [an action movie] like it.”
While Tom told the same newspaper: “I think, in hindsight, I was in over my head in many ways. The pressure on both of us was overwhelming at times. What she needed was a better, perhaps more experienced, partner in me. (…) I’d like to think that now that I’m older and uglier, I could rise to that occasion.”
So while the co-stars famously clashed, both have been mature enough to take responsibility for their part in the situation and have since made peace.
And fortunately, their characters did not have to like each other in the movie, so their tension worked and Mad Max was a huge success.
The co-stars worked together for: 8 months (2012 – 2013)
And those were 12 famous co-stars who -sorry to burst your bubble- did not get along in real life.