The film and television world can be an incredibly difficult line of work. With 12 hour days the norm — if not the minimum — and a large group of people who are often away from everyone else they know, a film set can create a unique and intimate space where friendships grow quickly and deeply. This is doubly true for actors who need to portray a romance on-screen — not only is the environment set up to make strong connections, but as an actor you’re being asked to dive into those emotions. Of course, real romance on set is no different than romance in the workplace, which is why many of them stay secret. Here are eight TV show actors who secretly dated.
1. Kit Harington and Rose Leslie
Kit Harington and Rose Leslie, who play (and played) Jon Snow and Ygritte on Game of Thrones, respectively, have been dating on and off as far back as 2012, but only recently announced officially that they were indeed together off-screen. The couple finally made their relationship public in 2016 at April’s Olivier Awards before speaking publicly about it. That’s a long time for a celebrity to keep anything secret in today’s day and age, let alone a relationship.
Speaking to Vogue Italia, Harington explained, “If you’re already attracted to someone, and then they play your love interest in the show, it becomes very easy to fall in love.” He also said that in the very small circle of people who were allowed to know Jon Snow’s fate in Game of Thrones, Leslie was one of them — with the showrunners’ blessing. “She was allowed to know,” he told Entertainment Weekly.
2. Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney are now married with two children, but the pair initially dated in secret during the filming of the show’s second season in 2006. This meant keeping the relationship hidden from even their co-stars and close friends, Glenn Howerton and Charlie Day, rather than risk blowing up a show that was then only beginning to explode in popularity.
3. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys
Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys star in what is maybe the greatest show that no one seems to watch: FX’s cold war thriller, The Americans. During the show’s first season, their relationship was reportedly based on work and friendship — especially considering Russell was married with two children at the time. But when Russell divorced her husband in 2013, the rumors continued to swirl until Russell and Rhys officially went public in 2014 and had a child together in 2016.
4. Morena Baccarin and Benjamin McKenzie
Gotham stars Morena Baccarin and Benjamin McKenzie began working together in the show’s first season where their characters became romantically involved. Baccarin was later promoted to one of the series regulars in the second season. According to People, they began dating around the later part of filming the first season leading to Baccarin’s divorce in 2015. McKenzie and Baccarin have been together ever since and now have a young daughter who was born in 2016.
5. Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas
Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas met on the set of Once Upon a Time where they portrayed Snow White and Prince Charming, respectively, so it makes a ton of sense that they eventually got together off-screen. After dating for more than a year, Goodwin and Dallas made their relationship public in 2013 and were later married in 2014.
6. Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q
Stalker might not have made the cut on television, but it did introduce Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q to each other, and the two quickly kicked it off away from the set. As many of these work-based relationships go, months of rumors finally led the pair to announce that they were together and an engagement followed soon after.
7. Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer
According to Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer, the pair fell in love during True Blood’s screen-testing and were in a relationship by the end of the pilot episode’s filming. That was back in 2007 and the couple didn’t make their relationship public until 2009 when Moyer told TV Guide that the relationship rumors were true, followed by an engagement soon after. They have now been married since 2010 and have twins together.
8. Vincent Kartheiser and Alexis Bledel
Vincent Kartheiser and Alexis Bledel met on the set of Mad Men where Bledel’s character Beth Dawes becomes involved with Kartheiser’s Pete Campbell. The couple kept the relationship extremely private, especially with regards to the set, but the couple made it public in 2012 at the Macallan and Annie Leibovitz Photo Launch in New York City. They have now been married since 2014 and recently had their first child.
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