Out of all behind-the-scenes tales of filming movies, you have to wonder how many have been hidden when it comes to real-life couples acting on the movie set. We’ve seen our share over the years, and it’s always fascinating to watch based on the double meanings that might be said in the script. Especially when we all knew it was a marriage doomed to failure later, seeing the dynamic of possible tension in every scene has always been worth the effort. Even more insightful is seeing those couples in a movie together when they first met and fell in love.
When it comes to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, their first movie together, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”, was part of the latter case above. No doubt numerous people since have watched that film merely to scope out the scenes where Pitt and Jolie realized they had a thing for one another while Pitt was still married. Those kind of palpable scenes can sometimes readily be seen in movies where movie’s famous couples met. However, it’s the chemistry after they marry and still make movie together where you can also see so much more.
Now that Pitt and Jolie will reportedly be making a new film together almost a decade into their relationship, how will their chemistry line up with the married movie couples of yore? When you look back prior couple and their movies, you might be able to see veiled references to the evolution (or perhaps devolution) of their marriage.
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton
These two usually sit at the tower of married couples who seemed to showcase all of their marriage tension right on the big screen. While some might place Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy at the top, you can’t count them because they never married, despite being somewhat of an item. While Hepburn and Tracy displayed plenty of fun, easy-to-read chemistry in every film they were in together, Taylor and Burton seemed to sometimes make you squirm in your seat.
Yes, if “Cleopatra” clearly displayed their affection for one another prior to getting married, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” also showed a painful mirror to their own reality. The stories of their endless fighting and quick make-ups gave that movie adaptation of the famous Edward Albee play an edge that still compels you today. No matter how much their marriage may have been breaking down, they may be the only married couple in movie history that managed to create a seductive chemistry that can fascinate you through every minute they’re on screen together.
Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman
In a way, Cruise and Kidman had the same kind of chemistry as Taylor and Burton alongside perhaps the same marriage unraveling. Their first movie together, “Days of Thunder”, showed the same flirting chemistry Taylor and Burton had on the set of “Cleopatra.” “Far and Away” was Cruise and Kidman already a couple of years into their marriage and giving proof that marriage can still bring a sense of chemistry and honesty without embarrassment.
Then, by the time they reached Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut”, we saw the same equivalent to “Virginia Woolf” where the fight scenes seemed more than just acting. Even if “Eyes Wide Shut” was used for catharsis, it brought the last gasp of electricity Cruise and Kidman had together on screen before both moving on with their superstardom lives.
Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell
Even though Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell have only made a couple of films together, they made one that seems to be a romantic comedy classic in many people’s minds. “Overboard” needs some kind of record for perhaps being the most played movie on cable in the last decade. Other than its stereotypes of its Oregon setting, it’s not hard to see why the film is so popular. The chemistry between Hawn and Russell is right up there with the greatest movie couples.
If you think they shouldn’t be here on this list because they weren’t technically married, they’ve been living in common law for over 30 years, unlike Hepburn and Tracy who didn’t necessarily live with one another. With a marriage working like that, it’s always fun to see the chemistry play out in “Overboard” when you watch it for the umpteenth time. The same applied to the movie where they first met: “Swing Shift.”
With this chemistry, it makes you wonder why Hawn and Russell didn’t do more movies together. Pitt and Jolie may have had the same epiphany within the last year. Now, time will tell what their next movie will reveal about their marriage and whether chemistry can still be palpable when you’ve been together for a decade.