Celeb Exes Who've Had to Work Together After Splitting Up
Dwayne Johnson & Dany Garcia
Johnson and his producer ex have continued to collaborate on blockbusters since their 10-year marriage ended in 2007. "It's not [easy]," he told E! about working together post-breakup at the premiere of Hobbs & Shaw, which Garcia executive produced. "For everybody out there, relationships aren't easy, marriages aren't easy, you gotta work at it."
"You never sign up for divorce … And we started out as friends and through divorce we still remain friends, but that kind of stuff takes a lot of work," the actor continued. "A lot of times you see the glitz and the glamour of here in Hollywood and it’s a big premiere, but that's the kind of sludgy stuff that everybody goes through. You gotta get your therapy and you got to go through it. But I always tell people and I always tell couples who are going through it — especially the dudes who seek out my advice who are like, 'How did you do it?' — I always say, 'You gotta put in the work, and just remember that you were friends beforehand.' Like, try to think about things like that, and think about your goals."
Garcia and Johnson are parents to 17-year-old daughter Simone Alexandra Johnson.
Jennifer Lawrence & Nicholas Hoult
The X-Men franchise served as an important milestone (both personal and professional) for Lawrence and Hoult: They met on the set of the hit film and dated for a few years before ending their relationship in August 2014.
"These movies had been my life for so long and they had to come first in everything," the Oscar winner said in 2015. "I was also in a relationship with somebody for five years and that was my life. So my life was this person and these movies and we broke up around the same time that I wrapped those movies." She continued: "Being 24 was this whole year of, 'Who am I without these movies? Who am I without this man?' "
Hoult opened up about the situation in 2019, telling ELLE, “It’s like going back to school after the summer holidays. The reality of [the X-Men franchise] is there are lots of characters, so everyone was together for brief periods, but not every day for four months.”
Amanda Seyfried & Dominic Cooper
After meeting on set of the original 2008 hit Mamma Mia!, Seyfried and Cooper dated for three years before splitting in 2011. The two reprised their reomantic roles in the sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, and while Seyfried seems cool with it, she admitted that her husband and Last World costar, Thomas Sadoski, isn't thrilled.
But when it comes to Sadoski's reservations, Seyfried doesn’t seem too bothered. "I’d guess he assumed Dominic is in love with me the way he’s in love with me. And it’s just not the case, it’s sweet," she said, adding, "I’d rather he be jealous than completely fine with it."
Kyle Maclachlan & Laura Dern
Decades after their 1980s relationship ended, the actors found themselves filming a sex scene together for Twin Peaks: The Return. MacLachlan discussed the unconventional reunion on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
"We had this scene that we had to do together — we both knew going in — which was going to require some nakedness on both our parts. It's very funny because [director David Lynch] would sit down and say, 'Okay, this is what we're gonna do.' He talks you through it, so you feel pretty comfortable," he shared. "And then you sit down, and Laura and I were kind of like, 'Okay, here we go.' Welcome back, 25 years later…Yeah, it was weird. We had a couple of laughs for sure."
Naomi Watts & Liev Schreiber
Despite splitting after 11 years together, Watts and Schreiber have remained on good terms. The stars' dynamic is so friendly, in fact, that they even signed on for a film, Chuck — which sees them take on the roles of husband and wife.
"I remember the first day [of shooting] that she came out of the trailer in the leopard print with the fake boobs and the hair," Schreiber told PEOPLE of working alongside his ex, adding that the experience was "a treat." He added: "She just went for it. I just knew it was going to be fun."
Christina Anstead & Tarek El Moussa
After seven years of marriage, the Flip or Flop hosts called it quits — keeping news of their dissolution private for months before going public in December 2016. In late January, a source told PEOPLE that Tarek and Christina "are very much committed and want to continue to work together and continue the show." In late 2018, it was renewed for an eighth season.
Jennifer Lopez & Marc Anthony
Despite splitting up in 2011 after a decade of marriage, Lopez and Anthony still went forward with their global talent TV competition, Q'Viva! The Chosen, in 2012, and recorded a Spanish album together in 2016. "We're just meant to be in each other's lives on different levels," Anthony previously said of working with his ex. "This is a long story, it's not a short story ... Marriage was just one chapter ... And kids are another. We've got each other for life."
Lopez echoed Anthony's sentiments in a 2017 interview: "At first I was like, 'We're good with the kids and everything, but if we start working together, are we gonna start going at each other again?' " admitted the legendary entertainer. "And it's been awesome. Honestly, I think it’s even helped our relationship."
Cameron Diaz & Justin Timberlake
Proof there was no bad blood following Diaz and Timberlake's 2006 breakup: The pair starred in 2011's Bad Teacher together. "No, it's great," the actress said of the experience. "Justin and I have always had a good laugh together, and to make a movie where we get to have a laugh together, and there really was no one else who was more perfect for this part."
Nina Dobrev & Ian Somerhalder
They may have called it quits in 2013, but The Vampire Diaries costars continued working together on the hit show as onscreen love interests. Their infectious dynamic was so evident that the exes ended up snagging the "Best Chemistry" trophy at the 2014 People's Choice Awards. "It's a good thing it's not awkward," joked the actress, who left the show in 2015, while receiving the award with her ex-boyfriend. The former costars are on such good terms that Somerhalder's wife, Nikki Reed, joined the pair at a farewell dinner for the final season of The Vampire Diaries.
Sophia Bush & Chad Michael Murray
"The reality is that, yes, it was a massive event in my life," Bush wrote in an essay for Cosmopolitan in 2017, addressing her and ex-husband/One Tree Hill costar's divorce following five months of marriage in 2006. "And the trauma of it was amplified by how public it became, which was incredibly foreign and bizarre to a girl who'd been just another college kid 24 months before her life blew up."
Michael C. Hall & Jennifer Carpenter
Two years before the end of Dexter in 2013, the costars — who were married from 2008 to 2011 while working on the show together — ended their union.
"Don't try this at home," Hall joked when asked how he and Carpenter make their professional relationship work after their divorce. "The fact that Jennifer and I worked through whatever was going on with us personally and the way we did and maintained a commitment to telling this story was never in question." He continued: "It was always what we needed and wanted to do."
Kaley Cuoco & Johnny Galecki
Their characters may have gotten hitched on The Big Bang Theory, but exes Cuoco and Galecki had already ended their IRL relationship in 2010 after two years of dating. "Massive doses of mutual love and respect, mostly," Galecki said during an appearance on The View when asked about how he and Cuoco maintain a healthy working relationship despite splitting up."It's not easy but with those two ingredients, pretty much anything is possible. We're dear, dear friends."
Nikki Reed & Paul Mcdonald
A few months after announcing her divorce from the American Idol alum in 2014 following a whirlwind courtship, Reed continued working on a music collaboration with her ex-husband. The pair ultimately released their post-breakup album, I'm Not Falling — a joint effort they began working on in the early stages of their relationship.
Rachel Bilson & Adam Brody
"One of the all time greats!" Brody wrote in his Reddit AMA of working with Bilson on The O.C. The pair dated for three years while working on the hit teen drama. And while their relationship didn't last in real life, their characters — Seth Cohen and Summer Roberts — tied the knot at the end of the series.
Blake Lively & Penn Badgley
"We were constantly professional, to be honest, and we should both pat ourselves on the back because anything is complicated in that way ... and we handled it," Badgley said of working with Lively on Gossip Girl after calling it quits in 2010.