Met On The Set: Hollywood Romances

It was none other than Holly Hunter who steered her then-roommate, actress Frances McDormand, to "these two really weird guys" making a low-budget movie in Texas.The really weird guys turned out to be the Coen Brothers -- director Joel and producer Ethan -- and the movie wound up being Blood Simple.McDormand not only got the part, she got the director. And they've been together ever since. During the shooting of Fargo, the couple's fourth collaboration now playing in area theaters, they celebrated their 12th anniversary.Coen and McDormand aren't the only dynamic duo who met on the set. The same thing happened to Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick (Lemon Sky), Denzel Washington and Pauletta Pearson (TV's Wilma), Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins (Bull Durham) and Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin (The Marrying Man).Of course, not all celebrity couples wind up riding off into the sunset together. Sometimes, they yell, "Cut!" before the final reel.Twosomes whose relationships faded to black include Ted Danson and Whoopi Goldberg (Made in America), Julia Roberts and Kiefer Sutherland (Flatliners), Brad Pitt and Juliette Lewis (TV's "Too Young To Die), Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson (Fortunes of War) and Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson (The Harrad Experiment).But for every Don and Melanie, there's a Melanie and Antonio. Or something like that. Below, a progress report on some of the most famous couples who met on the set:The Couple: Antonio Banderas and Melanie GriffithSet Where They Met: The upcoming Two MuchKiss and Tell: Banderas insists his marriage to Spanish actress Ana Leza was already over when he started doing the mambo with Griffith, recently split from hubby Don Johnson. "I cannot even possibly describe this love," pleads the Desperado star. "I just knew there was something inside me that was stronger than myself. You just can't stop it."Isn't it Romantic: Griffith remembers the exact moment she fell in love. "He asked me how old I was," she says with a giggle.Love Status: Banderas and Griffith are expecting their first child this month.The Couple: Frances McDormand and Joel CoenSet Where They Met: Blood Simple (1984)Kiss and Tell: The actress and filmmaker lived together for more than a decade before they decided to tie the knot. "After 10 years, you don't really propose," reasons McDormand. "It was more like a collaborative decision. But here's the story: I was visiting Joel on the set of Hudsucker Proxy and he had forgotten Valentine's Day. I decided to give him a hard time. So he said, 'I can't do anything today because we're shooting but we'll go to Paris for the weekend.' Then we decided if we were going to go to Paris for the weekend, it might as well be for a honeymoon. We got a few of our friends together, said our 'I do's,' and then went to Paris for the weekend."Love Status: Married since April Fool's Day 1993, the couple recently adopted their Pedro, their first child.The Couple: Jim Carrey and Lauren HollySet Where They Met: Dumb and Dumber (1993)First Date: On a day off from filming, the duo visited a secluded restaurant in Utah. "There were peacocks wandering around the property," recalled Holly, a regular on TV's Picket Fences. "It was very romantic and beautiful, at least until Jim started making peacock faces."Kiss and Tell: The most romantic thing Jim ever did? "He left me a message on the bathroom mirror with a bar of soap." Most romantic thing she ever did? "Answered the message."Love Status: Carrey and Holly separated a year ago, re-united and, if the tabloids are to be believed, separated again. So much for sending messages via Irish Spring.The Couple: John Travolta and Kelly PrestonSet Where They Met: The Experts (1989)Kiss and Tell: It wasn't exactly love at first sight. "She was married, so I resisted my feelings," said Travolta. star. "I actually admired that she loved being married."Isn't It Romantic: "I proposed to her on New Year's Eve in 1991," he said. "We were at the Palace Hotel in Switzerland and it was midnight. I showed her the ring. People were screaming around us. She had projectile tears shooting everywhere. It was like being in some incredibly romantic movie."Love Status: The Travoltas and their son Jett are millionaires who, it's been said, live like billionaires.The Couple: Paul Newman and Joanne WoodwardStage Where They Met: Picnic (1954)Kiss and Tell: "Life with Joanne is difficult, tough, cantankerous, delicious, lusty, disagreeable, fun," he said of Woodward, with whom he's co-starred in eight films. "It's a pleasant spectrum to go back over. She's the love of my life."Love Status: Newman and Woodward are nobody's fools. They just celebrated 38 years of wedded bliss.The Couple: Meg Ryan and Dennis QuaidSet Where They Met: Innerspace (1987)Kiss and Tell: When Meg met Dennis, she tried to play hard to get. "I was at the beginning of my career and I thought, 'I can't fall in love now,'" recalled Ryan. "But I couldn't stop staring at him. I kept thinking to myself, 'He is beautiful. Look how nice he looks in that shirt!'"Isn't It Romantic: "She's my best friend," said Quaid. "I want to spend the rest of my life with her."Love Status: The proud parents of four-year-old Jack are still french kissing after all these years.The Couple: Warren Beatty and Annette BeningSet Where They Met: Bugsy (1991)First Date: A quick pizza dinnerKiss and Tell: "The most exciting thing in the world is having a wife and children," Beatty declares. "Why didn't they tell me that 35 years ago?"Love Status: Skeptics said it wouldn't last but Beatty and Bening -- parents of two daughters -- are starring in a real-life love affair.The Couple: Nicole Kidman and Tom CruiseSet Where They Met: Days of Thunder(1990)First Date: "We went to a movie. I'll never forget -- he was wearing a T-shirt," said Kidman, who'll work with her husband for the third time in an upcoming Stanley Kubrick film. "I saw his arms and I couldn't even watch the movie because he had such great biceps. Tom has really good arms."Isn't It Romantic: They stop and smell the roses together. "Nic enjoys gardening," he said, "and she tells me to get out there and start picking weeds. Sometimes, I can't believe this woman left her family in Australia to be with me."Love Status: Days of thunder have given way to nights of diapers. The pair just adopted their second child last year.The Couple: Hugh Grant and Liz HurleySet Where They Met: Rowing With the Wind (1986)Kiss and Tell: "At the beginning, I thought that she was acting very ratty to me," he noted. "I was acting very ratty to her too. We were both being disagreeable, so it must have been true love."Isn't It Romantic: "We have so much in common," he confessed last year. "I really love her."Love Status: Despite Grant's hooker scandal, there have been no weddings or funerals. Yet.Couple: Brad Pitt and Gwynth PaltrowSet Where They Met: Seven (1995)Kiss and Tell: "Brad Pitt is not the sexiest man alive. Morgan Freeman is," said Paltrow. To which Pitt responds, "So Gwyn doesn't think I'm the sexiest man alive. So what. Like she hasn't told me that already."Isn't it Romantic: When he picked up his Golden Globe for 12 Monkeys, he called her "the love o' my life."Love Status: The Seven stars were caught smooching during the recent Oscar show.Couple: Tom Hanks and Rita WilsonSet Where They Met: Volunteers (1985)Kiss and Tell: "It wasn't love at first sight," said Wilson, soon to be seen in That Thing You Do, Hanks' directorial debut. "But he's so easy to talk to and be around. We had so much in common. But falling in love was a sweet surprise. Tom's a great kisser."Isn't it Romantic: When Hanks won the Oscar for Best Actor for Forest Gump, he sent Wilson a love note via his heartfelt acceptance speech. "I looked down and watched her tear up," he remembered. "Sure, you bet I did. But then I also looked down and thought, 'Hey that's Paul Newman.'"Love Status: Unlike Forrest Gump, Hanks knows what love is. He and Wilson, parents of two sons, have been together for the last seven years.

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