Love triangles and relationship overlap abound in Hollywood. It’s not at all uncommon for actors to develop feelings for their co-stars. If they’re playing love interests or a couple, the authentic chemistry between them can elevate their performances. But sometimes, not only are their characters not love interests, they’re related!
Okay, so it’s not really wrong for actors hired to play siblings in a movie or TV show hook up. But knowing about their private lives can certainly effect the viewing experience, and fill otherwise typical brother and sister exchanges with creepy undertones. In fact, unless their last name is Lannister or Targaryen, it’s especially important that they’re able to convince audiences they don't want to tear each other’s clothes off.
These 15 couples were hired to play siblings but, inconveniently, found themselves wanting to play Flowers in the Attic when the cameras stopped rolling. If you think about it, if their real-life relationship seems weird to viewers, then they’re doing their jobs well. On the other hand, most of these couples didn’t last, so maybe they weren’t able to get past their familial feelings in the end.
Whatever the case, here are 15 On-Screen Siblings Who Fell In Love Off-Screen.
15 Everwood – Emily VanCamp And Chris Pratt
Before Chris Pratt joined the ranks of the other buff action stars named Chris, and even before he played the lovable meatball, Andy Dwyer on Parks and Rec, he was known as the angst-ridden, curly-topped high school football player, Bright Abbott on the early 2000’s TV series Everwood.
Though Bright had many love interests on the show, Pratt only had eyes for Emily VanCamp, the actress who played his little sister, Amy. On screen, they fought like siblings, but off-camera, they were an adorable and inseparable couple until 2006, right around the time the series finale aired.
Not long after, Pratt began dating his future ex-wife Anna Faris. VanCamp continued to date co-stars, and Bright wasn’t the last pretend brother she hooked up with.
14 Lost – Ian Somerhalder And Maggie Grace
Somerhalder and Grace’s characters on Lost weren’t technically related, but these step-siblings had a complicated relationship. Spoiled little rich girl, Shannon reveled in Boone’s unrequited love for her, and never passed up an opportunity to exploit his feelings for her own gain.
When Grace and Somerhalder were both booted off the island in 2007, they made some Lost slash fans very happy when they became an official couple. Though their built-up sexual tension fizzled out after a year, it was, at one point, serious enough for them to adopt a cat together.
Ian went on to marry Twilight actress Nikki Reed in 2015 and Grace is currently engaged to her beau, Brent Bushnell. However, there was no love Lost (sorry) at the Paleyfest 10-year reunion in 2014, when Grace posted a photo on her Instagram account of the former faux siblings hugging it out.
13 The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones – Jamie Campbell Bower And Lily Collins
Luckily for Collins and Bower, their brother and sister characters in this The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones are supposed to be in love. Though Clary and Jace are not actually blood-related, Clary’s biological father raised Jace as his own.
The 26-year-old actors couldn’t hide their love on or off screen. They peppered their yearlong romance with on-again-off-again drama but seemingly split for good in 2013. Rumors about a reconciliation circulated for 2 years until, to the delight of fans, Collins seemingly confirmed their re-coupling via an adorbable Instagram photo and caption, "Sometimes it just is what it is... And what it is, is something quite beautiful..."
A few months later, she posted another message. “When one door closes, another one opens. No matter what, always leave room for a little love when stepping out and in #livedeeplylovehard...” Bower then mysteriously disappeared from her Instafeed.
12 Brothers & Sisters – Emily Van Camp And Dave Annable
After Everwood, VanCamp moved on to the aptly titled ABC drama, Brothers & Sisters. VanCamp played Rebecca, the daughter of the Walker family patriarch’s mistress. David Annable played her half-brother, Justin.
The actors immediately hooked up and the heat between them was so great, that the writers invented a paternity scandal plot line, making Rebecca and Justin officially un-related and free to get it on.
But their love wasn’t to last. Though their characters eventually married, their relationship fizzled both on the show and in real life. Annable began dating actress Odette Yustman, whom he met while filming You Again.
The Brothers & Sisters writers decided to harness that natural chemistry once again and hired Yustman to play Justin’s new love interest, sending VanCamp packing.
11 Ferris Bueller's Day Off – Matthew Broderick And Jennifer Grey
Ferris Bueller might always get off scot-free, but that’s not the case for Broderick, whose 18-month relationship with Grey ended in tragedy. Though they were siblings and bitter rivals on screen, the real-world counterparts of Jeanie and Ferris were enjoying a secret romance.
Sadly, the world only learned of their relationship when they were involved in a car accident while on a vacation together in Northern Ireland. Broderick drove his rented BMW into the wrong lane, colliding head on with an oncoming car. Grey was unharmed, but Broderick suffered a broken leg, and the mother and daughter they hit died instantly.
Broderick and Grey’s vacation - and relationship - came to an abrupt end and Broderick was charged with reckless driving. Grey's newest film, Dirty Dancing had just been released and was a massive hit, but the actress was traumatized by the accident and her career never really took off.
10 Once and Again – Shane West And Evan Rachel Wood
Shane West and Evan Rachel Wood kept things platonic when they played Sammler siblings Eli and Jessie on the ABC drama Once and Again. West was in his early 20s while Wood was just 12. When Wood came of age, she dated Marilyn Manson.
It wasn’t until many years later that the former co-stars reconnected, and were spotted canoodling at a club. Dating rumors sprang up immediately, and Wood all but confirmed their union in a statement: “I think you can put two and two together... I won’t confirm nor deny it but I don’t think I have to.” Wood attended West’s 31st birthday party and they doted on one another all evening. But it wasn’t to be, and the steamy couple was never again seen together.
9 Game Of Thrones – Dean-Charles Chapman And Nell Tiger Free
Though these young actors portray the products of an incestuous relationship on Game of Thrones, their characters, Tommen and Myrcella, always kept their relationship familial. The actors who played them, however, did no such thing. However, it seems they’ve kept in touch after the conclusion of their GoT story lines.
While they’ve yet to make an official confirmation, 17-year-old Dean-Charles Chapman and 15-year-old Nell Tiger Free frequently appear in one another’s’ Instagram feeds. They take cute selfies and Chapman seems to have a thing for tying Free’s shoes. Free also refers to Chapman as “my boy” and claims to have him “on whip”.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, they exchange “I miss you” tweets, punctuating them with heart emojis. If that’s not young love, we don’t know what is.
8 Roswell - Katherine Heigl And Jason Behr
Before Katherine Heigl cultivated her rep as the difficult actress who repeatedly took issue with her scripts, she was a fresh-faced teenager just hired for the WB network’s new show, Roswell. On this Dawson’s-Creek-with-aliens high school drama, Heigl played one of 3 siblings from another planet, attempting to live normal human teenage lives in the New Mexico tourist town.
Heigl and Jason Behr immediately hit it off and had to reconcile their hot and heavy real-world relationship with their platonic on-screen sibling status. Though there was talk of an engagement, their romance didn’t last long, amid rumors that Behr was also hooking up with Shiri Appleby, who played his onscreen love interest.
The show went on for another 2 seasons, making for an undoubtedly awkward workplace.
7 Blades Of Glory – Amy Poehler And Will Arnett
In 2007, Amy Poehler and Will Arnett shared the silver screen in Blades of Glory, as a conniving brother and sister competitive ice skating team. But in real life, they were one of Hollywood’s favorite couples.
In the film, they channeled their palpable sexual energy into their sibling characters, Stranz and Fairchild Van Waldenberg. They carried a hilariously bizarre flirtatious energy throughout the film, as they schemed to maintain their Championship title. Of course, their plan is foiled in the end, but they confirm the true nature of their relationship with a hysterically disturbing kiss.
Though Poehler and Arnett divorced in 2012, we’ll always have this film to remind us of a time where their passion for each other could not be contained, even when their characters were blood relatives.
6 The Sopranos – Jamie-Lynn Sigler And Robert Iler
Jamie-Linn Sigler and Robert Iler were always extremely convincing as the squabbling Soprano siblings Meadow and A.J. At first their on-set dynamic was just as contentious. Iler was an awkward pubescent 13-year-old and both Meadow and Sigler were struggling with an eating disorder. But as they grew up, they also grew closer, both on and off the show. As Sigler explains, “We had to be a team. We were the only young cast members.”
Though both actors deny a relationship, the chemistry between them was undeniable and toward the end of the show’s run, they were spotted cuddling in the corner of a Las Vegas nightclub. It seems they may have dipped their toes in relationship waters, but never dove in all the way.
They are still very close. Says Sigler, “I truly love him... and we’ve always looked out for each other.” “It’s so boring,” agrees Iler, “that we like each other so much.”
5 Dexter - Michael C. Hall And Jennifer Carpenter
Sometimes, in the aftermath of a co-star romance, the writers can cut the tension at work by inventing narrative reasons to keep their characters apart. Unfortunately for Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter, the close-knit relationship between siblings Dexter and Deb was integral to the show’s formula.
Hall and Carpenter started dating shortly after the show’s 2006 premiere and were together only a year before eloping. But just two years later, Hall filed for divorce and revealed that it had been a long time coming.
The show was far from ending its run and neither Dexter nor his tough-as-nails cop sister could be written off or even put into separate storylines. They had to keep it professional for another 3 years. It’s not confirmed whether or not their breakup was a factor in the show’s downturn in quality, but it couldn’t have helped.
Weirdly, a romantic connection between the adopted siblings was written into the later seasons of the show - after the real-life couple had already divorced.
4 Parenthood – Lauren Graham And Peter Krause
The interest was there when Lauren Graham and Peter Krause met on 1995 sitcom Caroline in the City. She asked him to help her move furniture and he invited her over for a game night. It wasn’t until 2010 when they were hired to play Braverman siblings Adam and Sarah on the TV drama, Parenthood that their long-dormant connection erupted.
There were initial trepidations, and they kept their couplehood on the D.L. for close to a year. In her book, Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between), Graham explained their secretiveness: “At our age we’d probably both been through ‘showmances’ that went south and made work an uncomfortable place to be. But ultimately, our mutual wariness gave way — it just sort of happened.” They’ve been together ever since.
3 The Partridge Family – Susan Dey and David Cassidy
There are plenty of skeletons in the Partridge Family closet. But it’s especially disturbing to learn that Dey was desperately in love with her on-screen brother and band mate, Cassidy. As the breakout star of the show, Cassidy took full advantage of his popularity with female fans, using his fan club as a sort of early Tinder. What’s worse, he would share the juicy details with his “friend” Dey.
Cassidy insists that he was completely oblivious to her crush until after the show wrapped. It was then that he finally gave the Keith and Laurie pairing a go.
Cassidy discusses their brief tryst in his memoir C’mon Get Happy, saying that despite their emotional connection, he knew they could never last because ”Susan lacked the slutty aspect of a female that I always found so attractive”. Keep it classy, Cassidy.
2 The Brady Bunch – Maureen McCormick And Barry Williams
When the lady met this fellow, they knew it was much more than a hunch, that Greg and Marcia - the two oldest Brady Bunch siblings - were destined for romance. A few seasons in, Williams sparked up a passionate romance with his onscreen stepsister McCormick. Though not related by blood, the Brady children had a contentious sibling dynamic. But at the end of the day, Williams and McCormick, two years his junior, would sneak off to the beach to make out.
In her memoir, Here’s the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice, McCormick also revealed an unfulfilled desire for Williams to take her virginity. McCormick recalls that her first kiss with Williams was “long, passionate and deep” but that a tiny part of her was freaking out, as she thought, “Oh my God! I’m kissing my brother. What am I doing?”
1 Poldark - Eleanor Tomlinson And Harry Richardson
In the 3rd season of British period drama Poldark, audiences were introduced to Demelza Poldark’s brother, Drake Carne, as played by 24-year-old Richardson. On the show, Drake has an upstairs/downstairs romance with a governess named Morwenna, while Demelza is torn between the affections of two men - neither of whom is her brother.
In real life, however, Demelza and Drake are quite the hot item, having been photographed stealing kisses and canoodling all over London. Eleanor Tomlinson, 25, previously had a rumored tryst with her on-screen husband, Aiden Turner, as well as a confirmed relationship with Turner’s stunt double, Ben Atkinson.
"Dramelza" is still quite fresh, as the couple only went public this past July. But at press time, they’re still going strong.
Are there any on-screen sibling couples we missed? Let us know in the comments!