Hollywood Couples Who Broke Up But Kept Working Together

List Rules
Vote up the couples that still did great work after splitting up.

While it isn't always easy to look a former lover in the eye, there have been plenty of examples when it comes to actors (and other Hollywood types) who've successfully worked with their exes. Dwayne Johnson consistently works with his ex-wife behind the scenes of his latest blockbusters. Jennifer Lopez recorded an album with her ex-husband, Marc Anthony, years after their breakup. Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder managed to carry on as the leads in The Vampire Diaries after splitting in real life.

Sometimes, you've just gotta work with a former flame. Each example below is proof that a broken heart can be mended enough to work with the one who broke it.

  • Dwayne Johnson has spent the better part of two decades transforming himself from the charismatic face of professional wrestling into one of the most bankable Hollywood stars working today. That kind of metamorphosis doesn't come easily, and one doesn't do it alone. Luckily for Johnson, he has had Dany Garcia at his side the entire time in one role or another. Garcia and Johnson met in college and got married in 1997. And though they were divorced by 2008, Garcia would co-found Seven Bucks Productions with her ex-husband just a few years later in 2012.

    Since then, the pair has co-produced some major hits that Johnson has headlined. Everything from Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Fighting with My Family to Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw and Jungle Cruise have had both Garcia and Johnson working behind the scenes. Clearly, the couple has a fantastic working relationship, but Johnson has stated that getting there wasn't exactly a walk in the park. "You gotta put in the work," he told E! News. "And just remember you were friends beforehand." 

    196 votes
  • Jennifer Lawrence And Nicholas Hoult Broke Up Between 'X-Men' Sequels
    Photo: X-Men: First Class / 20th Century Fox

    When Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult were brought aboard the X-Men franchise for 2010's X-Men: First Class, it was safe to assume they'd be coming back together every few years to film a sequel for the foreseeable future. While Fox's X-Men series went out with a whimper with 2019's Dark Phoenix, Lawrence and Hoult did, in fact, appear in four X-Men films together over nearly a decade. During the filming of their first sequel, the actors were in a relationship. By the time they got around to filming X-Men: Apocalypse, they had long been broken up.

    Luckily for everyone, the pair seems to be thick as thieves to this very day. The now-married Lawrence has an idea as to why she's on good terms with all of her exes. During an interview with Marc Maron, Lawrence elaborated. "I’m friends with all my exes, actually," she said. "For the most part, yeah. I have a theory: I think it’s because I’m blunt. I don’t think that you can have any sort of bad relationship with anybody if you’re just blunt." It clearly seems to work for her.

    98 votes
  • Gwen Stefani Broke Up With Her Bandmate Right Before No Doubt Broke Big
    Photo: Gossip Girl / The CW

    A general rule of thumb: Don't date your bandmates. Just ask Fleetwood Mac how all of that works out in the long run. And though this simple edict is generally a solid one to live by, some failed bandmate relationships don't wreck bands in the long run. The relationship between No Doubt's Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal, which ended way back in 1994, proves this to a T.

    Though their relationship at the beginning of No Doubt's existence was brief, it was quite passionate. Remember "Don't Speak"? The hit song from their 1996 album Tragic Kingdom? Of course you do. That song is about their breakup. And Stefani has gone on record about how desperately in love with Kanal she was at the time. "I was in love and obsessed with Tony Kanal, and he knows that," she said during an interview on The Howard Stern Show. "As soon as he opened the car door, I was like, 'I love him. I don't know why.'"

    113 votes
  • James Cameron Had A Relationship With His Longtime Producing Partner Gale Anne Hurd
    Photo: James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction / AMC

    After producing The Terminator and working closely with its director, James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd ended up marrying the cinematic titan in 1985. The duo would combine forces two more times, on Aliens and The Abyss, before getting divorced in 1989. You'd be forgiven for assuming their professional relationship ended there, but that wasn't the case. No, Cameron and Hurd teamed up once more in 1991 for the megahit Terminator 2: Judgment Day. In fact, the two have remained close decades after their divorce, according to Hurd.

    "We’ve stayed really good friends," she elaborated during an interview on Loyola Marymount University's campus in 2015. "We respect each other so much." Both Hurd and Cameron have had highly successful careers since their breakup, so... maybe someone could convince them to save the Terminator franchise one of these days?

    54 votes
  • Courteney Cox And David Arquette Continued Their Professional Relationship Well After Their Separation
    Photo: Scream 4 / Dimension Films

    Courteney Cox and David Arquette, stars of the Scream franchise, got married in 1999. A few years later, in 2004, they formed the not-so-cleverly named Coquette Productions. And though they ended up separating in 2010, they have maintained both a friendship and a working relationship in the years since. Though Coquette Productions isn't the biggest production company in the world, its famous founders have had a couple of big successes in the realm of television with Cougar Town and Celebrity Name Game. Thanks to their production arm - and more importantly the raising of their daughter, Coco - Cox and Arquette have had a solid line of communication since divorcing.

    While talking to Yahoo, Arquette summed it all up. "[W]e’ve just been really open and supportive of each other," the actor explained. "We never went head-to-head, [or] battled each other, through the process of divorce and through the process of raising our kid. So it’s made for a friendship and relationship that is out of respect." Seems like a good way to handle it all, no doubt about it.

    82 votes
  • Michael C. Hall And Jennifer Carpenter Dated In The Early Seasons Of 'Dexter,' And Ended Up Married, But Broke Up Before The Series Ended
    Photo: Showtime

    Though they played siblings on Dexter, Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter's relationship off-screen was anything but familial. The duo ended up dating after meeting on set and even got married in 2008. Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to last, as they were divorced in 2011. But Dexter wouldn't go off the air until 2013, meaning the former lovers would share the screen for a few years after their breakup. 

    Hall and Carpenter certainly made it work, even if it wasn't always easy for them. During a 2013 Dexter event, Carpenter even choked up a bit while talking to a crowd of fans. "Our marriage didn't look like anyone else's, and our divorce didn't either," she explained. "I said it before: just because the marriage ended doesn't mean the love did. I'm crying. It's an awkward thing to talk about your personal life in front of a bunch of strangers, but there's nothing but love and respect. Nothing." And, with Dexter: New Blood coming nearly a decade after the original ended, Carpenter and Hall are reuniting on-screen once more, proving exes can co-exist years after breaking up.

    83 votes