Many people have a coworker they just don't like. Sometimes, it's an issue of personalities not clicking or an out-and-out difference in interests and ideologies. But what happens if you're forced to like that coworker? Like, it's literally your job to pretend you adore that person? This was the dilemma faced by famous TV couples who hated each other off-screen.
All cherished TV twosomes give their best impression of being happy, lovey-dovey partners. While there are some TV couples who got together in real life, there are plenty of other actor pairings who hated each other in reality. Many people look to television for entertainment and escapism, so it's easy to forget that the actors you're watching are actually working their jobs right there - and not every job, work environment, or colleague is going to be a cakewalk.
These professionals, who had to pretend to like someone they despised, had to take their acting abilities to a whole new level. In most cases, they were successful in making fans believe they loved their TV partners. However, off-screen coffee breaks, holiday parties, and downtime were probably pretty brutal - just ask these TV co-stars who hate each other.
Gillian Anderson & David Duchovny - The X-Files
Not the much-loved Scully and Mulder?!? Yes, it's true. Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny of The X-Files have kept the truth out there: as co-workers, they've had their share of ups and downs. "There were periods when we hated each other," said Anderson, who, tellingly, neglected to thank her co-star in her Emmy acceptance speech. Duchovny has also confirmed that the two had no real relationship off the set.
However, it's also important to point out that both appear to have been professional despite their differences, and they continue to work together in various X-Files incarnations in the 21st century. According to Duchovny, they now "have a successful working relationship and that’s the best way to go about this job."
Vivian Vance & William Frawley - I Love Lucy
Perhaps the most famous and beloved TV couple sidekicks in history, I Love Lucy's Fred (Frawley) and Ethel Mertz (Vance) were arguably just as popular as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. But Frawley and Vance detested one another. It all started when Vance, who was 22 years younger than Frawley, started voicing her displeasure about their age difference ("No one will believe I'm married to that old coot!") and about how mean and crotchety Frawley was.
And by all accounts, he was something of a crank, saying Vance looked like "an old sack of doorknobs." Years later, Vance was dining at a restaurant when she heard Frawley had died. She ordered celebratory champagne for the entire place. Needless to say, the two never made peace, despite their pitch-perfect chemistry and comedic timing.
Patti LuPone & Bill Smitrovich - Life Goes On
Life Goes On was one of those shows that felt revolutionary at the time, but, somehow, wasn't remembered kindly years after it aired. When it debuted in 1989, the weekly drama chronicled the life of the Thatcher family in the Chicago suburbs: mother Libby (the legendary, Tony-winning LuPone), father Drew (Smitrovich), daughters Becca and Paige, and son Corky.
Corky, portrayed by Chris Burke, had down syndrome and many early plots revolved around him; a principal character (and actor) with down syndrome in a major television show was a big deal at the time, and it's unfortunately still pretty unheard of. As the show went on, the focus shifted to Becca and her relationship with an HIV-positive classmate (Chad Lowe), another pioneering move during that time period.
But the two actors who presided over the Thatcher family couldn't stand one another. In her self-titled autobiography, LuPone describes she and Smitrovich as "oil and water…from the very beginning," calling him a "self-absorbed bully." "If only he had been a talented or generous actor, his behavior might have been justified," she writes. As the show went on, the two stopped speaking altogether outside of their on-camera dialogue. LuPone summed up the animosity in her typically ballsy way:
"We played love scenes, we played parenting scenes, we kissed, we hugged, and when the director yelled 'Cut,' we never even looked at each other. That's acting. (On my part. He just stunk.)"
Stana Katic & Nathan Fillion - Castle
The stars of Castle were once said to "completely despise each other." Rumor had it that Katic, who played Kate Beckett, and Fillion, who played Richard Castle, refused to speak to one another when they were not in front of the camera. But things on the set apparently got so bad that Katic was breaking down in tears because of Fillion's behavior, and producers forced the two actors into actual couples counseling. Both actors have handled the reputed discord with professionalism: Katic has never publicly acknowledged any tension between Fillion and herself, and Fillion has tweeted his support of Katic.