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TV Couples Who Couldn't Stand Each Other In Real Life

We've all had co-workers that we go out of our way to avoid. They might even be good at their job, but when we're around them, it's the old cliché about oil and water. We may have to work on projects with them or listen to their awkward conversations in the break room, but at least we don't have to film romantic scenes with them.

Just because a TV couple has sizzling hot chemistry doesn't mean that the two actors love or even like each other, and some actors who liked each other at first quickly found themselves at odds. Fans would cheer for them to get together, and every talk show host would ask them about their relationship, but their smiles hid animosity. Thankfully, some of the couples were able to put aside their differences after their initial issues, while others continue to avoid each other to this day. From the couples who dated in real life to some of classic TV's most infamous feuds, let's take a look at some TV couples who couldn't stand each other in real life.

Vivian Vance and William Frawley

Sitcoms would not be where they are today without "I Love Lucy." Lucille Ball was the star, but co-stars Vivian Vance and William Frawley, who played Ethel and Fred Mertz, were a big part of what made it great. The always-bickering couple had fantastic chemistry, but the bickering didn't stop when the cameras stopped rolling. 

Vance was only two years younger than Lucille Ball, but she was playing the wife of a man more than two decades her senior. According to the book "Meet the Mertzes," Vance said, "I loathed William Frawley and the feeling was mutual. Whenever I received a new script, I raced through it, praying that there wouldn't be a scene where we had to be in bed together." Frawley did not have nice things to say about her either, quipping, "She's one of the finest girls to come out of Kansas, but I often wish she'd go back there."

An oft-repeated story, recorded in Frank DeCaro's "The Dead Celebrity Cookbook," says that Vance was dining at a restaurant when she learned that Frawley had died. After hearing the news, she ordered champagne for everyone. Whether or not this story is true, it sums up the hostile working relationship between the two pretty well.

Kirk Cameron and Julie McCullough

Before he was known as that guy who starred in all the Christian films, Kirk Cameron was known as Mike Seaver on "Growing Pains." However, when he converted to Christianity near the end of the show's run, he became a holy terror on the set. There are differing accounts of what exactly went down between Cameron and co-star Julie McCullough, who played Julie Costello, but it's clear that neither one liked the other too much.

There are two different versions of the story, but everyone not named Kirk Cameron tells the same story. In an interview with Wingman Magazine, McCullough claimed that Cameron had her removed from the show because she had posed nude in Playboy, and that went against his newfound faith. She claims that Kirk gave an ultimatum, and that was the end of the Julie Costello character. Cameron has never spoken publicly about the incident, but he was quite controlling on the set, which Cameron admitted to in an interview with CBN. At times, he even forced writers to rewrite scenes that he deemed immoral. In addition, he confessed to the LA Times that he cut off contact with his "Growing Pains" castmates for quite some time, so it's not too hard to believe that he used his clout to kick someone off the show. As for McCullough, her Twitter makes it quite clear that she is still not a fan of her former co-star.

Jennifer Aniston and Tate Donovan

Ross and Rachel were the couple on "Friends" that everyone couldn't stop talking about, but when they were on one of their famous breaks, Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) tried to seduce Joshua (Tate Donovan). The two did eventually form a brief relationship, but Joshua's arc is mostly remembered for the incredibly cringeworthy ways in which Rachel tried to seduce him, which many fans on Reddit called the most embarrassing moment on the whole show. The writing made it uncomfortable, but there was another factor behind-the-scenes that made their relationship even more awkward.

Jennifer Aniston and Tate Donovan had been a couple in real life, and they had just broken up when Donovan got the call to do the show. He thought appearing on the show with his ex might be a healthy way to move past the relationship, but he soon found out it was quite the opposite. Donovan said in a 2013 interview with HuffPost Live that filming romantic scenes with his ex was "horrible," adding, "I remember just getting back to my dressing room and just weeping." He was able to laugh about it in the interview, but it was clearly a bad experience for him. 

Charlie Sheen and Selma Blair

Charlie Sheen is not exactly known for his even-tempered demeanor. He was famously fired from "Two and a Half Men" for a string of bizarre comments and behavior in 2011, and he quickly made enemies on his follow-up show as well. FX decided that they could make some money with a Charlie Sheen sitcom, so they took a chance and hired him to star in the aptly-titled "Anger Management." Working alongside Sheen was actress Selma Blair, who played Sheen's therapist and part-time lover, Kate.

However, Sheen immediately got up to his old antics, including showing up late and being unprofessional on set. When Blair brought the issue up, Sheen turned on her. One insider told E! that Sheen tried as hard as he could to "get her off the show immediately." Unsurprisingly for a Charlie Sheen vehicle, the environment on set was described as "awkward and toxic for everyone." The real kicker? Blair apparently found out she was fired via text message.

William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols

Not unlike Charlie Sheen, William Shatner has a bit of a reputation for making enemies on set. He famously feuded with "Star Trek" co-stars George Takei and Leonard Nimoy, and even his famous kissing partner Nichelle Nichols didn't get along with him, as she detailed in a 1995 interview with Danny Baker. Despite all their differences, there was one very important thing they agreed on — the groundbreaking interracial kiss between Uhura and Captain Kirk.

The year was 1968, and opinions on interracial marriage in the United States were only starting to come around. The network executives knew that an interracial kiss would be controversial, so they had Shatner and Nichols shoot one version of the scene with the kiss and one without. However, Shatner went out of his way to screw up the kiss-less take, crossing his eyes right at the big moment. None of the executives saw Shatner's deliberately flubbed take until the next day, and they had no choice but to air the kissing scene.

While Nichols has always had praise for how Shatner handled that moment, also opened up to Danny Baker about how he wasn't always the best person to work with. According to Nichols, Shatner was great for the first season, until his star began to rise. The relationship between the two was clearly love-hate, as she praised him and called him a "dork" (the strongest four-letter word she offered) in the same interview. 

Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley

Sometimes, stars hit it off right away, only for their relationship to gradually deteriorate over time. Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley had the opposite happen to them on "The Vampire Diaries." Dobrev played Elena, who was in a love triangle with Paul Wesley's Stefan and Ian Somerhalder's Damon, but Dobrev and Wesley clashed immediately. They both stayed quiet about it at the time, but they have looked back on it in the years since.

Dobrev said on the "Directionally Challenged" podcast that "There's a fine line between love and hate, and we despised each other so much that it read as love." Wesley seconded these thoughts in an interview with "Entertainment Tonight," saying, "Creatively, it just wasn't in sync." Thankfully, unlike some of these stories, this one has a happy ending. The timeline of their reconciliation is a little wonky, as Dobrev says it only took a few months, while Wesley says it took a few seasons, but regardless, they eventually became friends. The two actors only have praise for each other now, with both saying that they talk regularly.

Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd

Before there was Ross and Rachel or Mulder and Scully, TV's ultimate will-they-or-won't-they couple was Maddie and David on "Moonlighting." Fans tuned in every week to see Maddie and David, played by Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis, solve cases and flirt with each other. Unfortunately, like so many TV couples with unresolved sexual tension, things quickly went downhill when the characters resolved it, as Linda Homes discussed in a 2009 NPR article.

Cybill Shepherd told Entertainment Weekly that Bruce Willis was great to work with at first, saying that when he walked in, "The temperature in the room went 20 degrees higher. For me, anyway." However, over time, she said that the two "just hated each other." She blamed the mutual dislike on the show's "volatile" nature, but co-star Curtis Armstrong claimed there was more to it.

Armstrong, who played Herbert Viola on the show, wrote in his book "Revenge of the Nerd" (via Nine) that Willis spoke to him about "one disastrously ill-conceived 'thing' between him and Cybill, early on in the show's run." Thankfully, Willis and Shepherd decided that the grudge should die hard with a vengeance, and they reunited at his Comedy Central Roast in 2018.

Joan Collins and John Forsythe

Joan Collins was a movie star who started her career in the early 1950s, but in the '80s, she experienced a career revival with a memorable role on the primetime soap opera "Dynasty." Primetime soaps of the '80s weren't exactly big on subtlety, and Collins quickly won viewers over with her melodramatic portrayal of Alexis Colby, the ex-wife of protagonist Blake Carrington.

Collins joined the show in the second season, and Forsythe was concerned that she was stealing the show away from him. Collins told CBS Sunday Morning in 2019 that Forsythe was unhappy that so many people told him that Collins "made the show." In addition, Collins called her co-star "old school, misogynistic, and a bit sexist," although in this case, the tension between the two only added to the dynamic on-screen. A lot of the other "Dynasty" cast members viewed Collins as a real-life villain as well, as Collins claimed in a 2019 interview with Attitude Magazine that co-star John James was the only one she was friends with.

Sophia Bush and Chad Michael Murray

Acting alongside someone you've recently broken up with is one thing, but acting alongside your ex-husband who cheated on you is near-impossible. However, that's exactly what Sophia Bush had to do on "One Tree Hill." Bush played Brooke Davis on the teen drama, and her character was in a love triangle that also involved Lucas Scott, played by Chad Michael Murray. At first, the romantic tension between the two boiled over into real life.

The two young actors quickly got engaged and married, but it all came crashing down almost immediately. The couple said "I do" in April of 2005, but they split up in September of the same year. On a 2006 episode of Ryan Seacrest's radio show, Nick Carter alleged that this was because Paris Hilton — his ex-girlfriend — had an affair with Murray. Unfortunately for Murray and Bush, they had to continue working on the show together until it came to an end in 2012. Bush has tried to not talk about the incident in recent years, but when it did come up in 2021 on the "Inside of You" podcast, she said, "Oh, I'm not going to talk about him. I'm not allowed to because I've tried to poke fun at being a dumb kid and whenever I've done that, it gets twisted [...] it's not worth my time." Both Bush and Murray have now moved on to other relationships that aren't being scrutinized constantly by teen audiences.

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson

Well, you probably knew this one was coming. Pretty much anyone who is a fan of "The X-Files" knows that — despite their crackling chemistry on-screen — Mulder and Scully did not get along off-screen. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson played the famous FBI agents on the Fox drama, and their characters eventually went from professional partners to romantic partners, to the delight of fans everywhere. However, working that closely with one other person for years can lead to some struggles, as David Duchovny noted in a 2008 interview with Metro.

At that point, he was able to look back fondly on his time on the show, and he even compared Anderson to a sister. However, he said that "familiarity breeds contempt," and the two simply got sick of working together, insisting that it had nothing to do with her specifically. The intense shooting schedule and serious subject matter led to petty arguments, and Duchovny said it got to the point where he and Anderson "couldn't stand the sight of each other." Thankfully, this is another one that has a happy ending, as the two reunited for a reboot of the show in 2016, and had clearly gotten past any animosity, if their interview on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" promoting the project is anything to go by.

Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic

Not unlike Mulder and Scully, Richard Castle and Kate Beckett were work partners who had fantastic chemistry with one another. The "Castle" characters became a couple and started a family as the seasons went on, but the relationship between actors Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic was apparently not a good one. Neither Fillion nor Katic has addressed the working relationship directly, but an insider told Us Weekly in 2016 that things were quite difficult on set.

Apparently, Fillion was so harsh to his co-star that she would "go into her dressing room and cry," and the two were apparently even forced to attend counseling sessions together. The show ended after eight seasons, but her departure from it was quite messy. First, it was announced that her contract had not been renewed, and then the network announced that the show was ending. In a 2018 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Katic said of her removal from the show that "It hurt and it was a harsh ending," but she was still thankful for the experience on the whole. 

Tisha Campbell and Martin Lawrence

Martin Lawrence is no stranger to controversy, as his infamous "Saturday Night Live" monologue got him a lifetime ban from the sketch comedy show. His sitcom "Martin," which ran from 1992 to 1997, was especially popular. A big part of the show's success was thanks to his chemistry with Tisha Campbell, who played his wife, Gina. However, things were quite bad between the two when the cameras weren't rolling. Campbell left the show in the fifth season and brought legal action against Lawrence for "repeated and escalating sexual harassment, sexual battery, verbal abuse and related threats," according to a People article from the time.

The case was ultimately settled out of court, and Campbell did appear on the show's finale. However, since Lawrence was not allowed to be around her when she shot her scenes, it made for an awkward end to the show. Martin Lawrence claimed in a 2020 interview with GQ that the sexual harassment "didn't happen." Meanwhile, Campbell revealed on "The Talk" (via Essence) that, due to the settlement agreement, is not allowed to speak about it in too much detail.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).