At this year’s Academy Awards, filmmakers James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow will go head-to-head in the Best Director category. It’s a tight showdown between two deserving nominees to be sure, but it’s made all the more interesting by the fact that Cameron and Bigelow were once married to one another.
They’re hardly the first celebrity couple to have competed directly with one another following a separation, however. After the jump, we’ve listed some other famous couples that have professionally squared off following a break up.
Brad Pitt vs. Jennifer Aniston: One of Hollywood’s hottest couples, Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt parted ways amidst rumors that the latter star had fallen in love with Angelina Jolie while on the set of “Mr. & Mrs. Smith.” Even now that Pitt and Jolie are in a public relationship, it was Aniston that had the last professional laugh as her family movie “Marley & Me” outmatched Pitt’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” at the box office when the two films opened head-to-head in 2008.
Chris Brown vs. Rihanna: The tenuous relationship between Chris Brown and Rihanna hardly requires repeating. Some months after their scandalous break up, Brown released his new album Graffiti and Rihanna released hers, Rated R, which bowed in November, 2009 and debuted at number four on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. Brown’s December-released Graffiti, on the other hand, debuted at number seven with mostly negative reviews. In the end, neither album performed spectacularly well… so that situation worked itself out.
Rob Reiner vs. Penny Marshall: Acclaimed filmmaker Rob Reiner’s marriage to actress-director Penny Marshall ended after 10 years, in 1981, but their divorce hardly stifled their creative output. Except in 1988 and 1992, years that Reiner was inactive on the film front, while Marshall helmed the critically acclaimed “Big” and “A League of Their Own.”
Wyclef Jean vs. Lauryn Hill: It’s said that one should never date their co-worker for fear of disrupting the work environment. That was definitely the case between The Fugees members Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill when their relationship turned south and the act dissolved. While neither party suffered in their career, Hill was the decisive winner when The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill debuted in 1998 to massive amounts of critical and commercial success, a year after Wyclef’s The Carnival.
Woody Allen vs. Mia Farrow Longtime lovers and colleagues Woody Allen and Mia Farrow split from one another after Allen began a relationship with Soon-Yi Previn, Farrow’s adopted daughter. In the midst of their marital difficulties, Allen was compelled to recast Farrow’s role in “Manhattan Murder Mystery,” filling the position with Diane Keaton, yet another former flame. While it would appear that Farrow lost that professional battle, Allen wasn’t without his own casualty, as he hasn’t worked with Farrow or Keaton ever since.
Weigh in with other famous feuds between former flames in the comments section and on Twitter!