We hear all the time about the insane hours television showrunners put into their work. It’s basically a nonstop job. The same goes for filmmakers. Now can you imagine working that sort of stressful, intense round-the-clock job right alongside your romantic partner? Anyone who’s ever lived and worked with someone knows it can wear on you from time to time, if not all the time. And that’s working any sort of job, not even one with mandatory constant collaboration and little rest. (Rest that is then spent right alongside your spouse.)
That sounds like highly rewarding, highly hellish life. Luckily for us (and, sure, probably them as well), Hollywood has a few power couples who are able to withstand their lack of live/work balance and put out some truly great projects. I suppose the couple that executive produces together, stays together.
Daniel and Amy Sherman-Palladino
While Amy Sherman-Palladino’s name is the one you probably associate with Gilmore Girls, her husband, Daniel Palladino, was also a co-executive producer who wrote 44 episodes and directed six. They must have spent an incredible amount of time together, and if you’ve ever read or heard an interview with them — like, for instance when asked if they thought anyone in Stars Hollow voted for Trump — it’s clear they have enough differing and equally strong opinions that that set must have gotten intense at times.
Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy
This is the husband-wife team behind Westworld. I love hearing them talk about their creative process because they seem to balance each other out so perfectly. While so much of that show’s influence comes from Western movies and video games, Joy describes herself as the kind of person who when playing Grand Theft Auto, will “literally just cruise around the city and obey the laws.” She told the New Yorker, “It’s hard for me to run over a lady, because I’m, like, Does she limp home to her family when you turn it off? Do they have health insurance?”
Their roles aren’t totally broken down into the stereotypical male and female roles, but in general, it sounds like Nolan is very rough-and-tumble big picture, while Joy is the reason the characters, especially the non-human ones, had such strong humanity.
Cameron Esposito & Rhea Butcher
What could be better than living your dream of professional comedy alongside your equally hilarious partner? Doing it while writing, producing, and starring in a television show together, based on that awesome life, I suppose.
Michelle & Robert King
I’m so glad that the minds that created The Good Wife and the totally underrated BrainDead found each other, and even more glad they shared those gifts with us. And yet to be so brilliant, so politically minded, and so absurd, and to have that matched step for step 24/7? That partnership sounds as rewarding as it must be completely exhausting.
Keri Russell & Matthew Rhys
So yes, these two are in front of the camera, not behind, but the amount of time the two leads of a long-running television show have to spend together is bonkers. Then to add a marriage on top of that, well, I guess the desire to spend all day, every day, at work and at home with a partner as bunkable as these two are is beyond understandable.
Frances McDormand & Joel Cohen
These two got married the same year they started working working together, in 1984. Blood Simple was both of their commercial film debuts. They’ve literally spent their whole careers living and working with each other. Sure, they don’t always work together, but the way their love and their work are tangled up in each other feels decadently romantic, at least from the outside.
Melissa McCarthy & Ben Falcone
Honestly, the work Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy create together are not my favorite vehicles for her. Give me Spy and Bridesmaids over Tammy and The Boss. But they clearly love the work they create (and so do other people), and that’s beautiful. As beautiful as a hungry bear sandwich, even.