Scott's World -- UPI Arts & Entertainment

By VERNON SCOTT, United Press International  |  May 21, 2002 at 4:50 PM
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HOLLYWOOD, May 21 (UPI) -- Take a beautiful, sexy movie star and put her on a faraway location; add a handsome, virile actor and make him her leading man.


You have all the ingredients for romance, intimacy and combustible sex, prime fodder for tabloid journalists, TV gossip shows and back-fence speculation. As realtors like to tell their customers, a good buy in real property depends on three things: location, location, location.

That reasoning also is the formula for Hollywood hell-raising for both cast and crew members.

A two-month location shoot in, say, Astoria or Tullahoma, affords highly paid, restless performers in their 20's through 50's few distractions for loneliness.

Generally, these highly attractive, glandular-charged individuals gravitate toward one another, as do grips and wardrobe women, script-clerks and property men.

The attraction is as inevitable as polar opposites. They connect, fulfilling the traveling salesmen's plaint: "When you're lonely and on the road ..."

The phenomenon began in the early days of black and white flicks when, left to their own devices and away from snooping reporters and cameras, location love affairs were as commonplace as convenient dressing rooms.

Co-stars are particularly vulnerable when the script calls for steamy love scenes. After a day's work in a bedroom set with a sultry co-star, performers may find it difficult to turn off the passion and take it a step further in their dressing rooms or hotels.

These flights of ardor often lead to divorce and sometimes unexpected pregnancies. They may also wind up in flaming scandals. Some even lead to marriage, which may account for mistrust of locations by many spouses.

Probably the most notorious screen lovers who became real-life lovers were Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, who fell in love when they first co-starred in "Woman of the Year" in 1942 and remained faithful, though unmarried, until his death in 1967.

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton made headlines with their hot and heavy romance during the making of "Cleopatra" in 1963, thereby cuckolding her husband Eddie Fisher and ending Burton's marriage to Cybil Williams. The stormy couple was married and divorced twice, a much-savored scandal worldwide.

A highly publicized location romance involved Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw during production in Arizona co-starring in "The Getaway" in 1972. They became lovers although both were married: MacGraw to Paramount Studio chief Robert Evans and McQueen to singer Neile Adams.

McQueen and MacGraw were married for several years after their divorces, but the marriage didn't last.

Today's most vivid example of an actress getting carried away romantically on location is Meg Ryan, who fell in love with actor Dennis Quaid on the set of "InnerSpace" and later married him. She tumbled again on the London location of "Proof of Life" where she fell in love with her co-star, Russell Crowe, leading to a divorce from Quaid.

For Crowe it was just another location fling and he called a halt when "Proof of Life" failed to be proof of love. Crowe remains unmarried. So does Ryan.

Another blonde dazzler, Melanie Griffith, toppled head-over-heels for co-star Antonio Banderas on location for "Two Much" (1996). Both were married to others at the time of their grand passion. Now they are married, or at least they are married for now.

Right up there with Meg Ryan in the double loser column is America's Sweetheart Julia Roberts, who twice lost her heart to her leading men.

First was Dylan McDermott in 1989 while filming "Steel Magnolias" -- both were unmarried at the time. Then Roberts and co-star Kiefer Sutherland became loversduring "Flatliners."

They set a wedding date but Julia chickened out shortly before the big event and left Sutherland at the altar. She stunned the world later by marrying country singer Lyle Lovett, but she didn't love it for long and is now single again.

Currently Gwyneth Paltrow is living down the oft-repeated gossip that she and Luke Wilson, who played her brother in "The Royal Tenenbaums" last year, had a passionate affair while making the movie.

One hot and heavy romance during production of "Volunteers" in 1985 involved actress Rita Wilson and Academy Award-winning Tom Hanks.

But this footsie-playing couple married in 1988 and proved the exception to the brevity of romances on location that plotz when the principals return to Hollywood.

Some co-stars merely enjoy their love scenes with members of the opposite sex and let it go at that, returning home to their spouses, perhaps with guilty grins for having enjoyed their "work."

Actors usually are regarded as amiable rascals or sexy dudes in such liaisons, but actresses often are considered a bit trampy, unfair to be sure.

All-time champ of co-star seduction was Errol Flynn who boasted he'd slept with all his leading ladies. Only Olivia De Havilland demurred.

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