Some actors met their counterparts on movie sets while shooting for a film or found comfort in each other’s company at an event. Perhaps their paths crossed on multiple transatlantic flights or got set up by fellow A-lister in the industry. These may just be some of the most clichéd Bollywood and Hollywood love stories. But many actors have managed to dodge the cookie-cutter romances, and found love outside their professional pursuits. For proof, we are taking a look at 11 power couples who prove that marriages do go beyond the limelight. While one star (we are looking at you, Shahid Kapoor) wed a partner their parents picked, another (read: Sonam Kapoor Ahuja) is guilty of down the millennial way by sliding into social media DMs.
Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli
Sure, Virat Kohli may not exactly fit the bill of a non-celebrity, but the ace cricketer is technically outside the film circles. Anushka Sharma got acquainted with Kohli during a shoot of a shampoo advertisement in 2013. “The first time I met her I was very nervous and that’s why I cracked a joke because I didn’t know what to do,” Kohli once revealed in an interview with American sports reporter Graham Bensinger. The 31-year-old eventually asked Sharma out. Cut to 2017, the couple got married in a beautiful destination wedding in Tuscany, Italy. “It’s heaven, when you don’t sense time passing by… It’s heaven, when you marry a good ‘man’,” Sharma said about their relationship.
Shahid Kapoor and Mira Rajput Kapoor
Shahid Kapoor and now-wife Mira Rajput Kapoor’s traditional romance is what India’s 1.3 billion people can relate with. The Kabir Singh star and Mira were set-up for an arranged marriage in 2014 by their families. “The only thought going through my mind was, ‘Are we even going to last 15 minutes?’” the actor told Vogue in an interview. But the first time the two met, they spoke for seven hours. The couple tied the knot in a discreet ceremony in New Delhi in July 2015. Five years since that fateful date, the two now share two children Misha and Zain.
Sonam Kapoor Ahuja and Anand Ahuja
The Mumbai-based actor, who had long been at on top of her social media game, used the Internet as the start of her courtship with now-husband Anand Ahuja. Sonam Kapoor Ahuja’s love story with the London-based entrepreneur, CEO of Bhane and founder of VegNonVeg, a multi-brand sneaker store, began in 2016 on Snapchat. “We were chatting on Snapchat one night and she said, ‘Stop texting, just call me.’ And we spoke for two hours that night. Our friendship started over superficial things like vegan chocolates and sneakers but soon we were having deeper conversations,” Anand once revealed to us. Two months in, they met in London. In May 2018, the duo got married in a #EverydayPhenomenal star-studded celebration, snippets of which took over our social media feeds.
Shilpa Shetty Kundra and Raj Kundra
Shilpa Shetty Kundra met businessman Raj Kundra through a mutual friend for work after she won the reality show Big Brother in 2007. He was helping the actor with the promotions of her perfume label S2 at the time. The professional endeavour blossomed into a walk down the aisle in November 2009. The couple, who have two kids Viaan and Samisha, keep their followers enthralled with their loved-up pictures and funny videos on Instagram.
Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan
Although it has been three decades since they got married, Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan remain one of the most admired couples in Bollywood. Shah Rukh fell for Gauri in the ’80s, when he was 18 years old. The Delhi teen met Gauri at a party, who was just 14 back then. The young couple spent their first meeting sitting by the pool, which barely lasted for a few minutes. Once Shah Rukh got Gauri’s number, he’d call her at home pretending to be a friend named Shaheen. After a six-year-long courtship, the duo got married on October 25, 1991, in a traditional Hindu ceremony. The actor revealed that he borrowed a suit from the sets of his film Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman for the nuptials. Today, Gauri is a renowned interior designer, and the couple share three children, Aryan, Suhana and AbRam.
Madhuri Dixit Nene and Dr Sriram Nene
Madhuri Dixit Nene is another actor who went the arranged marriage route. An established Mumbai-based star’s story with Dr Sriram Nene, a cardiovascular surgeon, is one between two people who come from completely different worlds. Away from the hustle and bustle of Bollywood, she got married to the then-California-based husband in Los Angeles on October 17, 1999. The secret nuptials were followed by a grand Bollywood reception in India. Madhuri moved to Denver, USA with her husband for over a decade to enjoy life outside the spotlight. The couple now calls Mumbai their home and have two sons, Arin and Ryan.
John Abraham and Priya Runchal
Few know this, but John Abraham got introduced with now-wife Priya Runchal by some mutual friends in December 2010. Runchal, an NRI investment banker, met Abraham in Mumbai. Over the years, Runchal has remained reticent with the public eye, but would often be spotted with John Abraham. Friendship soon turned into romance as the couple would bump into each other at the gym. They got married on January 3, 2014 in an intimate celebration in Los Angeles.
Matt Damon and Luciana Barroso
While Matt Damon was filming Stuck On You in Miami, he met Luciana Barroso, then a bartender. The actor went to get a drink post the shoot with some crew members. “I literally saw her across a crowded room and eight years and four kids later, that’s my life. I don’t know how else our paths would have crossed if that didn’t happen,” Damon told Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show. “I got lucky. I fell in love with a civilian.” The couple renewed their marriage vows in April 2013 with a small sunset ceremony.
George and Amal Clooney
Theirs was a whirlwind romance that led to a lasting love. The Hollywood heartthrob met the Lebanese-British humanitarian lawyer, Amal Clooney (née Alamuddin) when a mutual friend brought her by his Lake Como home in July 2013. The two hit it off immediately, and stayed in touch for several weeks. “Over a period of time it became clear we were more than just friends,” he once revealed in an interview. Like any director worth his salt, George Clooney planned a heartfelt proposal for months—down to a playlist of music to accompany the proposal along with a home-cooked meal for two—at his LA home in April 2014. In September that year, the couple got married in a lavish wedding in Venice. Three years from their big day, Amal gave birth to twins Ella and Alexander.
Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth
The Big Little Lies star found her match in Jim Toth, a talent agent in 2010, when the two met at a mutual friend’s party. Toth turned out to be her knight in shining armour when a drunk guest was hitting on the Oscar-winning actor. “Jim came over and said, ‘Please excuse my friend. He’s just broken up with someone’,” Witherspoon recalled in a 2012 interview. The two laughed it off, and in March 2011, tied the knot. They had a son in September 2012.
Jennifer Lawrence and Cooke Maroney
Jennifer Lawrence is another Oscar-winning actor who shunned fellow stars, and married art gallerist Cooke Maroney. The couple, introduced to each other by Lawrence’s best friend Laura Simpson, first sparked dating rumours in June 2018 after being photographed together. “Well, he’s just the best person I’ve ever met in my whole life,” Lawrence once confessed. She added that getting engaged “was a very, very easy decision.” One year later they got married at a 150-person ceremony in Rhode Island.
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