Director of Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender's new film explains why actors fall in love on his film sets

Derek Cianfrance has directed films where both Vikander and Fassbender and Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes met

Olivia Blair@livblair
Friday 02 September 2016 10:33

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, and Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling. What do these high-profile couples have in common? They all met on film sets.

Actors are often posted to foreign locations for months on end, seeing the same faces every day. This combined with the social circles they move in, the difficulty they have in relating to people living outside of the public eye and their concerns over protecting wealth can make forming relationships with people in similar positions the most attractive option.

The director Derek Cianfrances’ new film The Light Between Oceans stars another high-profile couple, Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander. Cianfrance says he selected Vikander partly because of how he believed she and Fassbender would gel. They did, real life imitated art and Cianfrance is now an official matchmaker.

"All I’m trying to do is create a connection on the screen, I really am trying to make a connection between my actors,” he told Vanity Fair. “[…[ I’m making movies about human relationships and intimacy. My entire purpose on set, and in making a movie, is trying to be [as] truthful as possible to that. One of the first ways to do that is trying to cast the movies right. I cast Michael Fassbender first, I cast Ryan Gosling first, and I have to then think who is going to work with this person.

“I have to meet a lot of actors and when I met Alicia after meeting a ton of actors for that role I felt like her and Michael would go together like salt and pepper […] I thought they would make each other better, they would compliment each other as performers. I just felt that they would fit in a beautiful way together. What happens behind the scenes is really none of my business but I’m pleased when anybody finds love.

“I’m making movies about love and I’m making love stories and the fact that has happened a couple of times on my movies, I can’t take too much credit for that. I do feel fortunate though that the movies are witnessing something real.”

Cianfrance also directed The Place Beyond The Pines which is widely thought to be the film shoot where Gosling and Mendes first started their relationship. The couple have since been together for five years and have two children.

Vikander and Fassbender are thought to have been dating since December, 2014. They appeared to confirm their relationship when they sat with each other during awards season, including when Vikander won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her role in The Danish Girl in February.

However, the couple are fiercely private about their relationship and when the BAFTAs thought it would be a good idea to place a ‘kiss cam’ on the couple, they both refused to conform and left the camera looming on their faces, leading it to be cut from the television broadcast.

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