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Cast Incest

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"When you guys first came in, we were as wholesome as the family in The Brady Bunch. Now we're as dysfunctional and incestuous as the cast of The Brady Bunch."

Cast Incest is a variant of Romance on the Set, where two actors from a TV series or film start dating in real life, after they've been playing family members in the show. Or maybe they were cast into a part specifically because they were already dating/married.

Sometimes it can come from a bad Actor Allusion if two people are playing a couple in a production when they had previously played family members or vice versa.

For the far squickier inversion, see Incestuous Casting.


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    Live Action TV  
  • Doctor Who: David Tennant, the Tenth Doctor, is married to Georgia Moffett, who played the tenth Doctor's genetically engineered single donor child in "The Doctor's Daughter". Georgia Moffett is actually the daughter of Peter Davison, the Fifth Doctor, which is the same person, but played by a different actor after several deaths. They now have a daughter, so there is now a child out there that has the Doctor as a father and a grandfather. To sum up: A Doctor's daughter who played the Doctor's daughter in "The Doctor's Daughter" and then had the Doctor's daughter.
  • Dexter: Michael C. Hall (Dexter Morgan) and Jennifer Carpenter (Debra Morgan) are playing onscreen (adopted) siblings. For a couple of years, they were married in Real Life.
  • Due South: Paul Gross's wife Martha Burns played his character's mother in the series finale.
  • Eureka: Salli Richardson-Whitfield's (Allison Blake) husband Dondré Whitfield guest stars as Allison's brother Marcus Blake in one episode.
  • Everwood: Emily VanCamp ("Amy") and Chris Pratt ("Bright") dated in real life while being siblings on the series.
  • Firefly: Summer Glau and Sean Maher played siblings on the show but dated for a short time in real life.
  • Averted with Life with Derek's main actors, Michael Seater and Ashley Leggat, who played Derek and Casey respectively. The most popular rumors are that they used to date and sleep together due to the fact that their characters had too much Unresolved Sexual Tension, but none of the actors had ever confirmed such rumors. In fact, they were best friends who hung out a lot in their free time and were, unconventionally, quite touchy-feely with each other. Even after almost 10 years, with Ashley being married and Michael having other relationships, they still hang out as best friends and have fun together.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place: Selena Gomez said in an interview that she actually had a crush on David Henrie, who plays her brother in the series, when they were younger. It doesn't help the fact that they seem to like each other a lot since their own characters, in the movie, appear to have Unresolved Sexual Tension problems, according to many fans. They later admitted that they used to casually date, but they didn't want to get involved into something serious, due to the fact that, well, they are Justin and Alex Russo after all.
    • Another Disney example from Disney XD's Lab Rats , Tyrel Jackson Williams admitted he had a real life precocious, "Stacy's Mom-esque", adolescent crush on the actress who played his mother, Angel Parker. note 
  • Ryo Narushima (formerly Keiko Hayase) and Ryuhei Kobayashi, the actors who played the twin Hoshikawa siblings of Remi and Fumiya in Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman, dated each other while filming the series. They were married after the show ended and have since raised three children.
  • Heroes: Hayden Panettiere (Claire Bennet) and Milo Ventimiglia (Peter Petrelli) dated for a time while playing an onscreen uncle and niece. They've since broken up.
  • The Brady Bunch: Barry Williams (Greg) went out to dinner once with Florence Henderson, his TV (step) mom, and the media made a bigger deal out of it than it actually was. A full-fledged relationship did not come of it. There was a behind-the-scenes special that revealed that just about everyone ended up hooking up to one extent or another, usually with their counterpart.
    • Namely, Barry Williams/Maureen McCormick, Christopher Knight/Eve Plumb, Mike Lookinland/Susan Olsen, and according to some rumours also Maureen/Eve.
  • Lost: Michael Emerson is married to Carrie Preston, who plays Ben's mother. Somewhat offset by the fact they never share screen-time with each other.
    • Ian Somerhalder (Boone) and Maggie Grace (Shannon) briefly dated.
    • This also happened to be canon incest for the characters. They're siblings.
  • Brothers & Sisters had to do a serious retcon due to the sexual chemistry between the actors playing half-siblings Rebecca and Justin. Supposedly these two dated early on in the run of the show.
    • Which is especially funny as the actress playing Rebecca, Emily VanCamp, is also mentioned in the Everwood entry.
    • David Annable, who played Justin, also allegedly dated Sally Field, his onscreen mother.
  • On Roswell, Jason Behr and Katherine Heigl, who played brother and sister Max and Isabel, respectively, were dating in real life.
  • David Cassidy and Susan Dey, who played siblings on The Partridge Family, slept together shortly after the series ended. She had a huge crush on him; he claimed he loved her like a sister, but made an effort anyway. It didn't work out.
  • Bruce Boxleitner married Kathryn Holcomb, his TV sister from How the West Was Won.
  • Early on in the run of Nip/Tuck onscreen mother and son Joely Richardson (Julia) and John Hensley (Matt) were dating in real life.
  • Lauren Graham and Peter Krause who play siblings on Parenthood are currently dating, which is naturally becoming a Running Gag for Lauren on media tours to joke about dating her "brother".
  • In Strangers with Candy, Stephen Colbert's wife briefly appears as his character's mother in a flashback. To make things interesting, in The Movie, she's his character's wife (who was played by a different actress in the series).
  • In the 80s mini-series North and South (the Second Book), Kirstie Alley and her then-husband Parker Stevenson played siblings Virgilia and Billy Hazard, respectively.
  • John Travolta became romantically involved with Diana Hyland after she played his mother in The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.
  • Blue Bloods: Alluded to in an interview, where Tom Selleck had to remind himself not to have any chemistry with his on-screen adult daughter.
  • Real-life married couple David and Tamela Mann play father and daughter on Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns.
  • Degrassi: The Next Generation: Ray Ablack briefly dated Melinda Shankar, who plays his younger sister.
  • Mrs. Brown's Boys: Almost all of the main characters are played by relatives by blood or marriage of series creator Brendan O'Carroll, who also plays Mrs. Brown. Perhaps the oddest example is Jennifer Gibney, who is Brendan O'Carroll's wife in real life but plays Mrs. Brown's daughter Cathy on screen. Mrs. Brown's friend and neighbour Winnie McGoogan is played by O'Carroll's sister Ellish. Mrs. Brown's daughter-in-law, Maria Nicholson, is played by O'Carroll's daughter Fiona, while her real-life husband, Martin Delany, plays Mrs. Brown's son Trevor. Maria's husband, Dermot, is played by Paddy Houlihan, the lifelong best friend of O'Carroll's son Danny, who plays Buster Brady... and Danny's wife, Amanda Woods, plays Betty, the wife of Mrs. Brown's son Mark.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has one of a purely Actor Allusion variety: Clark Gregg and Amy Acker play love interests, having previously been cast as uncle and niece in Joss Whedon's film version of Much Ado About Nothing.
  • Jason Priestley and Shannen Doherty, who were on screen twins on Beverly Hills, 90210, were involved for a short period in real life too, while filming the first season of the show.
  • In most episodes of the BBC series The Supersizers Eat, the characters played by Giles Coren and Sue Perkins are husband and wife. However, the Regency episode makes their characters brother and sister. Sue lampshades this by suggesting that Giles's Regency character has incestuous feelings for hers.
  • Game of Thrones: Dean-Charles Chapman and Nell Tiger Free, who are the second actors for siblings Tommen and Myrcella "Baratheon" after their age-ups, are dating in real life. Fittingly, their characters on the show were themselves products of Brother–Sister Incest.
  • Of the Actor Allusion variety: Barry Williams and Christopher Knight, who played brothers Greg and Peter on The Brady Bunch, played a gay couple in one episode of That '70s Show.
  • The Here Come the Brides episode "Next Week, East Lynne" contains an in-universe example. When Jason stars in a production of Hamlet, the actress playing Gertrude relentlessly hits on him and kisses him between scenes.
    Lockhart: Eleanor, dear, don't forget you're playing Mr. Winthrop's mother.
    Eleanor: Don't worry, Lockhart. I plan to mother him to death.
  • Poldark: Eleanor Tomlinson and Harry Richardson, who played on-screen siblings Demelza Poldark and Drake Carne, dated for about a year, from mid-2017 to mid-2018, while the series was ongoing.
  • Andy Samberg and Nasim Pedrad played a couple on Saturday Night Live and later siblings on Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

  • The rock duo White Stripes were initially married when they started the band, although they amicably divorced early on in their career. Due to their Like Brother and Sister relationship, the fact that they shared a last name and similar looks they were assumed by many fans who were unaware of their history to be siblings, and the pair just went with it and presented themselves as brother and sister for years.

    Professional Wrestling  
  • Ken Shamrock dated Alicia Webb, who portrayed his Kayfabe sister 'Ryan Shamrock'. There was even a plan to do an "incest" storyline with them, but this was dropped once Webb was released by WWE.
  • Best known for her work in ECW from 1995-1998 as Beulah McGillicutty, Trisa Hayes had a short-lived role in Stampede Wrestling in the mid-1980s as Brian Pillman's "sister" Theresa, as she and Pillman had been dating in Real Life at the time.

  • Rebecca Caine played Cosette in the original, 1985 London production of Les Misérables, opposite Colm Wilkinson as Jean Valjean, Cosette's father-substitute. Then, she was cast as Christine in the original Canadian company of The Phantom of the Opera - opposite Colm Wilkinson as the Phantom. Since the Phantom explicitly presents himself as both a father figure and love interest for Christine, this casting makes a certain amount of squicky sense.
  • George Hearn (The Broadway replacement for Len Cariou as Sweeney Todd) and Betsey Joslyn (replacement for Johanna, Sweeney's daughter) were married in real life before the production. This can be seen on the tour DVD.
  • Sierra Boggess played Ariel and Norm Lewis her father Triton in The Little Mermaid, and the two ended up playing Christine and Erik/the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera.
  • Jasmine Cephas-Jones (Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds) and Anthony Ramos (John Laurens/Philip Hamilton) of the original broadway cast of Hamilton started dating somewhere near the start of their run of the musical. Peggy is Philip's aunt (although they never interact in the show).
  • From Elisabeth: Sophie Blümel and Marjan Shaki played Hélène von Wittelsbach in the same production as their real-life husbands, Thomas Hohler and Lukas Perman. Duchess Hélène is aunt to Crown Prince Rudolf - Hohler and Perman's character.

  • Kevin & Kell gives an In-Universe example: one arc featured Rudy's high school putting on a production of West Habitat Story, that universe's version of West Side Story. His girlfriend Fiona is cast as Maria. Rudy himself? Cast as Maria's brother Bernardo. As they put it, "awkward...". At least until Rudy forgot it was a play and slugged Edgar (Tony) for kissing Fiona. The director's response was to promptly recast him as Chino, Maria's would-be suitor. But for about a week it still counted!

    Web Original  

    Western Animation