This is a follow-up to the post Relationships Relate:
I don't know how many times I have seen actors getting married after they are in a movie together. One would think that the actors would know that they are playing a part and not get romantically involved, but they do. I think that this assumption is why many people think that when you are in a romantic role, that you must "really" be romantic. Having played romantic leads myself I have encountered both good and bad acting relationships.
Author's note: Names have been withheld to protect the innocent.
In high school I played opposite the same girl two years in a row. The first year there seemed to have been a rumor that I was planning on french kissing her during the kissing scene. This prompted her to change the kiss to be more of a cheek brush by the end of the show. Unfortunately I was cast to play opposite her in a lead role the following year. By this time the rift was so great that she was being rude and extremely snobbish towards me backstage. My only defense was to ignore her. By the end of the show I knew that there had to be a better way of getting along with someone that you are playing a romantic lead with.
Jump forward two years… I was in a summer youth theater production and got the lead role opposite a girl who was just as old as the first girl when I had a lead with her. However, this person was much more mature both on and off the stage, which made the romantic scenes a lot easier to do (even being on stage in my underwear). It made me realize that you don't have to be romantically involved with someone when playing a romantic role. If you can play the part correctly, you can make the role work without looking awkward to the audience, or pissing off the person you are opposite of.
According to the post Be true to yourself as your own self true, I talk about behaving differently when in different social groups. If you think about it, we "act" the part much like an actor does when on the stage. The stage in this sense is the group that you are in and the audience is the group's members. You may think that this group stage does not have a true off stage, but we are the actors and we thus turn off our persona when we are not around the group (just like actors do when they cross from on stage to off stage).
One final thought that I will make you ponder rather than point out. We tend to act a part when in groups, but what about actual romantic relationships— do we play a part there as well?