Valentine's Day in Hollywood: Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone and 10 Other Top Power Couples Tell All
Susanne & Greg Daniels (pictured)
MTV president of programming and co-creator, The Office
"This is my Pam," Greg Daniels, 49, says of his wife, Susanne, 47, to whom he turns for inspiration when writing for Jenna Fischer's character on The Office. "I'm always looking for little moments that might have happened between us," he says, adding that before Office, his wife of 21 years was his Peggy Hill (of King of the Hill). The Danielses, both Harvard grads, started at Saturday Night Live on the same day in 1988. "I remember wanting him to ask me out," confesses Susanne of a desire that quickly became reality.
They would cross professional paths again years later -- this time as a married couple -- when they landed on the Fox lot in Los Angeles (she was in comedy development; he was writing for The Simpsons). "I'd take the Simpsons golf cart and go pick her up," he recalls, seated beside his wife now at their frequent breakfast spot, John O'Groats. Today, the pair have four children, all of whom have appeared on his NBC comedy. "I put our youngest child in an episode, and Susanne gave me angry feedback as a stage mom," he jokes. Agrees Susanne: "She was in the episode for like one second, and I was horrified. I was like: 'What? Where's her screen time?'"
Maria & Andre Jacquemetton
Writers/executive producers, Mad Men
At the end of a narrow hall in Mad Men's downtown L.A. space is an office shared by the Emmy-winning drama's resident married couple. Inside the sparsely decorated room, Maria and Andre Jacquemetton's desks face each other, a fitting arrangement for a couple who not only run the writers room when show creator Matthew Weiner is away but also write every one of their episodes together. "If it's a female-driven story, then Maria will take it. If it's a 'guys night out' storyline, I'll take it," explains Andre, with his wife interjecting, "And if it's a fight between Don and whatever spouse he has at the time, we kind of do it together."
PHOTOS: At Work With the Jacquemettons and More Hollywood Power Couples
From there, the pair -- who met in 1987 as assistants at Paramount and, at their agents' suggestion, submitted a spec for Party of Five that ultimately landed them their first gig together on Baywatch -- combine the stories into what is appropriately titled a "married draft." Maria acknowledges that while such a close working relationship is ideal from a parenting perspective -- "One of us is usually free to take the kids [ages 10 and 15] to the doctor" -- it can lead to the occasional squabble. "We don't fight in our marriage much, but there are disagreements about how a scene is supposed to be or when one of us deviates from the outline without telling the other one," says Maria, turning her gaze to her husband. He shrugs then cracks a smile: "Guilty."
David Crane & Jeffrey Klarik
"It's our take on life, and it consumes our lives," says Klarik of Episodes, the Hollywood-centric Showtime comedy he created, writes and produces with his partner of 24 years, Crane. Without a writing staff, the duo spend nearly every minute of their day -- and beyond -- crafting stories. "In the middle of the night, one of us will go: 'Are you up? What if …?' " says Crane, who adds that the co-creators, who met via mutual friends, often work out dialogue speaking in British accents as the series' leads do.
With a schedule that has them commuting between their homes in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, there is little time to discuss much beyond the show. "We actually incorporated that into our first season, where [Episodes characters] Beverly says to Sean: 'Can we not talk about work? Just for a little bit?' He goes, 'Fine.' And then they just look at each other," notes Crane, who counts Friends among his other small-screen creations and is the Pollyanna Sean to Klarik's jaded Beverly. "We wrote into the script that Sean, or David, thinks the glass is half full; and Beverly, me, thinks the glass is a schmuck. And that's really how it is," jokes Klarik. Fortunately, it's a chemistry that works. "And if we ever are in conflict in our writing, Jeffrey will look at me and go, 'Just think about it.' " In such cases, deadpans Klarik: "David comes around."
Michael & Sonya Rosenfel
TV packaging agent, CAA, and co-head of TV department, CAA
Michael and Sonya Rosenfeld's DVR is a mix of their clients' shows, from Graham Yost's Justified to John Wells' Shameless. "We root for each other's work," says Michael, who spends many nights watching those and other series alongside his wife and longtime colleague.
The pair began dating as CAA assistants in 1986; not long after, they turned up at the company holiday party together. "We walked in, and everybody was like, 'Oh, my God, Mike and Sonya are together,' " recalls Sonya of their "coming out" party. "About a third of the people said: 'Yeah, they've been dating for two months. Where have you been?' And the other two-thirds were like, 'Oooh.' "
A quarter-century later, the Rosenfelds have two teenage sons, impressive talent rosters, which collectively include Melissa McCarthy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Felicity Huffman, and a collaborative -- if at times, differing -- approach to work. "She's more patient than I am. If there's a tornado going on, she knows how to let it pass," says Michael of his wife, who has sports paraphernalia, photos of the Rosenfeld family members and their framed fingerprint portraits hanging in her agency office. "I need to get right in the middle of it." The comment has both of them laughing, with Sonya pausing only to add: "That's definitely true."
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