Love blossomed on the set for The Americans stars Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell, and they now have a nearly 1-year-old son. But the Welsh actor revealed that he actually first made a play for Russell 16 years ago.
On Thursday’s Watch What Happens Live, they were asked by a caller when they first realized they had “the hots” for each other. Rhys, 42, proceeded to tell a story about how he asked Russell, 41, for her phone number when she was “a young, single slip of a thing” at age 25. (For those keeping track, it was between her romances with her Felicity co-star Scott Speedman and Shane Deary. She went on to marry Deary, who’s the father of her two older children.)
“We actually met a very long, long time ago, and I very drunkenly asked her for her number,” Matthew admitted. “She was a young, single slip of a thing. So I sort of knew then, when I was 26.”
The scene wasn’t set for romance back then, though. The timing was off in more ways than one.
“It was in a parking lot — very romantic,” he quipped. “She asked me to open up a beer.” Keri added: “After a kickball party.”
Rhys admitted “it took a while” for romance to blossom. Fast-forward to 2012, when they were cast as husband-and-wife Russian spies on the FX series.
“We did the readings together … and a heavy dose of a fight training., and we were all sweaty at a lunch,” she remembered. “He said, ‘You know, we’ve met before.’ I said, ‘No we haven’t.’ ‘Yeah, we met 10 years ago at a kickball party.’ … As soon as he said that, I knew exactly [what he meant]. Of course, I remember that,” she said with a gasp.
Rhys joked, “Yeah, I left you a drunken message and you’re like, oh, shocker I didn’t call you back. That buffoon wouldn’t stop calling.”
The Americans debuted in January 2013, and Russell’s marriage quietly ended that summer. The split didn’t become public until that December, when Russell’s Brooklyn home was broken into and the kids weren’t home at the time (because they were sleeping at their dad’s). By Christmas, rumors started to swirl that Keri and Matthew were dating, because they were seen shopping for furniture together in their nabe. (His most famous ex was Sienna Miller.)
Last May, Russell gave birth to their son, Sam, who joins her children River, 9, and Willa, 5.
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