Jason Ritter Recalls Alcoholism Battle After Meeting Wife Melanie Lynskey: I Didn’t Think I ‘Deserved’ Her
Looking back. Jason Ritter opened up about his struggle with alcoholism and how it affected his relationship with Melanie Lynskey in the early stages of their romance.
"I knew how incredible Melanie was early on," the Parenthood alum, 43, said during a Wednesday, March 29, interview on The Drew Barrymore Show, recalling how he knew his wife, 45, was The One. "But it's not as cute of a story as you would like to think. It was messy and interesting and weird. But mixed in [with] the mix was I was dealing with some alcoholism issues."
The California native immediately liked the Yellowjackets actress when they met in 2013, but his struggle with alcohol made him worry he wasn't right for her. "At a point, I knew how amazing she was and I thought she would be incredible for someone who deserved her, basically," Ritter told host Drew Barrymore. "And I didn't feel like I was that person. I felt a little bit too crazy."
The Girls alum said that it took some time for him to feel confident again after giving up alcohol in late 2013. "It was only after maybe a year into not drinking where I started to go, 'Oh, maybe I can promise some things to someone else. Maybe I can be this person,'" the New York University graduate explained, blinking back tears. "I knew that she was incredible. It was working on myself enough to feel like maybe I could be The One for her too."
Lynskey, who held her husband's hand throughout the discussion, also got visibly emotional while praising him. "He worked so hard," the Candy star said. "He did so much work on himself, I'm so proud of him."
The Heavenly Creatures actress then quipped that the interview would "get more fun," but Barrymore, 48, assured the couple that she was happy to discuss the subject because of her own issues with alcohol.
"I haven't had a drink in almost four years," the Never Been Kissed star said, noting that she's not sober but no longer consumes alcohol. "The narrative that one creates is that, 'I can't be with someone.' And I haven't been in a relationship since I stopped drinking, and I'm really looking forward to one day not having that bad girl narrative, the instability, the 'I'm not someone who's right to be with anyone for their sake' [feeling]."
Lynskey and Ritter, who welcomed a daughter in December 2018, tied the knot in 2020 after getting engaged three years prior. While the pair had plenty of time to plan a wedding following Ritter's 2017 proposal, the big day happened spontaneously. The Sweet Home Alabama actress was preparing to fly to Canada to film the first season of Yellowjackets when someone (mistakenly) told her Ritter couldn't enter the country unless they were married.
"So I was like, ‘We have to get married tomorrow,'" the New Zealand native said during a May 2022 interview on Jess Cagle's SiriusXM show. "We got married on our front porch of our little rental house in Atlanta. A nice lady came and married us. We had two friends there. ... They brought a cake and flowers and everything we needed.”