Maya Rudolph Calls Paul Thomas Anderson Her Husband Even Though They Aren’t Married

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Photo credit: Getty
Photo credit: Getty

From Good Housekeeping

  • Maya Rudolph and Paul Thomas Anderson have been dating since 2001, but are not married.

  • Still, the Saturday Night Live host and actress calls Paul her husband.

  • Together, Maya and Paul have four children — Pearl, Minnie, Jack, and Lucille.

Fans of Maya Rudolph know that she's more private than most when it comes to her relationship with filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson. Sure, the former Saturday Night Live comedian will talk about her man from time to time, but apart from the occasional walk down the red carpet at the Oscars, it's pretty rare to see the two together.

Knowing that, here's what we can tell you about their partnership: They started dating in 2001 following the Magnolia director's breakup with Fiona Apple. Two years later, Maya appeared at a Q&A centered around Paul's film Punch-Drunk Love, according to Brooklyn Paper. At the time though, the status of their relationship was largely unknown.

Photo credit: Dimitrios Kambouris
Photo credit: Dimitrios Kambouris

But when doing a 2018 profile with The New York Times, Maya confirmed that she and Paul had been together for 17 years. On top of that, she revealed that despite the fact that they are not legally married, she calls him her husband. Labeling Paul as her husband rather than boyfriend started one day when she was at a restaurant and talking with a maître d,’ who told a story about a man who labeled himself as "the unofficial mayor of the Valley." In reply, Maya blurted out, "I hope it wasn't my husband."

From then on, the label stuck. She told the outlet that she felt "ooky" to call Paul her boyfriend after the birth of their now 15-year-old daughter, Pearl (they are also parents to Minnie, 7, Jack, 9, and Lucille, 11). Maya likes to use the title husband because "people know what that means. It means he’s the father of my child, and I live with him, and we are a couple, and we are not going anywhere."

To this day, the two seem as happy as ever. In 2014, Maya appeared in one of Paul's films called Inherent Vice. As GQ put it, Paul's typical day includes: "four kids and a beautiful partner named Maya Rudolph and a house in Tarzana [Los Angeles] that he drives in from each morning, dropping off the children at school before showing up to the office."

Photo credit: Kevin Mazur
Photo credit: Kevin Mazur

What keeps the sparks flying after 19 years and counting? Maya explained to US Weekly that she's a firm believer in putting in the work.

“I think, genuinely, like the effort to make an effort — [that’s] the most romantic gesture. Like, to be present," she explained. “To show up every day is kind of the most romantic part because you can bail at any moment.”

She previously shared with the publication in a different interview that she feels blessed to have the big family that she does with Paul.

"I never imagined I’d have four kids — that was never the goal," she said. "I feel really lucky that everyone is healthy and amazing."

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