Matthew Rhys ‘Very Drunkenly’ Hit on Keri Russell 10 Years Before They Reconnected on ‘The Americans’

From 2013 to 2018, Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys starred opposite each other on the popular series The Americans. During the six-season run, Rhys and Russell fell in love and started a family together. But it turns out, Russell forgot that she actually met Rhys 10 years before the auditions for the FX spy drama and he “very drunkenly” hit on her.

Keri Russell Matthew Rhys
‘The Americans’ stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

At first, Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys denied they were a couple

During the first season of The Americans, Russell split from her ex-husband, Shane Deary. The couple divorced after seven years of marriage and share two children — son River and daughter Willa.

“The separation is amicable, and their focus is on their children,” a rep told People magazine at the time.

Almost one month after the news of Russell’s separation broke, rumors started to swirl that something was going on between her and Rhys. Cameras spotted the duo walking around Russell’s Brooklyn Heights neighborhood and shopping for furniture just before Christmas in 2013.

“They looked very much like a couple,” an insider dished. “They were laughing and walking closely together.”

A few weeks later, in February 2014, Rhys laughed off the rumors that he and Russell were an item. He even shut down his own mother when she asked about the rumors she read in the tabloids.

“That is the best one I love. I’ve told her a million times that there are a million inaccuracies that she’s read, [but she still] calls and goes, ‘Is this true?’ I tell her, ‘No! When are you going to get it?'” Rhys explained.

‘The Americans’ stars confirmed their relationship in 2014

By March 2014, Russell and Rhys realized they couldn’t keep their romance a secret any longer. After they were spotted together at a performance of The Library at New York’s Public Theater, it was clear they were a couple. Almost two years later, Russell and Rhys revealed they were expecting a baby. They are now the parents of a son named Sam.

While discussing her romance with Rhys, she told Town & Country magazine that “obviously, there’s something sexy about the whole spy world.”

RELATED: Keri Russell: How Much Is ‘The Americans’ and ‘Star Wars’ Star Worth?

“It was a fun, sexy place to live in for years, especially being with someone I was so in love with. It wasn’t like we were growing plants. We were shooting a lot at night,” Russell explained.

But long before they fell in love on the set of The Americans, Rhys remembers being “quite taken” by Russell when he briefly met her ten years earlier.

Matthew Rhys ‘very drunkenly’ hit on Kerri Russell when they were in their 20s

During a 2017 visit to Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, an audience member asked Rhys and Russell about the moment on the set of The Americans that they realized they were “more than just colleagues.”

According to Entertainment Weekly, the fan wanted to know when it was clear that they “both had the hots for each other.” That’s when Rhys revealed that he and Russell met years before The Americans.

“We actually met a very long, long time ago,” Rhys said. “I very drunkenly asked her for her number when she was a young, single slip of a thing. So I sort of knew then, when I was 26.”

Russell added that when they started shooting The Americans, she and Rhys did readings together and had a “heavy dose of fight training.” When they were “all sweaty” at lunch, Russell says Rhys told her, “You know, we’ve met before.”

When Russell told him “No, we haven’t,” he replied that they met “10 years ago at a kickball party.”

“As soon as you said that I went [gasps], of course I remember that!” Russell revealed.

Russell will star in Antlers alongside Jesse Plemmons in 2021. Rhys is currently starring as the titular Perry Mason in the HBO reboot.