Melanie Lynskey and Jason Ritter have a beautiful and long-lasting love story. Both of them have been Hollywood darlings for decades, but Lynskey's recent turn in major TV hit Yellowjackets have brought up their adorable relationship again. It's well worth reviewing.
The pair met on set while filming The Big Ask in 2013 and started dating soon after. Their chemistry was so good in the dramedy and in real life that they were also cast in the 2014 rom-com We'll Never Have Paris and 2016's The Intervention. Ten years after they first met, they have a daughter and a beautiful marriage. Here is Lynskey and Ritter's complete relationship timeline.
Lynskey and Ritter met on set for The Big Ask, though they did not yet play a couple. Later that same year, they promoted the movie at the Gold Coast International Film Festival together alongside producer Karina Miller.
In early January 2014, the pair were photographed together wandering Park City, Utah, during the Sundance Film festival.
They starred that year in We'll Never Have Paris, and Ritter was actually cast as Lynskey's brother in the film... which also starred Simon Helberg, Zachary Quinto, and Maggie Grace. For the film's premiere, they made their red caret debut as a couple at SXSW, but were photographed in a group.
Ritter accompanied Lynskey to the premiere of HBO's Togetherness, in which she starred. They posed as a couple without any other people in the frame with them.
They also attended the 36th College Television Awards together in April 2015:
And the Toronto Film Festival in September:
For the first time, the real life couple played a fake couple in the 2016 comedy, The Intervention. In a 2016 interview with ScreenCrush, Lynskey said, “Well, it was really fun. We had done it before, that was the movie we had met each other on. It was fun; it was just easy. We get along really well. He is just such a sweet, easygoing person. It was nice, he is very easy to be around. He is such a good actor.”
They attended Sundance again with actor and director Clea Duvall to promote the film.
In 2017, Ritter wished his girl a “Happy Valentine's Day” on Twitter, which seems to be one of his favorite social media platforms.
She replied with a GIF of two dinosaurs kissing.
— Melanie Lynskey (@melanielynskey) February 14, 2017
That same month, Lynskey announced that they were engaged while on Hollywood Today Live.
“Now he's my fiancé,” she said. “Yes, I know, I'm announcing it.”
She added that he proposed “on the sofa” and “it was cute.”
In December 2018, the couple welcomed their daughter, confirming her birth a month later on Twitter, writing, “We feel lucky to have been able to have our news just be for friends and family for a while, but I guess the story got out, so! Yes! @JasonRitter and I had a daughter in December. We love her so much; she's perfect. Thanks to everyone for your sweet messages.”
We feel lucky to have been able to have our news just be for friends and family for a while, but I guess the story got out, so! Yes! @JasonRitter and I had a daughter in December. We love her so much; she’s perfect. Thanks to everyone for your sweet messages
— Melanie Lynskey (@melanielynskey) February 1, 2019
In another tweet, she thanked the staff at Northside Hospital in Atlanta, and also corrected some misconceptions about her husband.
The good thing about our news being put out there is that now I do get to publicly thank the wonderful doctors and the amazing heroic caring brilliant nurses of @NSH_Maternity in Atlanta. From labor & delivery to post partum, every one was an angel and I’m eternally grateful ❤️
— Melanie Lynskey (@melanielynskey) February 1, 2019
“I would like to correct a couple of things that have been stated in articles online,” she wrote. “1) Jason was NOT in Boy Meets World and wow that would have been pretty easy to check 2) I did NOT welcome the baby ‘quietly,’ I was blasting A$AP Rocky and yelling a lot.”
While promoting his Netflix show Raising Dion, Ritter told People a bit about new fatherhood.
“The best part about being a dad is just—I feel like she and I have a special connection where we sort of get in trouble together,” he said. “She's a little adventurer. She wants to get into everything and try to climb things, and I'm, like, trying to help her.”
He added that being a dad “requires a lot of time and focus, and there's a certain exhaustion level that comes into play, lack of sleep.”
The couple had apparently not been planning to get married, but decided to go for it during the COVID-19 lockdown. In 2022, Lynskey told SiriusXM's Jess Cagle that she was heading to Canada to shoot Yellowjackets and was told that quarantine rules would prevent Ritter from joining her at the time.
“Honestly, I got married because someone was like, ‘Jason won't get into Canada unless you're married,’ which just wasn't true,” she explained. “We were waiting until like after the [pandemic].”
She continued, “I was going to Canada for Yellowjackets, and I was on the phone with somebody, and they said, ‘Oh, he won't be allowed in.’ And I was like, ‘We have a child. What? I can't leave for six months.’ So, I was like, ‘We have to get married tomorrow.’”
They were married on their front porch and joined by their friends William Jackson Harper and Ali Ahn.
“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. Ali Ahn and William Jackson Harper,” she said. “They brought a cake and flowers and everything we needed. It was actually a very fun wedding day, but it didn't need to happen. He could totally have gotten into Canada.”
For their two-year anniversary, Lynskey shared a picture of the big day.
Ritter accompanied Lynskey to the premiere of Yellowjackets.
The show Lynskey married Ritter to film, Yellowjackets, was released in late 2021 and became a breakaway hit. Though most fans were celebrating her performance, Lysnkey said she got a fair amount of body shaming for being larger than she was in her teen years.
She shared her frustration with people equating thinness to health on Twitter.
The story of my life since Yellowjackets premiered. Most egregious are the “I care about her health!!” people…bitch you don’t see me on my Peleton! You don’t see me running through the park with my child. Skinny does not always equal healthy https://t.co/W2poMmsv1p
— Melanie Lynskey (@melanielynskey) January 29, 2022
Ritter quote-tweeted his wife, saying, “If anyone has any further unsolicited comments about *anybody* else's body, they can feel free to write them in permanent ink onto their own foreheads and swan dive directly into the sun.”
If anyone has any further unsolicited comments about *anybody* else’s body, they can feel free to write them in permanent ink onto their own foreheads and swan dive directly into the sun https://t.co/5UyaHmR4JS
— Jason Ritter 🦋 (@JasonRitter) January 29, 2022
She also shared a photo that month of Ritter wearing some merch for the show, because he's her number one fan.
Lynskey celebrate her husband's birthday on Instagram with a picture of him holding their daughter up in the sky, writing, “Happy birthday, beautiful husband. Thank you for making me cry with laughter daily. Thank you for giving our little daughter the safest, most joyful, most loving childhood. You are so fun. You are so kind, to everyone, even mean people. You are just the best person. And you are very very very very handsome and I love you with all my heart @jason_ritter.”
For her role in Yellowjackets, Lynskey won the 2022 Critics' Choice Award for best actress in a drama series. In her thank you speech, she called Ritter the “love of my life’ and “the greatest support.”
He weighed in with a shoutout for his wife on Twitter, saying, “I am sorry to do this and she will be embarrassed that I did this but my GOODNESS what an absolyute beaut my wife is!!! Ok I'm sorry but I mean LOOK at this human being who is also the best person I know.”
I am sorry to do this and she will be embarrassed that I did this but my GOODNESS what an absolyute beaut my wife is!!!
ok I’m sorry but I mean LOOK at this human being who is also the best person I know
Ok sorry again goodnight that’s enough from me but also 🔥👀 pic.twitter.com/dKX8Mgrt9Y
— Jason Ritter 🦋 (@JasonRitter) March 14, 2022
That same month the couple attended Elton John's annual Academy Awards viewing party and the Vanity Fair Oscar Party.
Lynskey starred the series Candy alongside Jessica Biel, who plays Candy Montgomery. The Hulu limited series is based on the true story of a woman accused of murdering her neighbor, Betty Gore, in 1980. Lynskey played the part of the doomed neighbor, and Ritter makes a cameo in the show as a police officer along with Biel's husband Justin Timberlake.
In an interview with People, Lynskey admitted that Candy was great, but her husband would die to be on Yellowjackets.
“He would do anything, I think. He really would,” she said. “I mean, I want them to cast whoever they want to cast. I'm not ever going to push my husband on them. But they should know he would do it in a second.”
Lynskey received her first Emmy nomination for her role on Yellowjackets, and Ritter went bananas on Twitter.
This is for/about @melanielynskey i should clarify! I was too excited
— Jason Ritter 🦋 (@JasonRitter) July 12, 2022
For a cover story on InStyle, Lynskey thanked Ritter for making her career renaissance possible with his support as a dad and partner. She said he has turned down “life changing” roles for the sake of their family.
“I know balance is not usually like this and I'm lucky, but this should just be how it is,” she said. “My husband has made a lot of sacrifices and not worked so the family can stay together.”
The couple attended the Emmys together, with Lynskey wearing a dress by Christian Siriano.
October 3, 2022:
Lynskey shared a photo on Instagram of Ritter looking handsome as he smiled in a blue T-shirt. “Our daughter said 'mama! Take a picture of Daddy right now!' and you know this kid really does have an eye,” she wrote in the caption.
In an interview with Variety, Lynskey announced Ritter would appear in an episode of Yellowjackets in season two.
“He's such a wonderful actor and a really nice person,” she said. “When I came back to work, everyone was like, ‘Your husband is the nicest person!’ It makes me look smart, like I chose a great partner... He's so good, and it's really fun to get to work with somebody who is creative and interesting and does something different every take, which is what he does.”
The couple appeared together on The Drew Barrymore Show, and talked about how they knew they'd met the one. Ritter admitted it was “not as cute of a story as you would like to think,” explaining he was struggling with drinking at the time.
“At a point, I knew how amazing she was, and I thought she would be incredible for someone who deserved her, basically,” he said, getting emotional. “And I didn't feel like I was that person. I thought [I was] a little bit too crazy. So it was only after like 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.’ It's been like a slow burn.”
He added, “I knew she was incredible. It was working on myself enough to feel like maybe I can be the one for her, too.”
Lynskey said afterwards, “He did so much work on himself. I'm so proud of him.”
That same month, she celebrated their wedding anniversary with more pics from the small ceremony.
In the comments, Ritter wrote, “You looked so beautiful that day it was crazy. I’ll never forget you demanded I go to the hair salon and get ‘The Cynthia’ before you would agree to marry me… and I am so glad you did. I love you and I am so grateful @aliahn and @williamjacksonharper could be there making up 67% of our guests, not including our daughter. I love you and am looking forward to growing my hair back into that same haircut one day so we can get married again!”
In an interview for Shut Up Evan: The Newsletter before the SAG-AFTRA strike, Lynskey revealed, via Entertainment Tonight, that Ritter regularly re-proposes to her. “That's a little inside joke because the first time he proposed it wasn't great, so he re-proposes all the time to make up for it, which is really cute,” she said.
On January 1, 2024, Lynskey kicked off the new year by revealing her new tattoo, based off a drawing by her daughter. She shared the original sketch and the tattoo side-by-side, which resembles a kitty cat.
“I’m so happy to be bringing this adorable tattoo into 2024 with me- my thanks to the incredibly kind and talented @graeme.allan at @sacredtattoonz for doing this for me while I was in Aotearoa,” she wrote. “It’s a meticulous recreation of a drawing my 5 year old daughter did, and it reminds me even in the most challenging moments that there is true joy in my life and fills me with deep gratitude. I wish so much joy for all of you this year! And my big wish is that the world remembers about empathy.”
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