Melanie Lynskey is having a moment — and no one is prouder than her husband, Jason Ritter.
“It’s so, so exciting. And over the course of our relationship — at the beginning of our relationship, I was seeing her do a lot of independent movies, and I could not wait until I would be able to see what she did in one thing or another. And they were all so fun and so great. And the independent film world is tough. So they would go somewhere or they’d get onto a streaming platform and when people would see them, they would love them,” Ritter, 42, exclusively told Us Weekly while promoting his new preschool series, Slumberkins, on Wednesday, October 26. “But it’s just so exciting to see her doing the kinds of roles that she got to do in the independent movies. You know, interesting, gritty, cool, unexpected things, and see people respond to it the way they are. It’s just amazing and well-deserved.”
Jason Ritter and Melanie Lynskey’s Relationship Timeline
Lynskey, 45, has had a whirlwind year since her Showtime drama, Yellowjackets, debuted in 2021. In September, she was nominated in the Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series category for her role as Shauna in the series, which also stars Christina Ricci, Juliette Lewis and Tawny Cypress. But even before the buzzy show (and roles in Don’t Look Up and Candy), Lynskey’s long resume has included Togetherness, Castle Rock, Two and a Half Men, Sweet Home Alabama and Coyote Ugly.
Ritter and Lynskey met on the set of 2013’s The Big Ask. They welcomed their baby girl in 2018 (her name and birth date have not been revealed) and tied the knot in 2020. Amid the pandemic, they got used to filming each other for their respective auditions.
“We’ll talk about a lot of things. Definitely we’ve helped put each other on tape and things like that. And it is nice if we are having a problem or if we’re nervous about a scene or if something’s sticking. I really feel like I can ask her. I’m so inspired by her. I think she’s such a wonderful actress,” Ritter gushed to Us. “So I feel lucky that I have such a wonderful actor right in the home that I can say like, ‘Hey, just outta curiosity, what would you do in this situation?’ And she really makes me better and helps me. I don’t know how much I help her, but for sure she really helps me.”
Ritter — the son of the late John Ritter — has also been in the industry for years. “My nervousness has sort of become a teddy bear comfort thing for me,” he says of his pre-audition stress. “It’s strange too, because I feel like any morning that I have an audition, my nervousness comes out in a really horrible sounding cough. Not like right before the audition, but that morning, I’ll just be kind of … a cough gagging type thing. It’s really horrible. And that’s only gotten more intense as it goes on. But I also know that a lot of people have said over the years, a lot of actors that I respect have mentioned that they still get nervous and that they actually would be worried if they didn’t get nervous, because I think getting nervous means you’re gonna try something, you’re gonna risk something. And to be complacent, and go, ‘I pretty much got this. I’m gonna go in and nail it,’ as opposed to, ‘I’m gonna go in and give it my best shot.'”
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Although he’s also done a couple of Zoom auditions too, he enjoyed getting back to in-person gigs. “I had my first in-room audition since the pandemic began a couple months ago. And I loved it. That was the one thing that I didn’t realize. I thought that taping auditions would be easier, and you can do 900 takes if your scene partner will allow you. If it doesn’t threaten your marriage or anything like that,” he mused. “But I really, I forgot how much I loved going into a room as nervous as I was. And I loved it. The energy that you get from the other people and the conversation that you get to have as opposed to just sort of sending a video out and never knowing if it was OK or if that was the right direction or any of that stuff.”
Ritter feels fortunate that his partner is in the same industry — and over time he’s picked up the key to his successful marriage to Lynskey.
“I would say the best advice I could give is to do your best. Do the best job you can at listening and being willing to grow and change. … We all want to be loved for who we are and that’s absolutely important. But I think that can give you a reason to sort of lay back and relax. And I think what’s incredible in a relationship is if you have a wonderful partner, they can help you grow and help you get to 2.0 if you’re willing to do that. It’s very unlikely that everything you are will match up a hundred percent with the other person. So where can you change, where can they change?” he told Us. “I think the stubbornness and the unwillingness to grow can be poisonous. And I think if you can do something that can make someone happier, do it.”
As for tip No. 2? “This is very easy to do, very easy to focus on,” he assured, with a laugh. “Just look around and see what you can do in the house. Can you clean something? Can you throw on a load of laundry? Can you do the dishes? What can you fold? Do things need to be folded? That kind of stuff goes a really long way in just maintaining a partnership of where things don’t feel a little bit more spread out.”
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