Ripa, 47, was instantly attracted to Consuelos, also 47, before meeting him in 1995 when he joined her hit soap All My Children.
“I auditioned him. They’d been looking for this character for some time … They didn’t want a dark-haired guy, they wanted a Latino actor. So I had auditioned every Latino actor in the city and around the city and then California,” the Live With Kelly and Ryan cohost recalled on SiriusXM’s Lunch With Bruce show on Wednesday, August 15. “Then all of a sudden, Judy Blye Wilson, who was the casting director in All My Children, said, ‘I found him.’”
Ripa, who starred as Hayley Vaughan from 1990 to 2002, knew Conseulos was the perfect actor to portray her character’s love interest, Mateo Santos. Little did she know that Consuelos would also be her dream man off the screen too and they’d elope in 1996.
“[Judy] showed me his picture and … at that point, I was not a hopeless romantic. I never thought about getting married, it never occurred to me that I would grow old with someone. I just thought I would be living my single girl life in the city,” Ripa recalled. “I had no responsibilities and I was earning a good living on the soap opera … So when I saw him, the photograph of him, I saw my entire future with him flash before [my eyes]. Like. I saw it. I [didn’t] believe in any of that and now I do because of that moment.”
Ripa previously shared a sweet sentiment about her 22-year marriage with the Riverdale actor, with whom she shares son Michael, 21, Lola, 17, and Joaquin, 15.
“You’re gonna fight. You’re gonna have at each other. We’re gonna enjoy each other and do stuff that irritates each other because we’re human beings,” she said on Anna Faris’ “Unqualified” podcast in July. “But at the end of the day, we’re loyal to each other. We care about each other deeply. We’re good friends and, you know, relationships evolve and we just happen to be lucky enough that we evolved together. We grew together. Our roots became entangled.”
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!