“I’ve certainly seen a lot of Jenna through [the years],” Maks, 40, told Us Weekly exclusively about his friendship with his brother Val’s wife, Jenna Johnson, on Monday, March 9, while promoting the brothers’ new tour. “We started our relationship in a funny way and then, here we are, on the same couch and this is my sister. So, for me, it’s all about the end result.”
Val, 33, who married Johnson, 25, on April 13, 2019, added, “They have a relationship of their own.”
“So that’s why it’s a unique situation” he added, before Maks jumped in saying, “That’s what I meant is, like, we go beyond like, ‘Oh, just Val’s girlfriend. Hi, nice to meet you.’”
Johnson admitted that when she met her future brother-in-law it was a little strange, because she was the only new dancer for season 20 of Dancing With the Stars and he thought she was a stand-in.
“I had never seen her and so, this was her first season. This was her first group rehearsal altogether, and I thought that she [was a] stand-in for somebody who’s just not here today,” Maks explained.
Although she tried to tell him that she was actually a part of the cast, Maks didn’t get it right away. “I said, ‘My name is Jenna and I am dancing with you,’” she recalled. “So that’s how we met. No, but it was great. I love that moment.”
For Val, his friendship with Murgatroyd, 33, who shares 3-year-old son Shai with Maks, was solid before she began dating his brother, but there was a moment when he knew she was the perfect fit for Maks.
“I was homies with Peta throughout, on a different note, and when do you know? I just saw that she genuinely was in love with this guy, and he’s not always easy to love,” the professional dancer told Us. “I just knew that if she’s capable of loving him like I do and like my parents, and beyond even more so, and is willing to vouch for this man — there’s a lot of things that go with love. Love is not just, ‘Oh, this is love.’ Love is about loyalty, camaraderie, a certain respect. You saw all of that in the way she looked at him, and it was like, ‘That’s a keeper.’”
Maks knew his brother approved of his relationship early on as well. “He’s like, ‘I hope you put a ring on it.’ It wasn’t a surprise,” Maks said. “It was a beautiful thing that happened.”
When it comes to which brother is the more romantic, however, their wives agreed that it’s a tie.
“I think they just respect women so much,” the New Zealand native said of the brothers. “And that’s, I think, one of the awesome things that we’ve seen in them.”
The Utah native added: “They come from very thoughtful parents, and I think that you can see that translate into who they are as adults now.”
On the tour, which begins on June 11 and will showcase the siblings performing memorable movie moments on stage, both Johnson and Murgatroyd will be special guests.
Tickets for the Maks & Val Live 2020: Motion Pictures Tour go on sale on Friday, March 13.