America Ferrera found her Ken in now-husband Ryan Piers Williams after they met as film students at the University of Southern California.
During the Barbie actress’ collegiate tenure, Williams cast her in his debut short film, Muertas, in 2005. The pair quickly sparked an offscreen romance and eventually moved in together two years later, leading to widespread engagement speculation.
“It’s totally not true!” Ferrera told W magazine in 2007, denying the rumors. “And his mom called me and my sisters were calling me, and I was like, ‘Are you kidding? Did you not think I would tell you first?’ And then I put out a statement that it wasn’t true, and that became a whole news story. So now it’s news when something doesn’t happen? Like, news flash: California did not get hit by a hurricane today.”
Williams ultimately did propose in June 2010, and they wed one year later. The twosome have continued sharing the screen since their nuptials.
“We met working, and working together has always been a big part of our relationship,” Ferrera — who shares two children with Williams — told Metro U.S. in March 2015. “Often when we’re working together we’re completely consumed by what we do anyway. To be completely consumed by the same project and be on set together in the long run becomes quite a bonding experience. When it came to discussing playing a couple in [his movie, X/Y], we thought there would be a built-in intimacy and history in terms of body language — the kind you see in people in a long-term relationship that’s hard to fake.”
Keep reading for Ferrera and Williams’ complete relationship timeline:
The two USC students met when Williams cast Ferrera in his short film about a string of murders in Juarez, Mexico. While Williams directed the project, he also starred in it opposite leading lady Masiela Lusha. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants star, for her part, portrayed a supporting character named Rebecca.
After filming wrapped, Williams and Ferrera started dating.
Nearly three years after dodging engagement speculation, Ferrera’s rep confirmed to Us Weekly in June that Williams had popped the question.
They wed one year later at the New York home of her Ugly Betty costar Vanessa Williams.
Ferrera announced in December 2017 that she was pregnant with the pair’s first baby. Son Sebastian arrived in May 2018.
“She loves that child so much, she adores [him] so so much, but she hasn’t lost herself if that makes any sense,” Ferrera’s Superstore colleague Lauren Ash exclusively told Us in January 2020 of watching Ferrera with her son. “She still takes the time that she needs to do her job, to [do] self-care. I really admire how much she has continued to take care of herself because I think that allows her to be as present for her child as possible. That’s something I’ve always looked up to.”
The couple welcomed their second baby, daughter Lucia, in May 2020 — in time for Mother’s Day. “Mama, Dada & Big Brother are over the moon to welcome her bright light to our family. ?,” Ferrera gushed via Instagram at the time.
As Williams frequently joined his wife on the red carpet to promote her role as Gloria in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, they also reached an impressive relationship milestone.
“Happy Anniversary to my emergency contact. My person and home for 18 years,” Ferrera wrote via Instagram in June, sharing a photo from their wedding. “Damn we look young here @ryanpierswilliams ❤️#12married.”