The Story of How Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts Fell in Love Will Warm Your Cold, Dead Heart

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Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts may be the picture perfect couple on the red carpet, but the story of how they met is even more Hollywood than you could’ve ever imagined.

In a profile on Schreiber for Esquire, the Ray Donovan actor recalls meeting his partner of 10 years. Though they had briefly crossed paths in a Toronto hotel lobby years before, everything changed when he ran into Watts again at the 2005 Met Gala. According to Schreiber, seeing her there that night was “a ray of light.”

“She said, ‘What are you doing later on—you want to go dancing?’ And I was like, yeah. So I went down to this club that she told me to meet her at, and of course she was there with Sean Penn and Benicio del Toro, and I’m kind of standing around like a bump on a log, waiting for my turn,” he recalls. “I think I was nervous, and I felt very embarrassed being there, and self-conscious, because all these movie stars were hovering, and I felt … awkward and out of my element. And I wasn’t going to make a good impression. So I said, ‘I’m sorry, but I gotta go home.'”

He continues, “She chased me outside and said, ‘Don’t you want my digits?'”

“It was the first thing that came to me,” Watts, who now shares two children with Schreiber, remembers. “I’ve never said those words before in my life and never since.”

Schreiber says the two then went out for cupcakes the following day, explaining,”It was very silly—very romantic. And we had a kiss—not a big kiss, but it was a kiss that was like, ooh. Then she went back to L.A. and I wrote her all the time. Lots of emails. I think that was it—seduced by email.”

He adds, “I decided I was going to make a family with this person. For better or for worse, I stepped into a partnership with somebody. We were gonna bring kids into this world and try to love and respect each other.”

The couple welcomed sons Sasha in July 2007 and Kai in December 2008.

“He often ‘tests’ people to make sure they are paying attention,” Watts says of her longtime boyfriend. “He wants to always trust that their intentions are as pure as his. Otherwise, he doesn’t want to waste his time with them. I think ultimately he is looking for authenticity—within others and himself.”

Clearly, he found it in her.