Image Source: Getty / Robyn Beck / AFP
Jason Ritter and Melanie Lynskey are sharing the relatable reality of their love story. In a March 29 appearance on “The Drew Barrymore Show,” the actors and parents to one daughter reflected on early challenges they faced as a couple, including Ritter’s experience with alcoholism and journey to sobriety. “It’s not as cute of a story as you would like to think,” Ritter said. “It was messy, and interesting, and weird.”
Ritter and Lynskey, who have been together for about a decade, first met in 2013, while filming “The Big Ask.” Though he was taken with the “Yellowjackets” star, Ritter struggled with feeling unworthy due to his alcohol dependency. “At a point, I knew how amazing she was, and I thought she would be incredible for someone who deserved her,” he said, choking up as a teary-eyed Lynskey rubbed his hand. “I didn’t feel like I was that person.”
A year into not drinking, Ritter started to wonder, “Maybe I can promise some things to someone else. Maybe I can be this person.” He added, “I knew that she was incredible. It was working on myself enough to feel like maybe I could be the one for her, too.” Lynskey chimed in with praise for Ritter: “He worked so hard. He did so much work on himself. I’m so proud of him.”
Barrymore appeared speechless by the couple’s vulnerability, and Lynskey said, “Sorry, it’s gonna get more fun.” The talk show host replied, “This is the fun. This really is.” Barrymore said she could relate, and went on to share that she hasn’t had a drink in nearly four years. “The narrative that one creates is, I can’t be with someone,” she said. “I haven’t been in a relationship since I stopped drinking, and I’m really looking forward to one day not having that bad-girl narrative.”
Barrymore also commended Lynskey for giving Ritter a chance: “I’ve certainly been written off. I’ve written myself off.” Lynskey said, “Well, this is first of all the best person in the world, and I just knew it. Even though mistakes were made along the way, you had such a good heart.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with an alcohol use disorder, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) has resources available including a national 24/7 helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). You can also send your zip code via text to 435748 (HELP4U) for treatment referral and information services.