Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor met in 1999, while Taylor was playing in a pilot that Stiller was directing. Both had just ended different relationships.
“We were both each other’s, I would say, like, sort of rebound relationship a little bit,” Taylor said, while speaking to Stiller on her podcast, called “Hey, Dude… The Nineties Called!”. Stiller agreed, stating. “We weren’t taking it seriously.”
For two people “not taking it seriously”, Stiller and Taylor have had quite a run. After meeting while working on a pilot in 1999, the pair felt a spark. Both had recently exited other relationships. While the pilot was not-meant-to-be, the couple went on a date, during which, Stiller told Parade, they “clicked.”
They dated for less than a year and had a short engagement. By May of 2000, they were married. “It happened so naturally,” Taylor said. “When I married Ben, I just decided to go with him. He travels so much. It was a no-brainer. I wanted to be with him. And sometimes I got to be in his movies and work with him, which I loved.”
The two worked together on numerous movies, including Zoolander, Dodgeball, and Tropic Thunder. However, by 2005, they had two children to raise, and Taylor took a 2-year hiatus from her career in 2008. “When I had Ella, my whole world changed. I couldn’t believe how much love I had for this little creature,” she said. “I wanted to be a part of it all. I didn’t want to miss anything, and with Ben working as much as he does, I felt it was important for one of us to be the stability in the family.”
Absence from each other seemed to make a strain. Though still in love, the two felt the relationship dynamic change, as Stiller’s career continued. Finally, in 2017, they released a joint statement to ET, which read,
“With tremendous love and respect for each other, and the 18 years we spent together as a couple, we have made the decision to separate. Our priority will continue to be raising our children as devoted parents and the closest of friends. We kindly ask that the media respect our privacy at this time.”
The separation would be short-lived, though. In 2020, Stiller and Taylor agreed that Stiller should move back into the family home, in order to be able to spend time with his children over lockdown.
“Then, over the course of time, it evolved,” he told Esquire. “We were separated and got back together and we’re happy about that. It’s been really wonderful for all of us. Unexpected, and one of the things that came out of the pandemic.”