How long before you closed the deal?
N.O.: We might have two different versions of this.
M.M.: I doubt we do. He called me and left a message on my fax number asking me—
N.O.: [Interrupting] Which means she had given me her fax number.
M.M.: [Laughs] He’d left a message for me a week before, asking me to go hear this country band, and I hadn’t gotten it, so we’d been rehearsing the play and he thought I was just dissing him completely.
N.O.: You were icing me.
M.M.: Yeah, but we were getting to know each other and flirting. Shortly before opening night, we went out to dinner and he held my hand and I had butterflies, and I thought, Oh! A couple of nights later, we kissed. After the previews, we made out. We saw a lot of coyotes at that time, so we took it as some kind of magical symbol.
N.O.: [Adopting one of Ron Swanson’s wistful smirks] We were in tune with Gaia; the forces of lust and nature were flowing strong in us.
M.M.: [Laughs] Opening night, somebody saw us making out and then the cat was out of the bag. And then we were dating. Then I wouldn’t let him come to my apartment. Then I would let him come in, but he had to sleep on the couch. And then he could sleep on the bed but we still hadn’t had sex yet. By the time we did, it was long anticipated and well worth the wait. There was a Glen Campbell concert at the Hollywood Bowl that put us in a very lustful mood apparently. We’re both big Glen Campbell fans—it’s one of the things that united us in eternal love.
I would never have guessed.
M.M.: Neither would we have, till it happened. It got serious and we were never apart from then on. He proposed, in London, in 2002. We got married [a year later] in our backyard in L.A. with twenty people.
N.O.: We made a deal that any job that’s going to keep us apart for more than a couple of weeks, we discuss.
Megan’s going to star in Lips Together, Teeth Apart on Broadway, in April. Nick, what will you do?
N.O.: Three years ago, I came [to New York] when Megan was doing Young Frankenstein. I found a shop space in Red Hook and built a canoe. We were living on the Upper West Side, and I was riding my bicycle to Red Hook every day. It was the only time in my adult life I’ve been trim, because it was like eleven miles one way and I could eat and drink like a New Yorker and still be in shape.
M.M.: He also started doing a bunch of things with Upright Citizens Brigade and got a movie with Ryan Gosling [All Good Things]. Cool things happened because he took a leap of faith with me.
You both got your big TV breaks in your late thirties, though ten years apart. How did you negotiate the disparity between your careers before Nick landed Parks and Recreation?
M.M.: We’re very supportive of each other. I don’t know when I’ve been happier than when he got Parks. That was one of the most exciting things that ever happened.
N.O.: One great benefit of our relationship is that Megan has gone through everything a couple of chapters ahead of me, so there’s an easy student-master quality to it. When your wife is a legend of comedy, you have to be a huge jackass not to assume the student role.