Inside Maya Rudolph And Paul Thomas Anderson’s Relationship


Many celebrities tend to struggle to find love in the public eye. While some opt out to date outside their industries, others have famously found their partners by dating within the celebrity sphere. However, this can prove to be a challenge for many. These couples often receive backlash from the public and are also at risk of potentially ending up having to endure breakups in the awkwardest of ways due to the significant attention that they receive.

Related: Maya Rudolph Opens Up On Playing Kamala Harris On Her ‘Scary’ SNL Return

Because of this, many celebrity couples who get together, tend to do so and maintain their relationships under the radar and away from the public eye. One celebrity duo who has been notoriously private about their long-term relationship for over two decades is actress and comedian Maya Rudolph, and director and writer Paul Thomas Anderson.


8 The Pair Is Rumored To Have Gotten Together Back In 2001

In the early ’00s, the Phantom Thread director had famously dated the iconic singer-songwriter Fiona Apple. The pair dated for 3 years from 1997 until 2000 before the allegedly toxic relationship came to a halt. Only a year after the breakup, it was heavily speculated that Anderson had moved on with the wonderful comedian actress that has been the subject of his affections since.

7 Maya Rudolph Has Previously Refused To Reveal How They Met

Even after over two decades together in the public eye, it is still unclear to fans and audiences just how the pair really met. This once again comes down to the private and independent nature that Anderson and Rudolph take towards their relationship. During a 2015 exclusive interview with The Guardian, in which Rudolph was asked directly, the actress chose to keep the story to herself.

She stated, “No, it’s a sweet thing… Too personal. I don’t want to share it.”

6 But It’s Likely They Met On SNL

Despite the lack of affirmative confirmation from either Rudolph or Anderson, it is likely that the pair met on the iconic comedy show Saturday Night Live. Perhaps the role she is best recognized for, Rudolph began her long-time 7 year-run as a cast member on SNL over 2 decades ago in 2000. During that time Anderson also worked on the show. With the director having written and directed a special sketch for the show starring Ben Affleck in 2000, it is likely that the pair may have met during this time.

5 They Have 4 Beautiful Children Together

22 years later and the pair are going strong with a 21-year relationship and even a few children. Anderson and Rudolph welcomed their first child, Pearl, back in 2005 and have been expanding their family since. After the birth of her fourth child Minnie in 2013, however, it seems as though Rudolph is content with the size of her family. While speaking to People back in 2020 Rudolph expressed her disdain at the thought of expanding her family even further, stating that she would be “crazy” to.

The actress then stated, “We have all walking children now,” Before then adding, “It’s sad that the baby days are over, but it’s also like, ‘Okay, everybody’s healthy, we did it.’ Now we’re chugging.”

Related: 10 Celeb Couples Who Famously Broke Up…And Got Right Back Together

4 In The Span Of Their 21-Year Relationship, The Pair Never Married

Despite having the perfect nuclear family unit and sharing just over a decade together, the pair seem to have rejected a pretty huge and specific relationship norm. Many celebrity couples who find their life partners in the public eye and go on to get married, often choose to keep their own last names for a plethora of reasons (Think acting superstars, Emily Blunt and John Krasinski.). However, it seems as though Anderson and Rudolph chose to skip the entire marriage step altogether as, throughout the span of their 21-year relationship, the pair never married.

3 But Maya Rudolph Still Refers To Paul Thomas Anderson As Her Husband

However, while the pair of Hollywood icons may have not chosen to officially marry each other, it doesn’t mean that they don’t consider themselves each other’s husband and wife. During an interview with The New York Times, Rudolph herself highlighted this as she spoke about using the label of “husband” about Anderson despite never having had an official wedding.

The actress stated that to her, the label of husband, “means he’s the father of my child, and I live with him, and we are a couple, and we are not going anywhere.”

2 Maya Rudolph Has Been Anderson’s Muse

During the years that the pair of talented creatives spent developing their well-established careers beside each other, it seems as though Rudolph was an artistic influence for Anderson as well as a devoted partner. During an interview with Collider back in 2018, Anderson highlighted this as he stated that Rudolph caring for him when he was under the weather had inspired him to write his 6-time Academy Award-nominated film, Phantom Thread.

The director stated, “I remember that I was very sick, just with the flu, and I looked up and my wife looked at me with tenderness that made me think, ‘I wonder if she wants to keep me this way, maybe for a week or two.’” Before later adding, “I really started to think that maybe she was poisoning me. So, that kernel of an idea, I had in my mind when I started working on writing something.”

Related: 10 Celeb Couples Who Were Set Up By Friends

1 Rudolph Has Previously Stated This To Be The Key To Their Relationship

And finally, with such a devoted and loving relationship that the pair have nurtured and developed throughout their 21 years, the question that many fans may be wondering is just how they were able to do this. During an interview with Us Weekly, Rudolph herself answered this as she highlighted what she believed to be the key to the pair’s relationship.

Rudolph stated, “I think genuinely like the effort to make an effort. [That’s] the most romantic gesture,” Before then adding, “To show up every day is kind of the most romantic part because you can bail at any moment.”