Scott Speedman Said He Was a "Disaster of a Boyfriend" to Keri Russell
Who: Emmy-nominated actress Keri Russell, 45, and actor Scott Speedman, 46.
How They Met: Ah, 1998, what a year to be alive and watching The WB.
Russell was cast as the titular lead in Felicity, a "teen" drama (the show defies target demos, OK) about a girl who changes her college plans to follow a boy from high school across the country. The boy in question was Ben Covington, played by Speedman (though Scott Foley, Felicity's Noel, was first awarded the role).
Anyway, Speedman and Russell eventually met and the former was struck by his new co-star's … beauty?
"I remember seeing this big mop of hair and I was like there's no way [that's Felicity]," Speedman recalled in an interview decades later. "I thought she was supposed to be this nerd … You were a very beautiful girl and I was like that girl cannot be Felicity."
It's unclear exactly when things turned romantic for the pair off-screen, but by 2000 it seemed to be something of an open secret.
Why We Loved Them: Speedman was particularly private when it came to his relationship with Russell. "We don't go anywhere together," he reportedly told Us Weekly at the time. "Sure, we're dating," he allowed, "but that's ours."
When the actor appeared on Chelsea Lately in 2014, host Chelsea Handler mentioned that she used to see him and Russell at a restaurant she worked at in the Pacific Palisades.
"That's when I was dating Keri," Speedman confirmed. "She lived out there."
Handler said she didn't know that they'd dated and Speedman replied, "Why did you think we were at breakfast every morning?" Touché, Scott.
Speedman continued, explaining that dating co-stars is just "what happens" in Hollywood. How romantic.
When They Peaked: While we don't know a lot about Russell and Speedman's time together, what we know of their post-romantic relationship has us feeling incredibly proud to have been Team Ben from the jump.
In 2013, Russell told Us that Speedman continued to be one of her go-to friends in a moment of crisis. "The other day, I was crying because I had this huge issue," she began. "I texted my close girlfriend and Speedman. He called back first! He was like, 'What's going on?'"
"When I need a great friend, he's there," she said.
The Breakup: We don't have a timeline for the split, but Speedman has since outed himself as a "disaster of a boyfriend."
In 2017 Russell and Speedman appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live together to talk Felicity — I mean, why not? Naturally, Kimmel broached the Felicity plotline that is somehow still a pop culture touchstone two decades later: the haircut. You know the one. In case you're Gen Z, let me catch you up: Felicity got a pixie cut on screen at the beginning of season 2 (and thus, so did Russell) and the series' ratings began to plummet — it remains a topic of debate to this day.
Speedman and Russell were dating at the time and he knew he needed to react well since he'd "been such a disaster of a boyfriend up until then."
"I got to work and she turned around the corner and my face sort of froze in a half-panic, half-smile," Speedman told Kimmel. "I just did not pull it off."
"It was a Chia-head sort of vibe," he admitted, unknowingly referencing a taunt Felicity had actually faced on the show before Russell corrected him with "Chia Pet."
"But it grew into something great," he said, "We all recovered from it."
When asked what constituted a "disaster of a boyfriend," Russell generously replied "a young 20s boyfriend is called a disaster of a boyfriend."
Despite his initial reaction, Speedman defended his then-girlfriend (and her hair) publicly.
"I'm shocked it's that big of a deal," he told the Post-Gazette. "I know she had beautiful hair, but she looks really good."
Chia-gate aside, Russell described her friendship with Speedman fondly, telling Kimmel that her ex would "fight someone for me" (and he almost did).
Where They Are Now: Russell wed Shane Deary in 2007 and welcomed son River later that year. The Waitress star gave birth to daughter Willa in 2009. After nearly 7 years of marriage, Deary and Russell separated. Russell has since been linked to her co-star on The Americans, Matthew Rhys, with whom she welcomed son Sam in 2016.
The actress's latest, horror film Antlers opposite Jesse Plemons, opens in theaters Oct. 29.
Speedman and longtime girlfriend Lindsay Rae Hoffman are expecting their first child together this year.
The Underworld alum is currently guest-starring on both Grey's Anatomy and season three of You on Netflix.