On the very first episode of Friday Night with the Morgans in mid-April (and what feels like 12 years ago), Jeffrey Dean Morgan and his wife, Hilarie Burton, had husband and wife Jensen and Danneel Ackles as their first guests. They were, coincidentally, the couple that introduced Morgan and Burton at a bar many years ago, and it came with a spectacular meet cute story.
This weekend, Jeffrey and Hilarie had on another married couple, Garrett Dillahunt and Michelle Hurd. Ironically, Dillahunt was up for the role of Negan on The Walking Dead that Jeffrey Dean Morgan would eventually land, although Dillahunt got a fairly decent consolation prize as John Dorie on Fear the Walking Dead. Hilarie Burton, meanwhile, knew Michelle Hurd from a 2012 Christmas film, Naughty or Nice, that they starred in with … Daneel Ackles (small world!).
Anyway, many people may not realize this because he is a fairly private actor (except for all the novelty masks he shows off on Instagram), but Dillahunt has been married to Picard star, Michelle Hurd, since 2007. In the tradition of sharing meet cutes on Morgans, Hurd and Dillahunt shared theirs this week, and it involves a huge misunderstanding.
As Hurd tells it, she and Dillahunt were starring in a play together. She doesn’t name the play, but it appears to have been 900 Oneonta in 1996. When she arrived to the first day of rehearsal, Hurd was excited to meet her new co-star and love interest, Dillahunt, and excitedly introduced herself. “I put on a big smile, and I stuck out my hand, and I said, ‘Hi! I’m Michelle, and I’m playing your love interest!”
“And I swear to God,” Hurd continues, Dillahunt listlessly turned his head and said, “Hi. I’m Garrett,” and turned back away from her. “Oh, that’s it, huh?” Michelle thought. “You’re just going to give me a look?” Meanwhile, she sees their other co-star, Missi Pyle, approach Dillahunt and they start laughing and chatting together. “Oh, that’s fine! That’s fine!” Hurd thinks. “You done. We are not playing. I’m out!”
Dillahunt, however, remembers the experience differently. “It was hot,” Dillahunt says, “and Michelle was on rollerblades, so she rolls in and she’s nine feet tall.” She’s not wearing much, Dillahunt continues, saying that she was “all bare abs and bare legs for days.” Meanwhile, Dillahunt was nervous, and “had no sense of fashion,” and he “turns around … and I was just the biggest nerd. I was so tongue-tied that I couldn’t come up with anything to say … It was awful.”
And there you go: The first time that Dillahunt met his future wife, he was so lovestruck that he couldn’t speak to her.
Meanwhile, Michelle Hurd — who has naturally curly hair — also told a story on the episode about an experience she had playing an “event planner to the stars,” who owned her own business on a TV series she recurred on. Hurd received a call from producers after the first day on set, and they said to her, “We love you, and we love your hair. It’s just so fabulous. However,” the producers continued, “we have done research where we have found that a Black woman who owns her own business can only be taken seriously if she has straightened hair.”
“This was said to me,” Hurd continues, understandably frustrated. “Just a few years ago. On a big f**king show … it’s just like Tracee Ellis Ross says. ‘If you hire me, you hire my hair.'”
Hurd did not specify the show, but it is worth noting that she played an event planner on The CW’s 90210 back in the early 2010s.