Love may be exciting and new each week aboard The Real Love Boat, but hosts Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romijn got candid about the strain hosting the reality show and living aboard the ship can put on their marriage. The couple hosts this reality-based riff on The Love Boat, the popular sitcom-at-sea that aired from 1977 until 1986. Neither Rebecca nor Jerry are strangers to reality television, with Rebecca’s resume stretching back to regular appearances on MTV’s House of Style in the mid-’90s.
Speaking to ET Canada, the couple had comically conflicting opinions about the stress of living and working at sea for just over three weeks. “We literally never separated for 22 days,” Rebecca said with exaggerated hand motions and an exasperated tone, to which her husband and star of Joe’s Apartment added, “It was beautiful! It was gorgeous!” Rebecca pointed out that it was the most time the couple had ever spent at work together, but Jerry appeared undeterred in his enthusiasm, describing The Real Love Boat experience as “magical.” Drawing on his extensive experience as both a comedy star and unflagging superhero, Jerry played the optimist and could only show the good in getting to host The Real Love Boat with his wife. Rebecca’s eventual admission that the experience was “97% beautiful” was countered by Jerry’s “197% incredible.”
Their partnership on The Real Love Boat, however, has not been without its share of problems. The current Star Trek first officers and partners of 13 years should be equals on set, but Rebecca revealed that “sometimes Jerry forgets we work together, and he thinks he can tell me what to do while I’m at work.” In a solution worthy of the classic Love Boat, a recalcitrant Jerry immediately admitted that he was at fault on The Real Love Boat, which cast Below Deck‘s Hannah Ferrier, and that he is “currently in therapy…I want to make amends right here on ET Canada and say I’m sorry. I am not your boss. I am your husband,” thereby establishing who exactly is Number One in their marriage. Dropping all comedy pretense, Rebecca stated that their key to a long-lasting relationship has been figuring out how to bounce back from fights but also how to “always look for what’s funny.”
There has rarely been any mystique around this famous couple’s relationship, and their previous fame in everything from Stand By Me to Just Shoot Me! have allowed them to establish their identities outside of simply being a celebrity couple. Their disparate personalities allow The Real Love Boat‘s unusual concept to breathe. While fans of Jerry could not be faulted for seeing him on The Real Love Boat, which is available on the same streaming service as The Challenge: All-Stars, and thinking it was part of a later-season episode of Sliders gone wrong, his previous work as both charismatic leading man and comedy punching bag makes him the perfect foil for his partner, who began as a reality TV host. Rebecca’s mandate to always look for what’s funny seems to apply whether they are on set or in junket interviews.
However, part of what made The Love Boat a cross-generational runaway hit was its ability to be sincere without a hint of irony. Audiences tuned in for adventure and the promise of a new romance, and anything created under that brand will have to deliver on the same thesis. He is a self-professed fan of the original program, but the TV and film star, who has shown interest in competing on Dancing With The Stars, will need to find some occasional seriousness to match his wife’s candid professionalism seen in competition shows like Skin Wars. There are few greater challenges for a marriage than cramped quarters and constant work while away from the comforts of home, and through their first experience on the boat, Jerry and Rebecca have inadvertently proven that this reality format will be one of the most successful. If a marriage can not only survive but also thrive while out to sea, it bodes well for the contestants entering the same scenario on The Real Love Boat.
The Real Love Boat streams Wednesdays on Paramount+.
Next: The Real Love Boat: Everything To Know About The New CBS Dating Show
Source: ET Canada/YouTube