“Next week is definitely a more spiritual, sexy story. It’s a love story,” Wilkinson, 25, told PEOPLE of their upcoming performance. “It’s about my husband and me. It’s about how we fell in love and what went on behind the scenes of falling in love.”
While there’s practically no comparison between the dancer and the athlete, Van Amstel, 38, is ready to put his acting chops to the test.
“I’ll take the challenge,” he says. “If she has to take the challenge each week, I’ll take the challenge in storyline week. I’ll have to up my game.”
Fortunately, the pro dancer has met the inspiration for his role – and walked away with a good sense of the man he’ll be impersonating.
“They are a very huge, big inspiration to young Hollywood that you can have it all and still be down to earth, have love, have kids at a younger age … and be very supportive of each other,” Van Amstel says.
The meeting also gave Baskett, 28, the opportunity to share an important – though perhaps unexpected – suggestion with his wife’s new partner. “He didn’t even give me advice,” Van Amstel says. “He gave me a green light. ‘Push my wife! Do anything you want with my wife.’ ”
Mum’s the Word
When it comes to coaching, Wilkinson prefers her hubby just keep quiet.
“I told him, ‘Look, I just want you to know, you have your way of going into a football game, and I have my way of coming into a dance. My way is just look at this day as any other day,’ ” she says. “The energy just messes with me … It’s a lot of pressure, and if you say just one thing different than you would any other day, it’s going to throw my mind off.”
In fact, Wilkinson is so determined to treat her Dancing days with normalcy that she has banned her husband from praying for her in her presence.
“It’s just so nerve racking!” she says. “Before the first dance, he’s like, ‘Can I pray for you?’ I’m like, ‘No! I told you, Hank, don’t make this day any different!’ ”