"It was 30 years ago that we met on that terrible TV show," Bryan Cranston said at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. "It changed both of our lives"
When Bryan Cranston met his wife Robin Dearden, it wasn’t exactly love at first sight – considering the fact the he was holding her hostage.
In fact, their first encounter with each other was a far cry from your typical love story. Cranston and Dearden worked together on the set of the CBS series Airwolf in 1986. Cranston was guest-starring as a jilted lover who hijacks a sorority reunion cruise, and Dearden played one of the trapped sorority sisters.
“He actually had a gun to my head,” Dearden, 62, told PEOPLE of their first meeting.
“It was 30 years ago that we met on that terrible TV show,” added Cranston at the Palm Springs International Film Festival this past weekend. “It changed both of our lives.”
Cranston, 59, and Dearden have been married for nearly 27 years, but even despite the hostage situation, romance didn’t spark between the two right away.
“He had a girlfriend and I had a boyfriend at the time,” explained Dearden. “But I thought that he was the funniest man that I had ever met. I said, ‘He’s kind of cute, he’s got a gun … ‘ ”
“A little danger, a little laughter!” quipped the Breaking Bad star.
But Cranston says it’s the fact that they were both unavailable at the time of their meeting that helped their relationship last in the long run.
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“I think it was serendipitous, because, as Robin says, if we had been unencumbered at the time and started dating, she doesn’t think that we would have stayed together,” he said. “But because she had a boyfriend and I had a girlfriend, we were able to flirt without the heavy sexual tension, but there was sexual tension, let me tell you! But not the heavy sexual tension, not the ‘faux pas’ sexual tension, but it was there.”
It wasn’t until a year later that they happened to run in to each other, and that’s when sparks started to fly. Cranston explained that “as actors do” when they saw each other, they greeted one another with a kiss. But while most kisses between friends are quick and friendly, Cranston and Dearden’s kiss lingered a bit.
“We were both like, ‘Wait that was too long, wasn’t it?!’ ” he recalled. “And that is really what happened.”
• Reporting by REAGAN ALEXANDER