Viola Davis and Julius Tennon Recall How They First Met: She 'Promptly Called Me a Month Later'

Viola Davis and Julius Tennon costar as NBA legend Michael Jordan's parents in the new movie Air

Viola Davis and her husband Julius Tennon are reliving their meet cute.

During the couple's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live Thursday, Tennon, 69, and EGOT winner Davis, 57, recalled how they first met in 1999 on the set of the television series City of Angels while they were in line to get breakfast.

"I was dogging a bagel with tuna fish on it, a cinnamon raisin bagel with tunafish, and believe it or not it's really, really good, but go ahead, Julius," Davis said, laughing as she handed the story off to her husband, who added that he gave her his contact information at the end of that day's filming.

"Well, I gave you my card only because my mom told me, my mom said: 'If you want to meet a girl, don't ask for her phone number, give her your card. IF she's interested, she'll call you,' " Tennon told host Jimmy Kimmel.

"[Davis] promptly called me a month later," he added, generating laughs from Kimmel and the audience — as well as quite the grin on his wife's face.

Julius Tennon and Honoree Viola Davis attends the Public Counsel's Annual William O. Douglas Award Dinner Celebrating Viola Davis at The Beverly Hilton on December 11, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California.
Robin L Marshall/Getty Images

The actress went on to explain that she did not call back immediately because she had "bad credit" and no car at the time.

"No one wants to meet a 34-year-old woman on a bus with bad credit," Davis explained. "So I was trying to get my stuff together, and then I was like, 'You know what, it's going to take too long to get the credit right.' "

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After joking that they moved in together early in their relationship due to financial concerns, Davis insisted that was an actual consideration at the time. "I'm not lying to you," she told host Kimmel. "Splitting that rent coming from New York, I was like — and he was cute, you know? He had a tight ass."

Asked about their first date, Davis immediately told the host it was "magical" as the pair reminisced over the bread they shared together.

Viola Davis, Julius Tennon
Viola Davis and Julius Tennon. TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty

The couple — who costar in the new movie Air as Michael Jordan's parents Deloris and James — previously recalled to the Los Angeles Times in December that Tennon impressed Davis with his "Texas hospitality" on the date, at the the Crocodile Cafe in Santa Monica, Calif.

"You said you loved the bread basket!" Davis recalled. He added, "Oh, yeah ... the bread was fresh and good."

Afterward, he drove her home in his "new" Nissan Maxima, which Davis remembers being "so clean."

"And he drove me to the front curb and he shook my hand. He said I was beautiful and that he'd had such a beautiful time," Davis recalled. "And he stayed there until I got to the door of my apartment. He was such a gentleman."

Air opens in theaters April 5.

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