‘At that moment it was just clear to me: I want to laugh through life with this person’ | Relationships

Ione and I knew each other for 10 years before we started dating.

In 1996 I was making an album in LA and I didn’t know what was going to happen next. All I knew was that I couldn’t go home.

My friend Ian Rogers, who was dating her best friend, invited me to Ione’s house for a Christmas party in Laurel Canyon, where I met her family. Bob Dylan’s Isis was on, there were mushrooms. At a certain moment – ​​I remember thinking, “I want my life to be like this”. But I never could have known that 10 years later we would get together.

I was 18, she was 26. The age difference was even greater then, but we met in clubs and at parties and shared an atmosphere and admiration.

When we got back together after Claire in LA [Danes] and I broke up, I put out Awake is the New Sleep, what went well. We were both in new chapters.

I watched Ione raise Kate and loved what a sweet, artistic and compassionate mother she was. Just as she flowed through life with spontaneity, wit and tenderness. And of course so beautiful.

After living on a tour bus for three years, LA had kind of grown on me.

We both just played on the field, experimenting and really re-evaluating, but maybe subconsciously looking for serious partners? There was still a lot of experimenting to be done. I’ve had to join and leave a few cults, start businesses, all sorts of things I’ve had to succeed and fail at. They also. I also committed myself to an Indian guru at the time and had to endure all this fanaticism.

At the Marie Antoinette premiere, she flirted with my boyfriend Jason Schwartzman, but we ended up talking all night. Oddly enough, the next day I was driving up Fairfax Avenue and thought I saw her brother Dono. Just then he called – wasn’t on Fairfax but said Ione said hello.

Actor Ione Skye hugs husband musician Ben Lee

I texted her an invitation to John Lennon and Yoko Ono Doco. On our first date, we watched two eccentric artists create a life together that didn’t become static. It became the blueprint.

There was a moment where she looked at me and said, “I have high hopes for us,” right as we started seeing each other. It was so perfectly expressed, poetically and elegantly worded. I was helpless to do anything but agree.

I don’t like pressure. I’ve always been someone who likes to take the time and space to explore my own feelings. Maybe I wanted to be the hunter, so I found them a bit intense at first. She definitely saw the potential in our connection while it took me a minute.

As she gave me some space, I realized I was falling in love.

I kissed her on the stairs of the ArcLight Theater after the movie. And this radio DJ I know named Gary Calamar walked by. Auspicious!

We met again in the same house we had met 10 years before so I felt 18 and insecure again. like a boy Annoying muscle memory?

She’d picked up some veggie burgers at a drive-through and just gobbled them up – not at all embarrassed. I was very attracted to her.

Ione (the self-confessed “aggressor”) wasn’t going fast enough. She would have gotten engaged sooner, but I had to come to that on my own. We always liked each other. That got us through everything.

“There’s really no magic recipe other than a genuine desire to keep it going,” says Ben Lee

There was a moment in India when we got caught in a monsoon in a tuk-tuk and a street sign fell down in the middle of the road. The driver and I had to get out and move it. I turned around and Ione was sitting in the tuk-tuk laughing hysterically at the whole situation. And I just realized in that moment… I want to laugh through life with that person.

Once we were in, we were in.

Given my age alone, I wanted a relationship with appropriate ease and play. Letting go of the kind of drama that tends to plague relationships in your 20s. Consciously choose each other. I suspect a greater simplicity.

Because we’ve both known each other for a decade, we had to skip the whole part where you secretly wonder if they’re crazy. We already knew it was us.

It felt like a decision, but with destiny. Move boldly and the world will support you. That kind of thing. We connect. Original. We talk. A LOT OF. There’s really no magic recipe other than a genuine desire to keep it going. I think partnerships can go through almost anything as long as both really want it.

Working together has helped deepen our marriage. That includes education – it’s the ultimate creative collaboration.

Together we’re a pretty decent team.

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