Once upon a time, Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas fell in love.
That it was on the set of Once Upon a Time and they played Snow White and Prince Charming just makes it all the cuter.
"It hit me like a blinding light," Dallas told People in 2012. "I thought, 'I'm in trouble now.'"
"I knew that in fact I was going to marry my husband Josh at Disneyland because I took him for his first time ever and we had just started dating," Goodwin would later recall on Live With Kelly and Michael. "We were on Big Thunder Mountain and he threw his arms in the air and he goes, 'This is the best day of my life' and I was like, 'We're totally getting married.'"
And it really was that easy. Almost.
Once Upon a Time premiered on ABC in October 2011 and rumors of a romance between the co-stars were almost immediate.
In fact, Goodwin and Dalla had an "immediate connection when they met," a source explained to E! News a few months later, but they denied being an item at first.
Goodwin had broken off her engagment to Joey Kern less than a year beforehand and Dallas was barely separated from Sherlock actress Lara Pulver after four years of marriage.
Pulver and Dallas had met in 2003 doing a play, The Boy Friend, together in London, got married in 2007 and moved to Los Angeles in 2009.
(Pulver decided to stay in L.A. after the divorce and ended up marrying Spooks star Raza Jaffrey in 2014. They have a son, Ozias, together. Kern also got his happily ever after that year, marrying wife Gillian Rose, with whom he has two daughters.)
"So to begin with," the source said, Goodwin and Dallas started out as "just friends. They were shooting in Canada together and because they were both away from home, they inevitably started to socialize together off the set as well as on—and they got closer as friends."
But Dallas was apparently just that into Goodwin, because, once he was single, "his connection to Ginnifer deepened and they fell in love."
By March 2012, Goodwin and Dallas had moved in together—before they even made their red carpet debut the following month, at the White House Correspondents Dinner.
"The relationship has been full-on since the moment it turned romantic," our source said, "and they spend every moment together. There was no reason to wait and take it slow—they fell in love, and it feels right."
Dallas is "a really kind man, quite a gentleman at heart," the insider added, "and I think she really appreciated that he was more considerate than some of the other men in Hollywood. They have been very serious since the moment they got together, and their romance has been intensified because of the show. It all means they get to spend a lot of time together."
In their case, togetherness only made the heart grow fonder.
"It's definitely a plus that we get to spend so much time together," Dallas told E! News that November. "I think it adds something; it adds a different dynamic to the characters that we're playing that we can bring to it. It's always a great day going to work with Ginnifer Goodwin; she's a fantastic actress and I learn so much from her. We just get to play, so it's nice."
He popped the question in October 2013 and, on the verge of welcoming their first child together, they tied the knot in April 2014. Son Oliver was born the following month, and they welcomed his brother, Hugo, in 2016.
Being a mom "makes me feel like acting is not at all creative," Goodwin divulged to E! News at the 2015 People's Choice Awards, "but being a parent—anybody who's a parent I want to, like, give an Oscar to."
As for her husband, "He makes me laugh so much, and even if we squabble he makes me laugh, so I can't even say angry—which is kind of its own level of frustrating. I want to be mad!"
Dallas was also a huge help when Oliver was born, with Goodwin telling Us Weekly when their firstborn was about 5 months old, ""He also has not slept since mid-May. I'm always telling him, 'You can sleep,' but he won't, he always helps. He's my knight in shining armor."
They may be proud parents, but the kids you're seeing on Dallas' Instagram page are from his NBC show Manifest, which is returning for a second season next month. He and Goodwin— though you can at least pretend that you can totally see them falling for each other right there on the screen—keep their family life super private, and she doesn't even do social media.
The actress, who before Once Upon a Time played one of Bill Paxton's three wives on HBO's award-winning drama Big Love, has no interest in leaving L.A., however, even though it's not the easiest place to lead a private life.
"I want to continue on television when Once Upon a Time inevitably but unfortunately ends," the Memphis, Tenn., native told Metro in 2016. "But I'm going to refuse to leave Los Angeles after this. Our lives as actors are already bats--t crazy; our kids don't need to be uprooted from school. Once they enter school they'll stay in school. Otherwise they're not going to be normal."
She had intentionally sought out a project like Once Upon a Time because, for all its harrowing moments for its heroes and heroines, it was overall a more family-friendly show than Big Love (despite its very big family).
"When I was on Big Love," Goodwin said, "I suddenly realized no kid of mine would be able to watch that until he or she was much older. Then I started looking at all the other things I've done. I'm super proud of my career, but even the romantic comedies aren't family-friendly. I wanted to at least expand myself into the family-friendly world. That was a huge part of me taking Once Upon a Time."
A smart decision, considering.
"We met on that show, we fell in love, and seven years later, we're married and with two kids," Dallas reminisced on Live With Kelly and Ryan last year. And, he confirmed, there was no dillydallying. "We went straight for it," he said.
Dallas added, "She's the greatest. I miss working with her every day. I think she was like, 'look, we've worked together and we've lived together six years, give me a break.'" He smiled. "But I think we'll work together again, I hope so."
Goodwin has ventured into darker territory of late, appearing on an episode of Jordan Peele's reboot of The Twilight Zone and starring in the slick drama Women Who Kill, as one of three wives driven to...well, kill, while it's her off-screen life that's devoted to family-friendly material, such as her and Dallas' day with the kids at Disneyland this past spring.
As it turned out, she intentionally went in another direction with her career this time as well.
"I had spent years making material that, like, my kids can see. So yes, I wasn't looking for that next," Goodwin told reporters at the 2019 Television Critics Association press tour in August, discussing Women Who Kill. "I was definitely looking for something that my husband and I would watch together alone at night when the kids are definitely in bed."
All efforts are appreciated. His Instagram may be a kid-free zone, but Dallas loves to acknowledge his wife's many fine qualities.
"Intelligence is Ginny. Elegance is Ginny. Beauty is Ginny. Grace is Ginny. Funny is Ginny. My love is Ginny. Happy Birthday to the greatest I know," he wrote on her birthday in 2018.
And this February, he peppered a promotional post for her latest role with hashtags: "#ginnifergoodwin #whywomenkill #loverforlife #badass #myqueen."
"She's the greatest human I know, so that stuff is easy," Dallas told Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on Today in January, explaining his romantic posts.
King Charming (she's his queen, after all) named a few of their secrets for a strong marriage: "Understanding, willing to be flexible. And just love. You've got to love and be willing to grow with that person—or let that person grow, too, and give them space."
But not too much. Asked if he could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, Dallas picked Paul Newman for the former. And the latter?
His wife, "'cause she's a great dinner partner."
And they lived happily ever after.