Ali Wong Reveals Bill Hader’s Grand Gesture to Get Her to Date Him

Ali Wong shared the over-the-top method boyfriend Bill Hader used to convince her to date him, revealing that he initially reached out to tell her that he "had a crush on her forever."

By Leah Degrazia May 15, 2024 2:58 AMTags

Ali Wong certainly isn't getting any hate from Bill Hader

The Beef star detailed the story of how the SNL alum ended up shooting his shot with her, sharing that he reached out to her shortly after she filed for divorce from Justin Hakuta in April 2022. 

"I get a phone call from this guy who I met at a dinner party in the past, and he got my number from a mutual friend," Ali explained during her May 12 Netflix Is a Joke Fest show, according to Rolling Stone. "He was like, ‘Hey, I just happened to hear the news about your divorce, and I've had a crush on you forever. I actually told my best friend years ago that you were my dream girl, and I know it sounds crazy, but I want you to be my girlfriend.'"

Noting that she had just finished signing up for a dating app, the Always Be My Maybe actress joked, "I was like, ‘I just paid $25. You seem really nice, but I gotta get my money's worth.'"

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Rachel Bilson and Bill Hader's Golden Globes 2020 Debut

Of course, the Barry star's grand gesture didn't end there. Ali—who shares kids Mari, 8, and Nikki, 6, with ex-husband Justin—went on vacation in Europe shortly thereafter, and Bill sent flowers to every hotel she stayed in during her trip—a move that actually got mixed reviews from some of her guy friends. 

"That's how cheap and lazy men have become," the 42-year-old joked. "When a fellow man commits any act of kindness, any romantic gesture, it must be a symptom of an undiagnosed mental illness."

Francis Specker/CBS via Getty Images

In the end, Ali must not have paid too much mind to her disapproving pals. After all, she and Bill—who is father to daughters Hannah, 15, Harper, 12, and Hayley, 10, with ex-wife Maggie Carey—first sparked romance rumors in December 2022.  

The couple then made their PDA-packed debut as a couple at the Golden Globe Awards in January 2024.

And while Ali admitted that the couple are "selectively private" about their relationship, she was still surprised at how much buzz the sweet date night stirred up, telling Access Hollywood the following month, "We've been together for a minute so I guess people didn't know we were together."

Read on for more celeb couples you didn't know dated...

Brad Pitt and Juliette Lewis

They played doomed lovers twice, in 1990's Too Young to Die? and 1993's Kalifornia, but in real life they had a perfectly lovely relationship.

"I still love the woman," Pitt, who was Lewis' date to the 1992 Oscars when she scored a Supporting Actress nomination for Cape Fear, told Vanity Fair in February 1995. "There's some real genius there. I had a great time with her...It was one of the greatest relationships I've ever been in. The problem is, we grow up with this vision that love conquers all, and that's just not so, is it?"

Winona Ryder & Matt Damon

It wasn't just a Gen X fever dream, they really closed out the 20th century as a couple after, legend has it, being introduced by Gwyneth Paltrow (who famously dated Damon's best bud Ben Affleck). They split up in 2000.

After the fact, Damon called Ryder a "great woman" in a 2004 Playboy interview, while Ryder told Black Book in 2009, "Matt couldn't be a greater, nicer guy. I'm really lucky that I'm on good terms with him."

Cameron Diaz & Justin Timberlake

There was something about their chemistry at the 2003 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, where Diaz presented Timberlake with the award for Best Burp—because they dated for almost four years, seriously enough to issue a statement when their relationship ended in 2007, "mutually and as friends, with continued love and respect for one another."

David Moscow & Kerry Washington

The Scandal star appeared on the cover of InStyle Weddings in 2005 when she was engaged to the Big actor, but they split up in 2007.

Madonna & Tupac Shakur

Madonna never addressed the story that she dated the rapper, who was killed in 1996 when he was only 25, until 2015. When Howard Stern brought up her infamously feisty 1994 chat with David Letterman, she explained, "I was dating Tupac at the time, and the thing is...he got me all riled up on life in general."

Jake Gyllenhaal & Reese Witherspoon

After her divorce from Ryan Phillippe and before marrying agent Jim Toth, Reese starred with Jake in the 2007 thriller Rendition and they dated for a couple of years.

"She is, as I would say about most of the women who I'm close friends with or had relationships in my life," Jake said admiringly of his ex, "one of the smartest, strongest people I've ever met."

Meg Tilly & Colin Firth

Before marrying Livia Giuggioli in 1997 (they separated in 2019), Firth had a five-year relationship with Tilly that produced son William Joseph Firth, who was born Sept. 20, 1990. The younger Firth is also an actor who appeared with his father in Bridget Jones's Baby.

Mandy Moore & Andy Roddick

This was them: The U.S. Open champ courted the A Walk to Remember star between 2003 and 2004, but ultimately it wasn't a love match.

"He broke my heart," Moore told Howard Stern in 2018. "I was a kid, he was a kid. I started dating him when I was 18."

Dave Coulier & Alanis Morissette

You oughta know by now that one of the most enduring mysteries in music history is who exactly inspired Morissette's iconic 1995 single—and the Full House star is at the top of the list of maybes! Morissette denied it in the 2021 documentary Jagged, but that's a tough pill to swallow.

Alanis Morissette & Ryan Reynolds

"Oh yeah, I love her music," Reynolds told People of his then-fiancée in 2005. "It can be awkward when she walks in and I'm listening to it in my underwear dancing."

The music stopped for the Canadians in 2007, but their breakup after four years together was very polite.

January Jones & Jason Sudeikis

You can't blame the Mad Men star for liking funny guys. Jones and Sudeikis dated for a few months in 2010, five years before she briefly dated Will Forte.

Minnie Driver & Matt Damon

The Good Will Hunting stars paired off in real life, too, but they didn't drive off into the sunset together.

"Well, I'm single," Damon said on The Oprah Winfrey Show in January 1998. "I was with Minnie for a while, but we're not really romantically involved anymore. We're just really good friends, and I love her dearly….I care about her a lot. We care about each other a lot. It wasn't meant to be, you know? And if it's not meant to be, then it's not meant to be."

The pronouncement was a bit too public for Driver's taste. "It's unfortunate that Matt went on Oprah," she told the LA Times later that year. "It seemed like a good forum for him to announce to the world that we were no longer together, which I found fantastically inappropriate."

Helen Mirren & Liam Neeson

The stars met on the set of the 1981 movie Excalibur and eventually lived together (Neeson says Mirren gave him his first driving lessons) before they broke up in the mid-'80s.

"I should be so lucky and be honored to have spent three or four years with that lady," Neeson told ET Canada in February 2023. "She's really something else."

Jeff Goldblum & Laura Dern

Finding love in Jurassic Park? Talk about a meat cute.

The co-stars began dating after filming the 1993 blockbuster, with Goldblum telling The Chicago Tribune at the time, "I was struck, I'd been a big fan of hers. I think she's an amazing actress, and a spectacular person. I was struck from the beginning. But after the movie we realized we liked each other."

They got engaged in 1995 but ultimately split two years later. They reunited on-screen for the first time in 2022's Jurassic World: Dominion, the sixth installment in the franchise.

Gillian Anderson and Peter Morgan

The X-Files alum was in a relationship with The Crown creator between 2016 and 2020. Anderson won an Emmy for her turn as Margaret Thatcher in the Netflix hit in 2020.

David Arquette and Ellen Barkin

According to Arquette, the two dated while filming their 1995 Western Wild Bill.

Jeremy Sisto & Reese Witherspoon

The Clueless actor confirmed a little-known rumor during a Reddit AMA chat in November 2015, revealing that he used to date the actress. The two had starred in the 1992 TV movie Desperate Choices: To Save My Child.

"She was my first actress girlfriend," he said. "We had a long distance relationship for a long time. I was so into her."

Bethenny Frankel & Eric Stonestreet

E! News exclusively broke the news that the Real Housewives of New York star and Modern Family actor were a pair in 2015. But by the following year, they had split. 

Regina King & Malcolm-Jamal Warner

The Southland alum and the actor, who played Theo Huxtable on The Cosby Show, dated for several years before calling it quits in 2013.

Kelly Preston & George Clooney

The famous bachelor was actually settled in with Preston pre-John Travolta back in 1987. They even lived together and shared a potbellied pig named Max before breaking up in 1989.

Val Kilmer & Cher

Why, yes, she does believe in life after love. The Top Gun star and the legendary diva dated back in the '80s following her divorces from Sonny Bono and Gregg Allman

Seal & Tyra Banks

Before he was Heidi Klum's ex, the "Kiss from a Rose" musician romanced a different supermodel.

Meagan Good & Joseph Gordon-Levitt

The duo reportedly started dating after meeting on the set of the 2005 film Brick, but they only stayed together for six months.

Joshua Jackson & Rosario Dawson

The Dawson's Creek alum and the Josie and the Pussycats star dated for about a year back in 2002.

Chris O'Donnell & Reese Witherspoon

The NCIS: LA stud and America's sweetheart dated way back in 1993, when 17-year-old Witherspoon first moved to Los Angeles.

Sarah Jessica Parker & Robert Downey Jr.

The man who now rocks the Iron Man suit for Marvel admitted that drugs and alcohol were to blame for the end of his seven-year relationship with the Sex and the City star. "I liked to drink, and I had a drug problem, and that didn't jibe with Sarah Jessica," he admitted in an a 2008 interview with Parade, "because it is the furthest thing from what she is. She tried to help me. She was so miffed when I didn't get my act together."

Matthew Perry & Heather Graham

The Friends alum and The Hangover star supposedly had a fling 2003, but it didn't last long enough to be more than a little blip on the Hollywood hookup radar.

Tom Hiddleston & Kat Dennings

The 2 Broke Girls actress dated her Thor costar briefly in 2010, appearing very cozy while attending Comic-Con to promote the Marvel film. But their relationship fizzled by the time the movie premiered the following year.

Ryan Reynolds & Kristen Johnston

In 1999, way before he wed Blake Lively, Reynolds dated the 3rd Rock From the Sun star. The duo even attended the premiere of The Green Mile together.

Jake Gyllenhaal & Natalie Portman

The child actors turned A-listers briefly dated in 2006 but remained close friends—and co-starred in the intense 2009 drama Brothers.

"She's a vegan," Gyllenhaal pointed out when presenting Portman with the Desert Palm Achievement Award in 2011, "which makes it really frustrating when you're picking a place to eat."

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