It's like The Parent Trap come to life.
Except this time instead of long-lost twins, costars and best friends Lisa Ann Walter and Elaine Hendrix discovered a familial tie that goes back generations. Lisa recently participated in Ancestry's new web series unFamiliar and in digging into her past, she discovered a connection in her present.
It turns out that while the two friends met on the set of the Nancy Meyers film 25 years ago, their grandparents lived only a few blocks away from each other in New York City. And to make the moment even more special, it was Elaine herself who surprised Lisa Ann with the news.
"I'm gonna start crying. Your great-grandparents lived about a block that way," the actress told Lisa during the Sept. 18 episode, pointing in one direction form where the two are seated in New York's Elizabeth Street Garden. "My great-grandparents," she continued, pointing in the opposite direction, "lived about a block that way."
"Shut up," the Abbott Elementary star said in response, "so you think they knew each other?"
To which Elaine replied, "Of course they knew each other!"
And since the two were separated by mere blocks on Elizabeth Street over a century ago in the early 1900s, and given that their families attended the same church, the two agreed they had to have crossed paths.
"It's almost not a surprise," Lisa reflected of their connection. "Why in the world would we have met and become besties in six hours?"
And Elaine agreed, adding, "It was fate."
And despite the fact the two women were at odds on screen—Elaine played the social climbing Meredith Blake while Lisa played beloved housekeeper Chessy—their offscreen friendship has stood the test of time. So, discovering this connection with Elaine after almost three decades of friendship
"She's my best friend," she reflected on her experience. "So to see the Ancestry records showing our great-grandparents grew up on the same street just steps away from each other at the same time—it's just unbelievable. It feels like fate, or maybe our great-grandparents, that brought us together on-set 25 years ago."
And much like the two's friendship, love for the 1998 film has also endured. So much so that when questions about a potential sequel arose when the two best friends walked the 2023 Screen Actors Guild Awards red carpet together in February, Lisa said she was game.
"What we get online more than anything is kids that are now in their 20s and 30s that say, 'You were our childhood and we grew up with you,'" the 60-year-old told E! News at the time. "I think, like Abbot Elementary, there is just a real longing for people to feel good and safe, and so any movie like that, yeah, let's do it."