Angela Bassett and Peter Krause on How Their Chemistry on “9-1-1” Brought Them 'Closer Together as Actors' (Exclusive)

Bassett and Krause tell PEOPLE that their characters, Athena and Bobby, were never intended to get married but have become a "fanastic" and "committed couple"

<p>Gregg DeGuire/Variety via Getty</p> (L-R) Angela Bassett and Peter Krause at the

Gregg DeGuire/Variety via Getty

(L-R) Angela Bassett and Peter Krause at the '9-1-1' ABC premire event held at Spring Place on March 11, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California.

Though they never thought their onscreen relationship would end in a TV marriage, Angela Bassett and Peter Krause's chemistry has slowly become palpable to fans over 7 seasons of 9-1-1.

In an exclusive conversation with PEOPLE at the show's season 7 premiere, Bassett, who plays Athena Grant, reveals that her relationship with Krause's Bobby Nash wasn't originally in the cards until series creator Tim Minear carved out his vision.

"That wasn't the idea, but Tim ... just seeing the way it was playing out, my arena, his body and word to these individual worlds and how they collided and that we were the adults, the grownups ... that's where the story and the playing of it inspired the journey," she explains.

Related: 9-1-1's Bobby and Athena Are on a Honeymoon from Hell as Cruise Ship Capsizes in Season 7 Trailer (Exclusive)

Bassett also reveals how her friendship with Krause has been able to transcend off screen over the course of their run on the procedural.

"He's so calm," she says with a smile. "He's very sweet, very professional. Likes to have a good time, but he's just real, honest. He's thoughtful."

<p>FOX via Getty </p> (L-R) Angela Bassett and Peter Krause on '9-1-1'.

FOX via Getty

(L-R) Angela Bassett and Peter Krause on '9-1-1'.

Of the entire cast, Bassett says they're "all very warm, very nice, humble individuals."

"We all get along, we all work hard and we all very appreciative of what, of others and what they bring to the table," she adds. "So it's a great, great working environment and that's a good thing. It's long hours, so it helps that we can crack each other up during the downtime."

Related: '9-1-1' 's Peter Krause, Oliver Stark, Ryan Guzman and Kenneth Choi Recount the Show's Craziest Calls

Krause returns Bassett's sweet sentiments and tells PEOPLE that their roles as a "committed couple" have been nothing short of "fantastic."

"We play with each other a lot," he says. "There's a lot of stuff that's not scripted that we do with each other. It's fun joking with each other and things like that."

The actor also says moments from this season's premiere will bring "Bobby and Athena closer together" and their time filming on set has "brought Angela and Peter closer together as actors as well, which is really nice."

Related: 9-1-1's Oliver Stark Teases a Crossover with Another ABC Show (Exclusive)

<p>FOX via Getty </p> (L-R) Angela Bassett and Peter Krause on '9-1-1'.

FOX via Getty

(L-R) Angela Bassett and Peter Krause on '9-1-1'.

Last month, PEOPLE exclusively debuted 9-1-1's season 7 trailer, where fans saw Bobby and Athena board a cruise for a belated honeymoon. Everything eventually goes awry when the ship begins to capsize and passengers are forced to "stay down" during the emergency.

The homage to The Poseidon Adventure will be “a big, exciting arc that goes for about three episodes,” Minear said during a set visit as part of the Television Critics Association winter press tour, per TVLine.

The honeymoon from hell won't be the only action in the season premiere. According to the official logline for the episode, a fighter jet also "traps a civilian," and an "unusual" incident forces a couple together.

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9-1-1 season 7 premieres Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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