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Angela Bassett Says It Was Not Love at First Sight with Husband Courtney B. Vance — Here's Why

"I was like, ‘Wow, the commitment of that guy. Oh, amazing!' " the '9-1-1' actress said on 'Live with Kelly and Mark'

<p>Leon Bennett/Getty</p> Courtney B. Vance and Angela Bassett in Los Angeles on Dec. 6, 2023

Leon Bennett/Getty

Courtney B. Vance and Angela Bassett in Los Angeles on Dec. 6, 2023

Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance's love has stood the test of time — once it got started!

While promoting the newest season of 9-1-1, Bassett said Wednesday on Live with Kelly and Mark that her romance with her longtime husband didn't begin with an instant spark.

"For me, when I saw Mark, it love at first sight," Kelly Ripa told Bassett, 65, of husband and co-host Mark Consuelos, whom she married in 1996. "Was it love at first sight for you two?"

"No," the Emmy-nominated actress said, explaining, "We met at drama school, and he came with and left with a girlfriend. So I was like, ‘Wow, the commitment of that guy. Oh, amazing!' "

<p>Patrick McMullan/Getty</p> Courtney B. Vance and Angela Bassett in New York City on Dec. 9, 1996

Patrick McMullan/Getty

Courtney B. Vance and Angela Bassett in New York City on Dec. 9, 1996

Related: Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance's Relationship Timeline

Asked by Ripa, 53, how she and Vance, 64, found their way to one another romantically, Bassett replied, "It was years later, [we] ran into each other in L.A. It was like, ‘Oh, a familiar face!’ "

"The girlfriend’s gone!" said Consuelos, 52.

"Yeah, gone," the Black Panther actress continued. "I had a party I was like, ‘Oh, invite the girlfriend!’ He’s said, ‘She’s gone!’ "

After a few years of dating, Bassett and Vance married in 1997. They welcomed fraternal twins, daughter Bronwyn and son Slater, on Jan. 27, 2006.

<p>Lionel Hahn/Getty</p> Slater Vance, Bronwyn Vance, Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance in Beverly Hills, California, on March 12, 2023

Lionel Hahn/Getty

Slater Vance, Bronwyn Vance, Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance in Beverly Hills, California, on March 12, 2023

Related: Courtney B. Vance on the One Rule He and Angela Bassett Shared Raising Twins: It ‘Was Our Mantra’ (Exclusive)

After meeting at the Yale School of Drama in the ‘80s, Bassett reconnected with Vance when she was 38 and had achieved success, from her Oscar-nominated turn playing Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do with It? to starring opposite Whitney Houston in Waiting to Exhale.

“When I met Courtney, I had known him in drama school, was very enamored of his talents, his gift on stage, and just him as a person, just a real sweetheart, found him to be supportive,” Bassett recently told PEOPLE in an exclusive interview.

But there was a different spark this time around. “What I really loved so much about him was how supportive and engaging he is of everyone,” she explained. “That's something that really sort of opened my eyes, and I went from friend to being enamored with him in a different kind of way.”

Bassett added, "“From the beginning, he was always just a very supportive partner and he continues to be to this day. And our communication continues to be strong, But it always comes back to, he's always been thoughtful about me. His core burns pure.”

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

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