Here's Why America Ferrera's Husband, Ryan Piers Williams, Looks Familiar

FYI, he made an appearance in 'Barbie'

america ferrera husband
Jed Cullen/Dave Benett/WireImage

You've likely spotted America Ferrera's husband, Ryan Piers Williams, at multiple red-carpet events with his wife, from the Golden Globes to the London premiere of Barbie. Or maybe you've noticed him on the actress's social media feed lately. But did you know that their love story spans nearly two decades?

The couple started dating in 2005, and they've been smooth sailing ever since. Not only that, but Williams has also proven to be his wife's biggest cheerleader. When Glamour named Ferrera the Global Woman of the Year in 2023, he wrote on Instagram, "I'm so proud to stand with the Global Woman of the Year! @americaferrera your light brings love and hope to us all. Celebrating you today, tomorrow, and every day thereafter!"

So, who exactly is America Ferrera's husband? Keep reading for all the details on his career and more.

1. Who Is America Ferrera's Husband, Ryan Piers Williams?

According to his official website, Ryan Piers Williams is an accomplished filmmaker and artist. After obtaining his degree in Film Production from the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, the Texas native worked on films like Muertas, The Dry Land and X/Y. (Fun fact: Ferrera appeared in all three!) Currently, Williams is working on his upcoming feature film, Staring at the Sun.

In addition to his movies, Williams is a painter and photographer who, per his bio, "delves into the complex facets of human nature." He is also the co-founder of HARNESS, a non-profit organization that "centers the voices, stories and experiences of underrepresented communities in popular culture."

2. How Did America Ferrera Meet Her Husband?

Williams first met Ferrera in 2005, when he cast her for the role of Rebecca in his first film, Muertas. At the time, he had finished grad school, and Ferrera was still pursuing her undergrad degree at the University of Southern California.

His eight-minute short, Muertas, follows an American journalist who investigates the murder of young girls and women in Juarez, Mexico. While discussing his film in 2011, he told El Paso Inc., “I want to bring awareness to the issue. I'm trying to put a face to one of the girls who's been murdered, to give people a better idea of what's going on in Juarez. You can't predict how people are going to respond, you can only hope that you're going to inspire somebody to want to learn more about the issue.”

3. When Did They Get Married?

After dating for five years, the pair got engaged in 2010. On June 27, 2011, they got married in Chappaqua, New York. And get this—they held an intimate ceremony at the home of Ferrera's Ugly Betty costar, Vanessa Williams.

Ferrera stunned in a strapless gown from Amsale's Christos Bridal collection, and the ceremony was officiated by none other than Judith Light. In a 2021 interview with SiriusXM, Ferrera said, "She is a mother to me, I love her so dearly, and if you would have told my little self that freaking Angela from Who's the Boss was gonna officiate my wedding..."

She added, "But then here's the kicker, we got married at Vanessa Williams's house in New York. This was right after Ugly Betty, and our Ugly Betty cast is such a family. When I told Vanessa that I was engaged, she just started sending me pictures of her backyard, she's like, 'This is where you'll get married.' I didn't think she was serious, but she was."

Mark Indelicato, Rebecca Romijn, Blake Lively, Alexis Bledel and Amber Tamblyn were just a few stars in attendance.

4. Do They Have Any Children?

Ferrera and Williams currently share two children. They welcomed their son, Sebastian, in May 2018 and their daughter, Lucia Marisol, in May 2020. The couple have kept both of their kids out of the spotlight, but Ferrera has opened up about parenthood during interviews. For example, when she appeared on Live with Kelly and Ryan in 2019, she gushed about Sebastian and said, "It's amazing, he has so much personality. Yesterday, I caught him for the first time standing up in his crib. I was like, 'Oh, pray for me, he's about to get very mobile.' But it's just so much fun, we're having a blast. Now, he wants daddy and you know he's bonding more with other people."

The actress also told Entertainment Tonight that both of her kids visited her on the set of Barbie. She said, "My kids got to visit me one day on the Barbie set. They didn't know what to make of it. They think that when I'm not with them, I live and work in Barbie land."

Additionally, Ferrera told Conan O’Brien that her parenting style is quite different from her husband's. She said, "We differ, yeah, a lot. I do things for the child, that the child wants and needs. Like, you know, I'll listen to 'Wheels on the Bus' and read him One Fish Two Fish, and Ryan will listen to Cardi B, like whatever he wants to, and then he reads him, like, A Brief History of Time."

5. Is It True That He Appeared in Barbie

Yes! The filmmaker appeared as Ferrera's on-screen husband, who's too preoccupied with practicing his Spanish to notice what's going on with the rest of the family. And fans who've seen Ferrera's 2002 Disney Channel movie, Gotta Kick It Up!, will also recall the Easter egg where Williams tells Barbie, "Si se puede" (or "Yes, you can").

While speaking with People about how Williams landed the part, Ferrera said, "It came about because on my first Zoom with [director Greta Gerwig]. I was telling her all my favorite parts of the script and all the parts that made me laugh out loud," Ferrera recalled. "And I said, 'Oh, my god, I laughed so hard when you cut to the dad doing his Spanish lessons, because my husband was literally in the other room doing his Spanish lessons.'"

Ferrera added, "Right away she was like, 'Oh, my God, does he want to play your husband?' And I was like, 'I don't know, you'll have to ask him.' When it came time, she was like, 'Remember when I asked you if your husband would play your husband?' And he said yes. So, it was really fun."

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nakeisha campbell bio

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...