"When you're 26 years older than your wife, you've got to keep them faked out a lot," the 61-year-old once joked in an interview.
It was purely by chance, unplanned and unexpected, when Alec Baldwin ended up at the same place and at the same time, where he would meet the woman who completely changed his life. It didn't matter to him how old she was or what her story is. Nothing stopped the urge he had to walk up to Hilaria Thomas, take her hand, and say, "I must know you".
And that was the beginning of their whirlwind romance.
"8 years ago, I wandered into Pure Food and Wine on Irving Place, on an unseasonably warm February evening," the actor wrote on Instagram. "My friend, @bocartist and I sat down (outside!) and as I turned to my left I saw a woman who would change my life. Entirely. 8 years today. Thanks for all you’ve given me. You are a gift."
The 26-year age gap never came in the way as they built a connection. Baldwin, who was previously married, wasn't completely ready for another relationship until that fated encounter with Thomas.
"I’ve dated a lot of people since my divorce, and have thought a lot about what I wanted and what I wanted to do," Baldwin said, according to The New York Times. "I thought about it too much, I suppose. I wasn’t really ready to take that chance and to act until I met Hilaria."
When they first met, Thomas even wondered if he just wants to be friends. She told Beach Magazine, as quoted by the Daily Mail, "He didn’t kiss me for six weeks! He shook my hands for six weeks. We’d have the most romantic dinner date, and afterward he’d drop me off at my house and shake my hand."
But within no time, their relationship quickly moved forward and they got an apartment together roughly five months into their relationship.
Even though he is in his early 60s, Baldwin still gifts his 35-year-old wife with plenty of romantic moments. "...One place where I’m really lucky is, Alec is really romantic," Thomas revealed in Brit + Co’s #CreateGood summit, according to Yahoo Lifestyle. "Like, he’s way more romantic than I am. So I have to like be the one — I’m like, 'OK, I have to do this too.'"
She went on to say, "He’s happy to sit and look in your eyes across the table, and just be like, 'Wow, you’re so beautiful.' Sometimes I’m like, 'Oh, thank you,' and he's like, 'And you know what? I say it to you too much.' And then I stop, and I realize, wow, I’m pretty lucky, you know? I’m lucky that, you know, we’ve been together, I don’t know, like eight years now and he still wants to spend that kind of time with me."
Talking about their age difference, Thomas said, "I didn’t really think too much of it because we’re so different. Everyone has commented on our age difference, and it is big; and I’m not someone who watches TV. So he’s somebody completely out of my world—not someone I’d necessarily think of."
About a year after they met, the two of them exchanged wedding vows on June 29, 2012, as reported by Oprah Magazine.
Ever since then, he's worked extra hard to keep his wife, whom he's "madly in love" with, happy. "When you're 26 years older than your wife, you've got to keep them faked out a lot," he joked during an interview Ellen. "...You've got to keep her off balance so she doesn't really think about what's going on."
To celebrate their 5th anniversary, the couple renewed their vows and Baldwin shared his reason to do so, saying, "I need reassurance. I need to know I still got you there. I need to know you're not going anywhere." And, as quoted by E! Online, Thomas added, "once you get married, you're done. But it's really good to say 'hey I'm still in this.'"
Together, they are parents to four children and Baldwin still manages to share date nights with the woman he loves.
"Most nights, we have date night, which could mean we’re doing a puzzle. On Valentine’s Day, we ordered takeout," Thomas previously told People's Mom Talk.
Even if it's simple, ordinary things like takeout, they make it a point to regularly spend time with each other. Thomas added, "My husband had just gotten his hip replaced. We walked, on one of his first [post-surgery] walks, to go get food, and we ate it out of the plastic. And then we looked at each other like, 'Can we go to bed now?'"
She admitted that when it comes to parenting, Baldwin doesn't take a step back. "He’s a good dad, a very good dad. I don’t think you ever know how they’re going to be until you experience it," she said. "Everybody says, 'Oh yeah, sure. I’m going to be with you, and I’m going to change diapers and do all these things,' and you always worry that at 2 am you’re going to be alone with your child and your husband’s going to be snoring. But no, [Alec's] really great. He wakes up with me every single time that she wakes up. He’s sweet."
According to The Sun, Baldwin is now expecting his fifth child and he couldn't seem happier to share a marriage and family with Hilaria.
When he's note joking about his relationship, Baldwin admits without any hesitation, "I'm totally in love. I'm madly in love."
Update: After this article was published, there has been news of Hilaria Baldwin having suffered an unfortunate miscarriage of their fifth child. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.