Ryan Piers Williams and America Ferrera Have Two Kids — a Glimpse into Their Family Life

Manuela Cardiga
May 18, 2020
12:00 P.M.
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Actress America Ferrera and director Ryan Piers Williams have been happily married for 8 years and they share two children.

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America Ferrera was a drama student at the University of Southern California in 2005 when she attended an audition for a part in a student film.

She got the part, and she also got the director, fellow student Ryan Piers Williams, who fell in love with her.

In 2017 Ryan and America decided to collaborate once again in a new production -- their first child

America Ferrera and Ryan Piers Williams at the Los Angeles premiere of 'Vox Lux' in 2018 | Source: Getty Images

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FILM SCHOOL ROMANCE

The romance blossomed, but America dropped out of college as her acting career took off with roles in several movies, such as "How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer," "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" and " Plainsong." But she took time off to make the film with Ryan.

The short film Ryan wrote, directed, and starred in was called "Muertas," and it told the story of an American journalist investigating a series of murders in Juarez Mexico. It featured America as his love interest, Rebecca.

America Ferrera and Ryan Piers Williams on the red carpet at the 2010 Voice Awards | Source: Wikimedia

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The film was successful, and in 2007 it was accepted at the San Diego Latino Film Festival, and at the AFI Dallas, and the Austin Film Festivals. By then, America was starring in "Ugly Betty," and already a household name.

America Ferrera, Tony Plana, Ana Ortiz, Mark Indelicato and Vanessa Williams with the "Outstanding Comedy Series" award for the show "Ugly Betty at the Annual NAACP Image Awards in 2007 | Source: Getty Images

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Ryan finished his degree and the couple became engaged in 2010, coincidentally the year the director released his first feature -- written and directed by him -- featuring his favorite actress, America.

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The movie, "Dry Land," an analysis of how PTSD affects returning war veterans and their families, was well received by the critics and garnered several award nominations for Ryan, and for America as best actress. 

CINEMATIC MARRIAGE

In 2011, the couple tied the knot. By then, America was a cult icon to millions for her role in the series "Ugly Betty" which ran on ABC from 2006 to 2010. America revealed:

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“We kind of connected from the get-go on that professional level and that was something that really drew us to each other, a shared passion for what we do and our work.” 

His second independent film "X/Y" released in 2014 featured America in the lead role once again, and himself as her romantic interest. The story focus on a group of friends in New York, dealing with an intricate web of love and betrayal. 

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The film costarred  Melonie Diaz, Jon Paul Phillips, Amber Tamblyn, David Harbour, and Common, and was a critical success and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival. 

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BECOMING PARENTS 

In 2017 Ryan and America decided to collaborate once again in a new production -- their first child. In May 2018, they welcomed their first child, Sebastian. America revealed that she and Ryan have very different parenting styles.

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While America is the disciplinarian, Ryan is more easy-going and allows Sebastian to do things at his own pace and in his own way, but he does have some peculiar notions, as  America revealed to Conan: 

"I'll listen to "Wheels on a Bus", and read him "One Fish Two Fish," and Ryan will listen to Cardi B and read to him  "A Brief History of Time."

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A SECOND PRODUCTION

Sebastian was a few weeks short of his second birthday when Ryan and America welcomed their second child on May 4, 2020 -- Mother's Day. This time it's a girl, and they named her Lucia Marisol Williams, a name that evokes America's Honduran heritage.

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REACHING OUT TO OTHER MOMS

America, who had to live the last months of her pregnancy in quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reached out to other moms living through the same experience. America posted a heartfelt text on Instagram, encouraging women to be strong. She wrote:

"Thinking of all you other mamas bringing new life into this world right now. And also of all the women across generations (...) birthing new life in the midst of  (...) daunting circumstances,”

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Ryan and America have been active throughout the pandemic, collecting and delivering essential supplies to the YesWeCanMobileSchools program which is supplying much-needed basic necessities to migrant children and expectant mothers on the border of Mexico.

Ryan and America's relationship and commitment to each other is an inspiration, in an era in which couples meet, greet, and break up with the greatest of ease.

Although they have only been married 8 years, Ryan and America have been together for 15 years, and promise to keep making movies and babies together for many more.

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