When it comes to love, age matters less and respect matters more.
Patrick Stewart has been wowing audiences through epic roles like Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the Star Trek series and Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men series. While he may have garnered the love of fans across the world with his talent and charm, there's only one fan he is truly devoted to—his wife, Sunny Ozell. Their age gap of 38 years never got in the way of their amazing journey of love and mutual respect.
Though not many details are known about how the two got together, according to Independent UK, the couple first met right before a Brooklyn Academy of Music production of Macbeth, in which Stewart was a part of the cast. Ozell had recently moved to New York in order to pursue her musical career and was working as a waitress at Franny's restaurant in Brooklyn. Considering the timing, it really seems like destiny that the then-36-year-old singer and then-73-year-old Stewart would meet.
In an interview with Loose Women, the actor explained how they exchanged phone numbers. He called it a “business arrangement” as Ozell told him she wanted to see the show, but there were no more tickets available. Yet, he urged her to call him and let him know if she wanted to attend it.
“It was the only time in my life that I have given someone I’ve just met my cell phone number,” he said of the first time he met his now-wife to the Independent UK. “I was in Macbeth which had just transferred to Broadway and she said, ‘I would love to see it.’ It took a couple of weeks—she played it very cool. She not only came to the show but had the balls to come backstage and agreed to have dinner with me that night. About two weeks later, I heard her sing for the first time. I had frankly never been in that environment before.” But it clearly worked out for the two of them.
By 2013, after five years of being together, the couple was ready to take their relationship to the next level and tie the knot. For the Safe House star, this would be his third marriage while it would be the first for the Take It With Me singer. Actor Ian McKellen, who has not only co-starred with Stewart in the X-Men movies multiple times but is also close friends with the actor, officiated the wedding after he was ordained online. However, there was an issue. Stewart and Ozell had gotten married in Nevada, but McKellan realized that he wasn't legally qualified to officialize the ceremony there. So they got married again, this time in California — in a Mexican restaurant.
“We learned that [McKellen] could not use his credentials in Nevada, where we were getting married… so we invited Ian and our two other guests and a director to a Mexican restaurant for dinner [in California],” Stewart explained on an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, according to USA Today. “And they were really closing down when we got there, it was pretty late. And Ian had brought with him a kind of robe—but our guests had no idea what was happening. And, in fact, we were formally married in a Mexican restaurant.”
And the idea of McKellen being the officiator was actually Ozell's idea. "There was only one choice. It was Sunny’s idea, and it was a great idea, and I’m happy to say he said yes, without thought. He may live to regret it! But without hesitation, so we’re delighted," Stewart told Grub Street.
While the couple sees themselves as a regular husband and wife, many were shocked at the age gap of 38 years between the two. However, according to Parade, Ozell mentioned that the age gap was irrelevant. “He is so youthful and I guess I’m kind of an old worrywart so we bridge the gap. It doesn’t come up much. He’s in better shape than me, which infuriates me," she explained.
Now, Stewart, 79 and Ozell, 41, are just as happy as they were when they first got together. The two continue to support each other's careers. While the father-of-two (from a previous marriage) helps his wife sell her merchandise, Ozell was with her husband when he was honored with a spot for his handprints in front of Hollywood's legendary TCL Chinese Theatre, according to the Daily Mail.
During a 2015 interview with Female First, the stepmother-of-two labeled their relationship as “very normal” and “loving,” adding that they have a “great time together.” Well, looks like the adage age is just a number fits perfectly well for this couple.