Love at 1st Sight! Adam Brody Was 'Smitten Instantly’ With Leighton Meester

Love at first sight! Adam Brody knew from day one that Leighton Meester was special — but she took “years” to see him in a romantic way.

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“I think the first time I saw her is when I met her at Canter’s, the deli in Los Angeles,” Brody, 43, recalled during the Wednesday, April 12, episode of Stitcher Studios’ “Popcrushed” podcast.

The former O.C. star remembered crossing paths with Meester, 37, in the early 2000s when she was out to lunch with Gossip Girl and The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz and some of the CW cast.

“That’s when I saw her, and, yeah, I was smitten instantly. And I was, you know, smitten for a long time,” the California native explained. “I didn’t get to know her for many years after, even though we even worked together briefly.”

Brody and Meester costarred in 2011’s The Oranges, but they didn’t spark romance speculation until two years later. Us Weekly broke the news in February 2013 that the duo were “hanging out” and dating.

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“She’s so lovely, and she’s so sweet,” the Gilmore Girls alum told Meester’s former Gossip Girl costar Penn Badgley and his podcast cohosts, Sophie Ansari and Nava Kavelin, on Wednesday. “She’s so nice. She’s so good.”

The Shazam! Fury of the Gods actor, however, recalled the Country Strong star being a little reluctant to start a relationship with him.

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“She remained elusive to me for so long, you know, and aloof,” Brody said. “I couldn’t get a total read because even though she professe[d] to have been interested in me and all those things — not only did she not pursue that, I mean, she was perfectly willing to let that never happen.”

He joked: “She was perfectly willing to let that message in the bottle return to sea at several points.”

Badgley, 36, weighed in on Meester’s laid-back style, saying with a laugh, “That means she already had faith in your love. She was already letting you go.”

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Brody seemingly agreed, telling listeners, “[Leighton] says, ‘Oh, it’s because I knew if we did [date] it would be a thing.’ Or, like, ‘It’s too powerful.’”

Despite a slow start to their relationship, Us confirmed in February 2014 that the StartUp alum and the Texas native said “I do” in an intimate ceremony in California.

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Us exclusively confirmed in September 2015 that the twosome welcomed their first child, daughter Arlo. Brody and Meester expanded their family in September 2020 when the Ready or Not actor announced the birth of their son. The couple have not yet revealed his name.

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