James Marsden learned that there is a fine line between wingman and third wheel.
In the December issue of Playboy, the "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues " actor shares a funny story about the surprising role he played in the hookup of Calista Flockhart and Harrison Ford. It was 2002 after the now-married pair first met at the Golden Globes — and it's an incident Marsden himself can file under "awkward."
"I did the last season of 'Ally McBeal,' and it was right when Harrison was starting to date Calista," the 40-year-old, who at the time was married to actress Lisa Linde, tells the magazine. "I had become friends with her, and one night she said, 'Come to dinner with me and Harrison.' I'm like, 'Me, you, and him?' It turned out to be a small group of us, thankfully, but I ended up as her wingman."
After dinner at a Brentwood, California, restaurant, the group ended up at the "Ender's Game" star's house.
"He put music on and made everybody drinks. He was giggly and goofy around her but pretty aloof with the rest of us. I kept thinking we should leave the two of them alone, but Calista was like, 'Don't leave, don't leave, don't leave," the "30 Rock" alum says, adding, "I'm making him sound like a rapist, but he was very hospitable. She was just really nervous."
But, as all good wingmen know, there sometimes comes a point in the night when it's time to make a quick exit before things take an uncomfortable turn.
"We had more drinks, he played more music, and then at some point he gave me a look that said, 'Okay, you've got to get the f--k out of here," Marsden laughs.
As for his own love life, Marsden — who has two children with his ex-wife and a toddler with Brazilian model Rose Costa, whom he had a brief relationship with — is still trying to figure it all out.
"When I moved to L.A. the women were so aggressive and liberated it almost scared me," notes the Oklahoma native. "But I was also like, Bring it on. I dated for a bit, but then shortly after I turned 20, I met a woman and got married. Now I'm single with three kids. People try to set me up, but it feels strange to go on a date. I guess at some point I'll just have to nut up."
He also cleared up another lingering rumor — that he is the father of January Jones's 2-year-old son, Xander, whose paternity has become a bit of a Hollywood mystery.
"There's so much stupid talk out there," he says. "I think that came from somebody thinking we were both in 'X-Men' so it must be true. Every time I see January, she's like, 'Hey, father of my baby.'"
So he may not be Jones's baby daddy, but if the single mom's ever looking to fill the role of wingman, Marsden's her guy.