The world of Hollywood entertainment can be a competitive place, so it's often hard to believe that actors can become close friends. However, as it turns out, it can happen. In fact, it happened to long-time co-stars Kevin James and Leah Remini.
As you probably already know, these two first worked together on the hit sitcom, The King of Queens. When the show came to an end, it seemed like Kevin and Leah wouldn’t share scenes anymore. Then, Kevin Can Wait came along, and we got to see their incredible chemistry once more.
Kevin Can Wait got us thinking about the "real life" relationship between these two talented and hilarious actors. Check out what we found! You will love learning about Kevin and Leah's relationship!
15. They First Met At An Audition And Kevin Made Leah Laugh
On Oprah: Where Are They Now?, Leah said: “My agent calls and says, ‘You have an audition,’ and so, I meet Kevin James. He made me laugh in the first two seconds of meeting him. It was just instant chemistry. Really, Kevin was the reason I did [the show].” She added, “Kevin was very disarming when I walked in the room.”
14. Upon Meeting Each Other, Kevin Also Got A Little Inappropriate With Leah
While speaking with Buzz Feed, Remini recalled, “I think he called me a nasty name and grabbed my t*t in the first 30 seconds.” Then, she added, “From that point on, I was hooked. There was just something in his eyes that was indescribable; I fell in love with him.” The two went on to star on The King of Queens for nine seasons.
13. The Two Had Several ‘Knock-Down, Drag-Out Fights’ Because They Feared That Their First Show Would Be Canceled
Remini also revealed that they ended up in a number of “knock-down, drag-out fights” because they were always worried that The King of Queens would get canceled.
Remini recalled: “Each time we came out for introductions [to the live studio audience], we'd look up and say, 'One day we won't be looking at those rafters.' We never didn't value what we had with that show, and it came from the fear that this would all suddenly go away. We were never comfortable enough to think what we were doing was good.”
12. Leah Didn’t Want To Hold Kevin Back When He Wanted To Do More Films
Eventually, The King of Queens was canceled, after James announced that he was ready to leave the show. Of the situation, Remini told Buzz Feed: “Kevin loved the show, but his film career was taking off and he didn't want it to end up being the show that trickled off. I mean, everyone else was OK going out with a 0.3 rating. I understood his position, and looking back, he was right, but I'm still mourning that loss. I can't really watch the reruns because I still feel that show in my bones.”
11. Leah Refused To Recruit Kevin Into Scientology Because She Respected His Religion
In her docu-series, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, Remini recalled, “They always tried to get me to, [asking] 'Why is he not in? Why have you not promoted it to him?' I was like, 'Because he's Catholic. He doesn't want anything to do with it.' They let it go after a while, but usually you'd be expected to recruit, especially with somebody you work with for nine years.”
10. Kevin Supported Leah’s Decision To Leave Scientology
While speaking with People, Remini revealed that James was one of the “real friends” that she leaned on after leaving Scientology. She recalled, “He reached out to me and said, ‘I’m so proud of you; if you need anything, I’m here.’” Indeed, James is one of the few celebrities in Remini’s inner circle.
9. Kevin Readily Caters To Leah’s Food Cravings
In an Instagram post back in December 2017, Remini revealed, “I just happened to mention my love for KFC and [Kevin James] has this show up to my dressing room. It’s going to be a good day.” The photo showed two buckets of KFC fried chicken and several containers of sides and gravy.
8. Some Believe That Leah Improves Kevin’s Ability To Be Funny
One of the stars of Kevin Can Wait, Kevin Roach, told Us Weekly: “Season 1, there was very good chemistry between Kevin and Erin and I always heard, ‘Oh Kevin and Leah … the chemistry!’ I was like ‘Ok, alright.’ Then when you see it, you’re like ‘Oh, okay!’ She makes him funnier. I don’t know what it is. He’s very funny as it is, but when you add her to the mix [and] they start playing off each other, it’s really incredible.”
7. Kevin Sees Leah As Family
While speaking on CBS News, the actor remarked, “We're friends and we're family. Literally, we feel like we've known each other forever and I've always felt that way from our first meeting together. I've always felt like we get each other that way and it's always worked out really well.” This may explain the undeniable chemistry.
6. It Was Kevin Who Decided To Bring Leah To “Kevin Can Wait”
During an interview with Metro, another cast member named Gary Valentine revealed: “It was Kevin’s idea. He always had it in the back of his mind. They all agreed, because you could see after the season finale last year what the ratings were, and social media blew up. It was something special.”
5. After Leah Guested On “Kevin Can Wait,” She Was Willing To Do More Episodes For Kevin
While speaking with People, Remini recalled, “I got a call: ‘Do you want to do some more episodes?’ I said, ‘Yeah, of course, anything.’ They said, ‘Okay, so you’re going to be doing all the episodes.’ I was like, ‘What?! For Kevin, anything’.”
Meanwhile, James also talked to Entertainment Weekly about the time that Remini came on the show as a guest. He said, “It was great to have her and we knew that connection. I’ve always wanted to work with Leah again, but it was never to do The King of Queens again.”
4. Kevin Reveals That He And Leah Finish Each Other’s Sentences
While speaking about working with Remini again on Kevin Can Wait, James remarked, “It’s just so great to have someone who literally can finish your sentences.” He also later said, “We’re friends off camera so it’s like — we just laugh at a lot of the same jokes.” Indeed, the close relationship may be due to similarities between the two long-time actors.
3. Leah Adores Kevin’s Wife, Steffiana de la Cruz
Back in January 2018, Remini shared a photo of herself and de la Cruz on Instagram. She captioned the photo with, “@officialkevinjames beautiful wife, Steffiana de la Cruz is as beautiful inside as she is out. Great show Kevin!” Presumably, the two women were hanging out and watching James perform together.
2. Kevin Attended Leah’s Wedding To Husband, Angelo Pagan
The wedding took place at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas in July 2003. While talking about the wedding, James told People, “It was outdoors at night and still 110°.” He added, “The best part was toweling off.” Aside from James, The King of Queens producer, Rob Schiller, also attended Remini’s wedding.
1. Kevin Is One Leading Man That Leah Would Love To Work With Over And Over Again
Remini told NY Daily News, “It could've been next year, 10 years from now. It could've been 10 years earlier. I would've taken any opportunity to work with Kevin again. I've worked with other leading men after Kevin, but there's something very special that you just can't kind of explain when something works with somebody.”