Amanda Peet

Newlywed Games

UPDATED 02/27/2006 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 02/27/2006 at 01:00 AM EST

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes ... the stage? So it goes for Patrick Wilson, 32, and Amanda Peet, 34, who star as just-marrieds in a Broadway revival of Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park. Real-life newlywed Wilson (who wed actress Dagmara Dominczyk in June) and Peet (engaged to screenwriter David Benioff) discussed playing house with PEOPLE's Liza Hamm.

You hadn't met before you were cast. How did you become love-crazy newlyweds?

Wilson: It really was finding the chemistry through the play.

Peet: I don't have chemistry with Patrick. He has chemistry with me.

Wilson: We actually took a chemistry class. [He laughs.]

And what does one do in chemistry class?

Peet: Thumb wrestle.

Wilson: Make potions.

You play Corie and Paul Bratter, a high-strung free spirit and her uptight lawyer husband. Is Patrick as straightlaced as his character?

Peet: He told me he squeezes out all of his toothpaste so that it's not all in a mushy mess in the tube.

Amanda, you've never done Broadway. Have there been any mishaps?

Peet: I couldn't open a door one night.

Wilson: The worst things have been minimal, compared to—

Peet: It's going to get worse?!?!

As a newlywed, Patrick, how does the play get marriage right?

Wilson: The greatest thing to learn about these [characters]—good and bad—is you're jumping in on instinct alone. That's the way I look at my marriage.

Amanda, has this role changed how you'll approach marriage?

Peet: Maybe I'll be less of a drama queen. Now when I try to pick a fight with my fiancé, he's like, "Corie Bratter!' It's awful.

What's the best thing about being onstage?

Peet: Every night, Patrick does some new blowing-his-nose sound or new weird phlegm sound. Soon I'll be so relaxed I might start laughing. But, now, I'm living in fear.

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