I Want What They Have: Anthony Ramos and Jasmine Cephas Jones

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Love is a many-splendored thing, especially when you’re gawking at it from the outside. In this new column, we’ll be examining the celebrity couples that give us hope for our own romantic futures, and trying to learn what we can from their well-documented bonds.

It’s a little digital ritual of mine: periodically going to Anthony Ramos’s Instagram, and Jasmine Cephas Jones’s Instagram, and making sure they’re still together. In years of engaging in this not-at-all secret online behavior, I’ve yet to be disappointed. Rather, I am regularly delighted by the engaged couple’s public displays of adoration as well as their collective excellence.

Thanks to In the Heights, some fans are just boarding the Ramos train and going down the Google rabbithole on his and Cephas Jones’s relationship. Welcome to my happy place. I fell for each Ramos and Cephas Jones individually in 2015, when both were starring in the original Broadway cast of *Hamilton*. During peak Hamilton mania, I watched both play dual roles to perfection: Ramos embodied anti-slavery revolutionary John Laurens in Act-One before skipping around stage as Hamilton’s 9-year-old son, Philip, in Act Two—no easy feat for a grown man. Meanwhile, Cephas Jones brought multitudes to the petulant Peggy Schuyler before seducing the titular founding father as sultry Maria Reynolds.

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Both were instrumental, though perhaps under-appreciated supporting players, among the younger members of the now-super-famous cast (he was 24 and she was 26). Imagine my joy to find, some time later, that these wunderkinds were dating. As Lin-Manuel Miranda tells it, Ramos had been “sneaking glances” at Cephas Jones since the musical’s first off-Broadway table read.

Ramos and Cephas Jones went to the Tonys and the Grammys and the White House with the Hamilton cast—a proper show business dream journey—but they never seemed to lose sense of their roots. As Ramos later put it: “It’s like two kids from Brooklyn just in the White House, in love, chilling.” As they revealed their relationship online, the cuteness never abated. “Blessed to be able to see that smile almost everyday and watch all of the different phases of your hair. Love you beautiful,” Ramos said on their two-anniversary on Valentine’s Day 2017. “Please let me buy the toilet paper, toothpaste, and Yucca shea moisture products for the rest of our days.”

Ramos and Cephas Jones left Hamilton within weeks of each other at the end of 2016 and this is where things got interesting for me beyond adorable Instagram captions (which I generally find annoying but not in their case). On-set romances happen all the time—the drama, the passion, the immersion in a creative bubble! But a great many (most) don’t last, especially when its members are young and on the up-and-up. Hence: why I continued to check on Ramos and Cephas Jones’s relationship status, as he landed roles in the TV adaptation of Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It, A Star Is Born, Trolls 2 (my Ramos fandom runs deep), and In the Heights, while Cephas Jones went on to the HBO show Mrs. Fletcher, the TV short #Freerayshawn (for which she won an Emmy), and the big and small screen versions of Blindspotting.

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