The power couple accurately guess each other’s fears and share what makes them anxious in our latest twist on the High Anxiety column.

Jonathan Parks-Ramage and Ryan O'Connell are this summer's Hollywood power couple — O'Connell's groundbreaking Netflix series Special recently released its final season (he's now working on a novel to hit shelves spring 2022), while Park-Rampage's debut book Yes, Daddy is on its way to become an Amazon Studios adaptation.

Yes Daddy
Ryan O'Connell and Jonathan Parks-Ramage
| Credit: DAVID FRANCO; Luke Fontana

O'Connell knows how lucky he is to have his vision fully realized, but that was a significant source of anxiety going into the project. It took four years to sell the show, and the creator admits to being concerned that his vision would get lost during the process. "Luckily, everyone involved was just so smart and understanding of what I wanted to do," he tells EW. "I was holding my breath during that time, waiting for someone to come in and be like 'no anal sex.' It's so rare in Hollywood when you get something made and even rarer when it gets made exactly the way you want."

As for Yes, Daddy's future, Park-Ramage is excited about what's to come. "I feel very lucky to have people who really understand the vision," he says about collaborators Patrick Moran and Stephen Dunn. There are also discussions about expanding the story further and going beyond the limited series, so he's excited to see how the narratives will grow for television.

EW spoke to the couple about their biggest fears and sources of anxiety. They even try their hand at guessing one another's!


O'CONNELL: So number one for Jonathan would be plans, like knowing specifics because he needs to know everything.

PARKS-RAMAGE: I do. I need to know all the details. Ryan is going to read me to filth. I need to know every single detail in advance about all plans, and it actually gives Ryan anxiety when I ask him for details about our plans.

O'CONNELL: Because I'm triggered, he asked so many times. It's like a tick.

PARKS-RAMAGE: It's actually just me needing to know the facts of what's about to happen. It's very important to know every single last detail of a plan before you go through it.

O'CONNELL: Can you just hear the anxiety through the phone?

Yes, Daddy by Jonathan Parks-Ramage
The cover of 'Yes, Daddy' by Jonathan Parks-Ramage
| Credit: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Maintaining an exercise schedule

PARKS-RAMAGE: I would say your anxiety about working out and staying on your schedule.

O'CONNELL: Yeah, that's true. I'm very obsessed about working out because I'm so f---ing fit.

PARKS-RAMAGE: You have a very sweet and lovely trainer who keeps you going, but you get very anxious if you can't get into that gym on the right schedule.


O'CONNELL: Jonathan is always anxious about his career.

PARKS-RAMAGE: That is equally true for Ryan.

O'CONNELL: You know that Cher tweet, "What's going on with my career?" but "mycareer" is together as one word. That's him every day.

PARKS-RAMAGE: Me and Cher have that anxiety in common. I would argue that Ryan O'Connell definitely has "Cher career anxiety" as well.

O'CONNELL: I do, but I feel like you have it a pinch more.

PARKS-RAMAGE: That's true.


Movie theaters

O'CONNELL: I had a really bad anxiety attack when I was 26 that like lasted for literally four months, and then I had another one when I was 31 that lasted even longer. I snapped back pretty well, but one thing that does make me really anxious is going to the movies. I just don't like it. I feel claustrophobic, and it sucks because I used to go into the movies and was obsessed with it. Now I really can't, and the way that I got through it before was like having like two or three cocktails before the movie, but now I'm sober. The thought of actually going back to the movies in a real way, especially for COVID, is like a non-starter for me which devastates Jonathan because he always loved going to the movies.

PARKS-RAMAGE: I can't wait to go back to the movies. I miss them.

Keeping plants alive

PARKS-RAMAGE: We've been like doing a lot of plant shopping, and I'm very anxious about keeping our poor plants alive. Every time they even mildly droop, it sends a shiver down my spine, and I'm deeply anxious about keeping them alive and sustaining their well-being in our home.

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