Billy Crystal on His “When Harry Met Sally ”Costar Meg Ryan: 'We're Still a Couple to Everybody' (Exclusive)

"I’m so happy she got to direct again. We’re very lucky," Billy Crystal tells PEOPLE of Meg Ryan's recent movie 'What Happens Later'

<p>Paul Morigi/Getty; Taylor Hill/WireImage</p> Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan

Paul Morigi/Getty; Taylor Hill/WireImage

Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan

Almost 35 years after When Harry Met Sally, Billy Crystal is still grateful for his costar Meg Ryan.

Crystal, 75, appeared in Washington, D.C. on Sunday for the 46th Kennedy Center Honors among Queen LatifahBarry GibbDionne Warwick and Renée Fleming, who were each recognized for their lifetime artistic achievements. The actor and comedian spoke to When Harry Met Sally's long-lasting impact while speaking with PEOPLE on the red carpet prior to Sunday night's event.

“We were thrown together by [director Rob Reiner and screenwriter Nora Ephron], chosen to be this couple and you never know — almost 35 years later, we’re still a couple to everybody," Crystal says.

"As you get further along and new generations see this movie and feel it and watch it over and over again on Valentine’s Day, on New Year’s Eve, whatever it is," Crystal says. "You know, people fall in love every day, and people fall out of love every day. This movie is an evergreen that way. It’s a beautiful thing."

Ryan, 62, recently returned to the romantic comedy genre with her new movie What Happens Later. She produced, directed, cowrote and starred in the movie after having not appeared on the big screen since her directorial debut with 2015's Ithaca.

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<p>Everett</p> Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal in 'When Harry Met Sally'


Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal in 'When Harry Met Sally'

"I’m so happy she got to direct again," Crystal tells PEOPLE of Ryan's most recent film. "We’re very lucky.”

Ryan appeared during Sunday's ceremony to honor her rom-com classic costar, where she joked about When Harry Met Sally's iconic "I'll have what she's having" line and orgasm scene at New York City's Katz's Deli. "The scene came really naturally to me, and I really have Billy to thank for that," she said during her appearance.

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"As his wife Janice has known for over 50 years, falling in love with Billy is a pretty easy thing to do," Ryan also shared as she honored Crystal.

Related: Meg Ryan, 62, Says ‘Aging Is Not That Terrifying,’ She ‘Loves’ Being an ‘Old Person’

Castle Rock/Nelson/Columbia Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in 'When Harry Met Sally'
Castle Rock/Nelson/Columbia Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in 'When Harry Met Sally'

When Harry Met Sally was among 25 films selected to the National Film Registry in 2022. "The movie is beautiful and simple and appropriate and every shot is just right," Crystal shared with the Library of Congress at the time.

The 46th Kennedy Center Honors will be broadcasted on Wednesday, Dec. 27, on CBS and stream on Paramount+.

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