On their second date, they had food delivered to Ms. Smith’s house in Los Angeles, where Mr. Black worked up the courage to ask her to sign a “general, all encompassing” nondisclosure agreement. She agreed, and Mr. Black also signed hers. After signing them, they felt they could be completely open with each other.
“It sounds transactional, but it was the safest thing we ever did,” Mr. Black said. “That was the beginning of where we are now. I’ll never forget that.”
When they returned to Atlanta to film in February 2021, they tried to keep their relationship a secret — there was a no fraternization policy on set. In spring 2021, they told Tyler Perry, who is a writer, director and executive producer on “Sistas,” and an executive producer on “All the Queen’s Men,” about their relationship, and by summer 2021 started to be more open about dating.
“I think the two of them were made for each other,” said Mr. Perry through his publicist.
For Mr. Black’s birthday in February 2021, Ms. Smith surprised him with an alto saxophone — the same type that his grandfather had bought for him when he was young, which he had pawned to move to Los Angeles to pursue acting.
“I met the love of my life, so I want to do everything with him,” Ms. Smith said. “Even if I’ve gone swimming a million times, I want to go swimming with him.”
On Christmas Day 2021, Mr. Black proposed in front of both of their families in Miami, where they were staying in a rented home. Ms. Smith was wearing a different ring on her engagement finger, and was so excited she flung it onto a nearby table.