21 Celebs Whove Been Friends Since Before They Were Famous

OK, but I had no idea that Adam Levine and Jonah Hill were childhood friends?!


Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire

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The famous friends have been going strong for over 30 years. They met at age 12 when they were trying to break into the industry and were going to the same auditions, and they bonded over having similar backgrounds, like being raised by single mothers in LA. Back in 2014, Leo told Esquire how he initiated their friendship on his way home from school after spotting Tobey filming a TV episode on the street: “I literally jumped out of the car,” he said. “I was like, ‘Tobey! Tobey! Hey! Hey!’ And he was like, ‘Oh, yeah — I know you. You’re…that guy.’ But I just made him my pal. When I want someone to be my friend, I just make them my friend.”


Cameron Diaz and Snoop Dogg

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Cameron and Snoop attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School at the same time and became friends during their teenage years. And during a 2011 interview on Lopez Tonight, Cameron admitted that she may have bought weed from him when they were in school: “We went to high school together; he was a year older than me. … I’m pretty sure I got weed from him. I had to have.”

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B.J. Novak and John Krasinski

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Before they were cast mates on The Office, B.J. and John were childhood friends. In a 2014 interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, B.J. shared how the two have known each other for their “whole lives,” as they played Little League together and attended the same high school.

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Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts

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The close friends met at North Sydney Girls’ High School in Australia, and they bonded while working on the 1991 film, Flirting, one of Naomi’s first movie roles: “We already knew each other, but that’s when our friendship forged,” Naomi told People. “We’ve gone through a lot together over a significant amount of time. That history binds you.”

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“We have a strong respect and love for one another,” she added.


Ben Affleck and Matt Damon

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The two were teenage friends in Boston and broke into Hollywood together in the ’90s after famously co-writing the screenplay for Good Will Hunting and starring in the movie; the big win made them the youngest people to win an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. In a 2021 interview with GQ, Matt shared how the authenticity of their friendship hasn’t changed, despite the fame: “Like, I don’t want to be his friend in public, you know what I mean?” he said. “It’s way too important a friendship for that, and it goes so beyond this career or anything. You know, it’s a significant part of my life and not for public consumption in that way.”

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Ryan Gosling and Justin Timberlake

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Ryan and Justin met in the ’90s when they were teens and were cast in The Mickey Mouse Club, which led to a close friendship. In a 2011 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Justin shared that they even temporarily lived in the same house while filming: “His mother had to keep her job in Canada the second year that we were on the television show, and my mom was his guardian for, like, six months, so we actually lived together when we were that age,” Justin said. “We were probably a little closer than the rest of the kids that were on the show just because we had to share a bathroom.”


Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera

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Like Ryan and Justin, these two also met when they appeared on The Mickey Mouse Club.

And here’s all four of them back during their Mickey Mouse Club era. AW.


Beanie Feldstein and Ben Platt

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The two have been best friends since way before they became famous actors on Broadway and in Hollywood. In a joint interview with Vanity Fair in 2017, Beanie and Ben revealed that they met at a mutual friend’s Bat Mitzvah in the mid-’00s. Then, they reconnected at Harvard-Westlake School in LA and developed a close friendship. The duo attended prom and the Tony Awards together — and during the interview, they also reflected on what it’s been like to see each other succeed: “…that’s what’s the most surreal, because each thing has happened one after the other. We can kind of take them in one at a time; it’s been really helpful. I feel better since we get to go through it together,” Ben told Vanity Fair.

PS: Beanie Feldstein is also Jonah Hill’s younger sister — and they’re pretty much BFFs as well.

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Gwyneth Paltrow and Maya Rudolph

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The actors became friends when they attended St. Augustine by the Sea School. When Gwyneth hosted SNL back in 2001, Maya joined her on stage during her monologue, and they revealed that they met when they were 7 years old — and their dads were even best friends in college.

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Madonna and Debi Mazar

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The longtime friends met in the ’80s in an elevator at Danceteria nightclub in New York City. In an interview with EW, Debi recalled what happened after that encounter: “We got on the dance floor and tore it up,” she said. “We exchanged phone numbers, and that was it. We became friends!”

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Lauryn Hill and Zach Braff

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Lauryn and Zach were childhood friends and attended Columbia High School together in Maplewood, New Jersey.

And apparently, as revealed by Zach in this tweet from 2018, Lauryn even attended his Bar Mitzvah.

Twitter: @zachbraff


Laura Linney and Brooke Shields

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Back in February 2020, Brooke shared a throwback Instagram post showing her and Laura as childhood friends. She captioned the photo: “went way back into the archives for this one #tbt with @itsmelauralinney.”


Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

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These best friends and former SNL cast mates have been going strong for nearly 30 years. As mentioned in a 2013 interview with Vulture, the two comedians first met in 1993 at an ImprovOlympic comedy class in Chicago. In her book Yes Please, Amy recalled when the theater’s co-founder, Charna Halpern, introduced them to each other: “[Charna] said there was another new improviser in another one of her classes whom she thought I would really like. Her name was Tina, and she was like me but with brown hair.”

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Adam Levine and Jonah Hill

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Adam and Jonah grew up together in LA, and their fathers went to school together. “Our dads met in the principal’s office in junior high,” Jonah shared during an interview with Howard Stern. “We were in carpool; we lived at each other’s houses.” He even officiated Adam’s wedding back in 2014.

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Jessie J and Adele

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The singers attended the well-known BRIT school in London together. “We were in the same year! We used to sing at lunchtime together. Obviously, at that time we didn’t realize that we’d both [eventually] have music out,” Jessie J told People. “But she’s amazing. She was always that really bright energy at school.”

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Kate Hudson and Liv Tyler

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The actors both grew up with super famous parents (Liv’s parents are Steven Tyler and Bebe Buell, and Kate’s mom is Goldie Hawn, who raised her with Kurt Russell), and they’ve known each other for decades. Liv and Kate became friends in high school while attending Crossroads School For Arts and Sciences in the ’90s. Early in their acting careers, they even starred together in Dr. T & the Women in 2000. Liv also revealed that the two enjoy getting ready for industry events together: “We have this little ritual where we meet at like 2 or 3 o’clock, and we drink champagne and do hair and makeup and take pictures.”


Lisa Kudrow and Conan O’Brien

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The two first met at an improv class, and Lisa revealed that they even dated for a short while. “He was really smart, really funny, and he thought I was funny,” she said, “But found we were better as friends.” She also mentioned that he encouraged her to keep pursuing comedy when she was questioning her career choice.

My friend @LisaKudrow stopped by to talk about how we met, Friends reunion rumors, The Comeback, and much more. https://t.co/9Po0LyTBd1

01:00 PM – 04 Mar 2019

Twitter: @ConanOBrien


Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance

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Before the now-married couple were famous, they attended Yale School of Drama in the ’80s, where they met. Angela told People that Vance had a girlfriend at the time, but they remained friends. “So maybe about 14 years later, our paths crossed here in Los Angeles. And I was single, he was single. And I had such an appreciation for him over those years — of his consistency, how he treated other people, of what a supporter he is, what a connector of people and ideas he is, how passionate he is,” she said. They eventually started dating, and now, they’ve been married for over 20 years.

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Judd Apatow and Adam Sandler

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Judd and Adam shared a $900-a-month apartment in the Valley before their careers took off. In a 2012 interview on 60 Minutes Overtime, the longtime friends spoke on what it was like navigating their early comedy careers together. “Back then, life was just doing stand-up or writing jokes. You would sleep until noon every day and kind of stumble out,” Judd said. “You would have to be at work at 8:30 at night. Work was sometimes 15 minutes.” Adam also talked being roommates before the fame: “It wasn’t broke. We were doing as comedians good enough to get by,” he said. “We could eat at Red Lobster once every month. That was a big night out.”

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Carey Mulligan and Marcus Mumford

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The couple, who married in 2012, actually knew each other when they were kids. After meeting and becoming friends at a church camp, they stayed in touch as pen pals but eventually lost contact. They later reconnected in 2011, and their romance began soon after.

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And finally: John Mulaney and Nick Kroll

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John and Nick are another pair of comedian-friends who met because of improv. The two attended Georgetown University and were part of The Georgetown Players Improv Group. In a 2017 interview with CBS News, John spoke about meeting Nick through the group and how his experience shaped his career: “While I was here, I was doing improv comedy in an improv group called the Georgetown Players Improv Group. The director was a guy named Nick Kroll. He was a senior, and he cast me in the group,” he said. “Had I not met Nick that day — and then met Mike Birbiglia, another incredible comedian who’s helped me out so much — it really would have been a different path. So while I always wanted to be a comedian, there were specific people and moments here that helped make that happen.”

#tbt 2005. Me and @nickkroll. Oct 5 watch season 2 of his creation @BigMouthNetflix of which I am the star.

04:18 PM – 04 Oct 2018

Twitter: @mulaney

Were you surprised by any of these famous BFFs? What are some other random celeb friendships you love? Let us know in the comments below!