Celebrities Who Were Actually Friends Before Finding Fame

So many celebrities are unexpectedly connected to one another. For example, Did you know that rapper Saweetie and actor Gabrielle Union are second cousins? Union spilled the news on Twitter after a fan questioned whether the rumor was true. "Her father and I are 1st cousins," the "Bring It On" actor wrote. "Her grandma is my aunt Joanne Glass who I based Eva from Deliver Us From Eva on."

It's also not very well known that Anna Kendrick and Adam Lambert have been friends since their teen years. Kendrick opened up about their relationship during an interview on "On Air with Ryan Seacrest" (via Hollywood Life) in 2010. "I've known Adam since I was 18, actually," the "Pitch Perfect" actor revealed. "We saw each other at party about a year ago and he told me, 'You can't tell anybody but I tried out for American Idol and I go through Hollywood Week and I was like, "Ok! You can't tell anybody but I just booked this movie with George Clooney!" Kendrick went on to share that she caught up with Lambert a year later at awards shows. They reflected on the hectic but successful year they had.

These celebs are only a few of the many who have secret years-long friendships. In fact, there are a number of stars who knew each other long before they made a name for themselves in Hollywood. Here are a few celebrities who were actually friends before finding fame.

Jessie J and Adele were classmates

You probably already know that Jessie J and Adele are both powerhouse vocalists from the UK, but you may not know that they also went to school together. "We were in the same year!," Jessie J said of Adele while speaking to People in 2020. "We used to sing at lunchtime together. Obviously at that time we didn't realize that we'd both [eventually] have music out. But she's amazing. She was always that really bright energy at school." It looks like this school produced some of the UK's biggest stars because the late Amy Winehouse and Leona Lewis were also students there. Lewis, Adele, and Jessie J all graduated together back in 2006.

It seems Jessie J and Adele don't hang out all that often these days — at least not in the public eye. Perhaps unsurprisingly, their busy schedules don't allow for much time to catch up. "She's wicked, and every time I get a chance, I try and text her," Jessie J said of Adele in the same interview. "But she's super busy Global superstar, mum – standard." The "Price Tag" singer also shared that she'd love to collaborate with Adele one day. "We wouldn't do a classic pop song, though, but something deeper," she announced. We'll be on the lookout for this collab.

Beanie Feldstein and Ben Platt went to prom together

"Booksmart" actor Beanie Feldstein knew quite a few fellow celebrities before they rose to fame. In fact, she's Jonah Hill's younger sister. Feldstein opened up about her relationship with Hill after the tragic passing of their older brother, former Maroon 5 manager Jordan Feldstein. "We are very close," she told The Cut in 2022. "And we lost our brother, so we have a very, very deep connection ... "

Along with her famous brother, Feldstein has also been close to "Dear Evan Hansen" star Ben Platt since childhood. Platt revealed he basically predicted one of the star's feature successes when he asked her to prom. "We were best friends in high school," he said during an appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon." "And we were prom dates and my favorite part about that now is that when I asked her to prom I sent her flowers and I wrote a little card that said ... 'Beanie loves Funny Girl,' which for those who don't know she's going to star in Funny Girl on Broadway this year, which is wild."

Feldstein also gave Platt a gift that foreshadowed one of his many accomplishments. "For my 16th birthday she gave me little cufflinks and she gave me a little note that I have saved that said, 'Wear these when you win your first Tony' and I did," Platt told Fallon "I wore them at Radio City."

Lisa Kudrow and Conan O'Brien met in improv class

Lisa Kudrow and Conan O'Brien weren't only friends before they found fame, they also have a romantic past not many know about. The funny duo met in an improv class. O'Brien actually convinced Kudrow to continue following her dreams. "He was so impressive that he saved me from quitting the whole notion of acting," the former "Friends" star told The Saturday Evening Post. She shared she contemplated not returning to improv because she felt embarrassed to participate.

O'Brien's dedication motivated her to keep going. "And then I saw this very childlike guy throwing a space ball, but it looked like he was throwing an actual ball," Kudrow continued. "It didn't look stupid, and he wasn't overdoing it. He was totally committed to it. I finally got it — that as long as you totally commit you're safe from embarrassment." She revealed that she also convinced O'Brien to pursue talk show hosting.

As for Kudrow and O'Brien's romantic history, they once dated but later discovered they weren't a match. "He was really smart, really funny, and he thought I was funny, but found we were better as friends," Kudrow told More (via New York Daily News).

B.J. Novak and John Krasinski were friends in high school

"The Office" co-stars B.J. Novak and John Krasinski go way back. In fact, they've known each other since they were kids. "John Krasinski and I have known each other our whole lives in the weirdest, most coincidental way," Novak said on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." "We played Little League together." He went on to explain that it's a bizarre feeling to star in a show with someone he went to school with.

By now, you're probably wondering what Novak and Krasinski were like in high school. Thankfully, Novak gave us some insight into their teen years during an appearance on "Watch What Happens Live" in 2022. Andy Cohen asked whether the duo was into theatre. "I was, he wasn't," Novak said of Krasinski. "He was a jock, a basketball captain, stuff like that. He found acting a little later." The actor also shared he couldn't have predicted that he and his friend would land roles on "The Office" together. "There wasn't even any show like that that had ever been made and I don't think we were thinking about TV," Novak said.

Cameron Diaz and Snoop Dogg go way back

Cameron Diaz and Snoop Dogg have more in common than you might think. The duo knew each other during their teen years, long before they became Hollywood veterans. Diaz revealed the details of their shared history during an appearance on "Lopez Tonight." "We went to high school together," the actor explained in 2011. "He was a year older than me ... I remember him, he was very tall and skinny. He wore lots of ponytails." She added, "I'm pretty sure I bought weed from him. I was green even in high school!"

Snoop Dogg confirmed his former classmate's story during an interview with Yahoo! Music in 2013. He recalled his time at Long Beach Polytechnic High School with Diaz and the rest of their peers. "She ran with my homegirls, all my little cheerleading homegirls," the rapper shared "She was in [their] little crew." He also revealed what Diaz was like as a teen. "She was fly and she was hip," Snoop Dogg continued. "I never got at her like that because she was younger than me." We wonder whether these stars still keep in touch.

Maya Rudolph and Gwyneth Paltrow can thank their fathers for their friendship

Like many of the stars on this list, Maya Rudolph and Gwyneth Paltrow also met in school. Their friendship was made possible after their parents relocated to Los Angeles. Rudolph and Paltrow's fathers actually both attended Tulane University. The actors are still friends these days.

Their long-standing relationship was even highlighted in a "Saturday Night Live" episode. Paltrow and Gwyneth participated in a number of hilarious skits that poked fun at their time in elementary school together. Paltrow gushed about her pal to the audience during her monologue. "I hosted once before, but this week has been really extra-special to me because one of my best friends is on the show now, and I'm so proud of her," the "Avengers" actor said, according to a transcript of the episode."We've known each other since we were seven years old, and she's super-funny and talented, and I'm so glad she's in the cast. Her name is Maya Rudolph."

The pair also reminisced on their childhood memories on the show. They recalled acting in a play together and even joked about their past fashion choices. "Look at us! Look at the way we're dressed!" Rudolph said while reacting to an old photo of her and Paltrow. "What were we thinking? I have purple acid-wash jeans on." Hopefully we'll see more of this dynamic duo in the future.

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are inseparable

Some might say that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have each other to thank for their impressive careers. The duo met as kids growing up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They went on to co-write the Oscar award-winning play, "Good Will Hunting," which propelled them to celebrity status. Affleck opened up about working on the screenplay with Damon during an interview for Boston Magazine. "Matt said, 'Look, will you help me write this? I'm not sure what it is or where to go.' So we started writing it sort of back and forth," the "Gone Girl" actor said. "We came up with this idea of the brilliant kid and his townie friends, where he was special and the government wanted to get their mitts on him."

The then-aspiring actors made themselves $1 million richer after they sold the screenplay. They've worked on a number of other projects over the years including "Dogma," "Project Greenlight," and more. Affleck and Damon's relationship is far more than just business though. Damon even supported his friend through his divorce from Jennifer Garner in 2015. The longtime pals' friendship hasn't changed much over the years. And Matt lives down the street from me like he used to," Affleck told Boston Magazine." His kids are living with him, the way we used to live with our folks. The only difference is that we have pools."

Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez grew apart

Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez met way back in 2001 when they both starred in "Barney & Friends." They went on to snag roles in Disney Chanel sitcoms that helped them become household names. You might recall that Lovato portrayed Sonny in "Sonny With a Chance," while Lovato took on the role of Alex in Wizards of Waverly Place. It seems that even Disney Channel embraced the teen stars' friendship because they were both cast in the network's made-for-TV movie, "Princess Protection Program," in 2009.

Lovato and Gomez were once inseparable, but they've parted ways in recent years. It's unclear what exactly caused the falling out. Lovato addressed the friendship breakup during an appearance on "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen" in 2014. When asked why she unfollowed Gomez, the star replied, "I think it's just one of those things where people change and people grow apart." After a period of following and unfollowing each other, Gomez shared a sign that she and Lovato are at least cordial once again. The star took to Instagram Stories to praise her former friend's Grammy performance in 2020. As for Lopez, she addressed the status of their relationship during an interview with Harper's Bazaar that same year. "When you grow up with somebody, you're always going to have love for them," she said. "But I'm not friends with her, so it felt . . . I will always have love for her, and I wish everybody nothing but the best."

Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire met as child actors

Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire have been friends since they were both kids trying to break into Hollywood. In fact, they became close after attending the same auditions. DiCaprio recalled the moment he decided to befriend Maguire during an interview with Esquire in 2014. The actor explained that he saw Maguire filming a TV show on the street while he was on his way home from school. "I was like, 'Tobey! Tobey! Hey! Hey!' And he was like, 'Oh, yeah — I know you," DiCaprio said, explaining that he shouted to get Maguire's attention from his mother's car. "'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."

Given the fact that DiCaprio and Maguire's friendship was indirectly the result of their desires to pursue acting, it only makes sense that the stars have starred in a film together. You might already know that the actors both took on roles in "The Great Gatsby" in 2014. The duo shared they decided to wait to appear on the big screen together until the right project came along. "It's always been about having enough meat on the bone for two actors to be in the same space," DiCaprio told the Associated Press (via Oregon Live). "Is there enough to do? I mean, you've got a great role, but is there enough for me to do?"

Jonah Hill and Adam Levine have known each other since middle school

If you've ever taken a look inside Adam Levine and Jonah Hill's longtime friendship, you know that the celebs were friends long before fame. As previously mentioned, Hill's late brother, Jordan Feldstein, managed Maroon 5 prior to his death. Levine was close not only with Hill but also with Feldstein, so the music manager's death took a toll on him. "It was a tragedy foisted upon us and far and away one of the saddest moments of our lives, and personally of mine," the star said of Feldstein's death in an interview with Variety.

As for Levine and Hill's friendship, the pair became close in middle school thanks to their fathers. "Our dads met in the principal's office in junior high," Hill revealed in an interview on The Howard Stern Show in 2014. "We carpooled, lived at each other's houses." The famous pals are so close that Hill officiated Levine's wedding when he married model Behati Prinsloo. The "21 Jump Street" actor revealed he took a comical approach to the gig. "The joke I wrote was like, 'Adam and I grew up together. It's so nice to see all the people we grew up skateboarding with ― like Gene, Stevie Nicks and Robert Downey Jr,'" he told Howard Stern. "I was kind of like giving him s**t because he had really famous people at his wedding."

Paris Hilton has been in Nicole Richie's life 'since day one'

Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie grew up in Los Angeles together and, of course, documented much of their friendship on "The Simple Life." They were raised alongside each other and even attended the same schools. The celebs clearly started out super close, so it's unfortunate that their friendship eventually faded.

You might recall that Richie reportedly hosted a viewing party for Hilton's sex tape after the reality TV star appeared on an episode of "Saturday Night Live" without her. Their bond was never the same. "We just grew apart ... [the feud] just turned into a much bigger thing than it is," Richie admitted during an interview on "Today" (via Suggest) It's just not part of my life."

While the once inseparable duo might not be as close as they once were, it seems that they are at least on good terms these days. "Paris is somebody that's been in my life since day one," Richie said during an appearance on "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen." "I haven't spoken to her in a while technically, but if you really want to get into it, my view of a friendship is somebody that you don't necessarily have to talk to every day, somebody that you can call when you need them and they're just going to be there."

Ashley Tisdale and Vanessa Hudgens were friends before Disney

Ashley Tisdale and Vanessa Hudgens starred in "High School Musical" together, but did you know they met a year prior to filming the movie? "We actually worked together a year before in a Sears commercial, and from that day on we were super close," Tisdale told Us Weekly in 2019. "So people don't really — I think some people know that, but they think it was that movie that brought us together and it really wasn't." While Tisdale and Hudgens' characters in "High School Musical" weren't exactly best friends, the stars are quite close in real life. "We just have a connection and she's so awesome and one of my best friends," Tisdale said in the same interview. "What I love about her is that she's so talented, and I think what we share is that we're really grounded people and I think that that's important, especially with what we do, is to stay grounded."

The former Disney stars proved their friendship stood the test of time when they took to YouTube in 2017 to cover Elle King's "Ex's & Oh's." They got fans excited again in 2021 when Tisdale documented the moment Hudgens met her daughter Jupiter Iris for the first time. She took to Instagram Stories (via People) to share a photo of the actor holding the adorable baby. "Literally Jupiter opened her arms like hold me the minute she met Ness," Tisdale penned in the post. "Warmed my heart."