We know that celebrities tend to stick together, so we’re not really that surprised to find out that people like Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill are kicking it together off set these days, or even to see 50 Cent and Meryl Streep getting chummy courtside at the Lakers. But there was a time when some of these beautiful, successful stars constantly popping up on our screens were just a couple of average scrubs like us, hanging out at bar mitzvahs, and playing board games to impress girls (wait, what?). And when we learn that some oddly matched celebs serendipitously crossed paths in these previous lives, things get intriguing.
From college roommates to surprising old high school drug connections, here are 8 surprising celebrity friendships that blossomed before they hit the big time.
8. Ving Rhames and Stanley Tucci were college roommates
Who would’ve guessed that Stanley Tucci was responsible for one of the coolest, most gangster monikers in Hollywood? He gave the man who would one day play Marsellus Wallace his unforgettable name!
While at Purchase College in New York, Ving Rhames and Tucci were unlikely roommates who actually hit it off and made some life-changing career decisions. That’s right, Tucci is the one who recommended “Irving” shorten his name if he wanted to make it in Hollywood. Obviously, it was good advice. We can’t imagine anyone other than Ving threatening to get “medieval” on Bruce Willis’s ass.
7. Kristen Bell and Matthew Morrison dated at NYU
They both hit it big on shows about high school, but it turns out these two multi-talented celebrities had a thing for each other back when they were actually in class together at NYU.
At the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, both Bell and Morrison honed their skills in acting, singing and dancing. After rising to fame as the audacious teenage detective, Veronica Mars, Kristen has gone on to impress audiences around the globe with her voice performance in the smash Disney hit Frozen. Meanwhile, Matt’s ridden the wave of success himself, spearheading the cult-hit Glee as the dependable Mr. Schuester.
And while at one point he might have been “Matty” to her, Kristen has clearly long moved on from her college fling, recently starting a family with her long-time partner in crime, Dax Shepard. “Matty’s” not doing so bad himself – he recently tied the knot with his long-time love, Renee Puente.
6. Jon Hamm and Paul Rudd played Trivial Pursuit to compete for a girl
Some girls have all the luck. Picture this – you get asked to go to the senior prom with none other than Don Draper himself, Jon Hamm. Then, on top of being sexy, athletic and just overall dreamy, Hamm proves he’s got the smarts to back it all up and the drive to win your heart in a game of Trivial Pursuit. Against none other than, no big deal, ok, Paul Rudd.
That’s right. A former prom date along with your brother’s hot college roommate from the University of Kansas (who just happen to both be future Hollywood heavyweights) roll up their sleeves and compete for your heart. Trivial Pursuit has never sounded sexier.
According to an interview with Vanity Fair, Rudd admits Hamm was a strong opponent. Apparently Hamm’s extensive knowledge on world history and geography was enough to prompt a new college hobby for Rudd – reading atlases.
There’s no official record on who won that incredible, historically significant game of Trivial Pursuit, but at the very least the girl these two Hollywood heartthrobs were playing for didn’t have it so bad. Who was she, you might ask? None other than a high school Sarah Clarke. You know her better as Nina from the hit series 24.
5. B.J. Novak and John Krasinski played Little League before becoming costars
Growing up in Boston together, B.J. Novak and John Krasinski were friends long before sharing the screen as adults in the smash hit The Office. Although they actually go as far back as Little League, the pair really got close as seniors at Newton South High School, where Novak wrote and directed the senior show, and Krasinski played the lead role.
Years later, after landing a writing gig and acting role himself on the network show and running into his old friend on the set, Novak joked: “Technically, he has me to thank for all of this, right?”
4. Robin Williams and Christopher Reeve were lifelong friends
After meeting and rooming together at Juilliard, Williams and Reeve vowed that if one of them “made it” in the business, he would help the other make it, too. Needless to say, they both secured their places in history, and few actually knew they were such close friends.
After Reeve’s tragic horse riding accident, Robin Williams was the first to make him laugh again (of course, if Williams couldn’t make you laugh who could?). He entered the paralyzed actor’s hospital room dressed in full scrubs and, using a ridiculous Russian accent, proclaimed he was a proctologist who needed to perform a rectal exam. After that, Reeve told interviewers he “knew somehow that everything was going to be okay.”
3. Tony Danza and Tupac were pen pals
Who would’ve thought the star of such favorites as Taxi and Who’s The Boss would become fast friends with one of gangster rap’s most revered players – Tupac?
But they did. In 1995, while Tupac was serving time in prison for sexual assault charges, Danza reached out to him. He told the rapper, “I know you can’t be a goodie two-shoes in your business, but maybe there’s a better way.” Pac wrote back, “Thanks for understanding me” and many, many more letters followed during that 11-month sentence.
Their friendship carried weight with Tupac even after he was released, too. In an interview on the set of “California Love,” he announced, “No one can say nothing bad about Tony Danza… I’ll come out swingin’.”
2. Lauryn Hill went to Zach Braff’s Bar Mitzvah
They weren’t best friends by any stretch of the imagination, but Lauryn and Zach did get close at his bar mitzvah when they were around 12 years old. They happened to be paired together in a game where once the DJ called their cues, one partner had to sit on the other’s lap.
1.Cameron Diaz bought weed from Snoop Lion in high school
The A-List actress has always had the “It” factor, beginning a career in modeling at the young age of 16 and easily earning a coveted spot on the Long Beach Polytechnic High School cheerleading squad. She had the looks, the smarts, the charisma and the talent that put her at the top of her class in high school. Oh yeah, and she had a pretty sweet weed connection, too: Snoop Lion.
According to Snoop, “she was fly and she was hip… She ran with my homegirls, all my little cheerleading homegirls.” After Diaz revealed in an interview that she used to buy weed from him in high school, Snoop confirmed. “Yeah, I might have sold her some of that white-girl weed,” he confessed.