16 Celebs Who Knew Each Other Before They Were Famous

They go way back.

tina fey amy poehler ben affleck matt damon Everett Collection | Shutterstock

With so many celebrities in the entertainment industry, fans often wonder if their favorite celebrities are friends — or at least know each other behind the camera. 

Just as celebs have feuds with some celebrities, they also have good relationships with some. It is highly likely that some celebs have at least crossed paths with the amount of socializing they have to do.

While some celebs get acquainted after coming into the business, some have known each other for a quite a while. Some celebrities were friends when their careers were just beginning, many of them meeting before they were famous at all.


Here’s a list of the now-A-list celebrities who knew each other before they were famous:

1. Leonardo DiCaprio & Tobey Maguire

Leonardo DiCaprio Tobey Maguire celebs who knew each other before they were famousPhoto: Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock

DiCaprio and Maguire met each other at an audition when they were 12-years-old. DiCaprio spoke to Esquire about how the two started their friendship.


DiCaprio was going home from school with his mom when he spotted Maguire on the street shooting for some TV show. DiCaprio recognized him from the audition and approached him.

DiCaprio said, “But I just made him my pal. When I want someone to be my friend, I just make them my friend."

The two had been up for the same roles in the past when they were just starting their careers. According to Popsugar, DiCaprio had beaten Maguire for a role in Critters 3 and This Boy’s Life, however, they still maintained their friendship throughout the years.

Maguire also spoke to People about their friendship and how they bonded over having similar hobbies. 


“Leo and I have a lot of trust and respect for each other. We have a close friendship and I definitely have an affection for Leo,” Maguire said.

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2. Tina Fey & Amy Poehler

Tina Fey Amy Poehler celebs who knew each other before they were famousPhoto: Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock

Poehler and Fey first met at improv training classes at Chicago’s ImprovOlympic. According to Vulture, the theater’s co-founder Charna Halpern introduced them to each other. Poehler even wrote about Fey in her memoir, ‘Yes, Please’.


Poehler wrote, “Charna took a liking to me, and me to her…She 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.”

The duo has even worked together on numerous projects, one of them being Saturday Night Live (SNL). According to Parade, Fey kept insisting Poehler join SNL after she had become a part of the cast. Fey also wrote about it in her memoir, 'Bossypants'.

She wrote, “I remember thinking, ‘My friend is here! My friend is here!’ Even though things had been going great for me at the show, with Amy there, I felt less alone.”

In 2004, Poehler became Fey’s co-host on the “Weekend Update” segment on the show and they were the show’s first all-female-duo to host a segment. 


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3. Paris Hilton & Kim Kardashian

Paris Hilton Kim Kardashian celebs who knew each other before they were famousPhoto: Featureflash Photo Agency/Ron Adar/Shutterstock

Kardashian and Hilton have known each other since they were little. According to Nicki Swift, Kardashian was initially Hilton’s Closet organizer and soon became her best friend after Hilton had a fallout with her then best friend, Nicole Richie.


The two would hang out and go to parties everywhere. However, their friendship came to an end in 2008 when Hilton commented on Kardashian’s body in an interview with TMZ. She compared Kardashian’s butt to cottage cheese in a trash bag. 

They drifted apart after that as Kardashian also told Harper’s Bazaar that they weren’t friends anymore.

She said, "We don't really talk. As I always say, everyone comes into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. And she was in my life for a long time." 

However, Hilton later confessed that she had been wrong and even apologized to Kardashian about it.

A while after that, their feud came to an end when Kardashian posted pictures of the two together on Instagram according to Daily Mail. The two were seen having fun at fashion designer Riccardo Tisci's 40th birthday party in 2014.


Kardashian even starred in the music video of Hilton’s single “Best Friend’s A**”. Kardashian talked about her appearance in Hilton’s video in one of the episodes of Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

She said, "I really would wanna do anything for her. She literally gave me a career and I totally acknowledge that.”


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4. Selena Gomez & Demi Lovato

Selena GomezDemi Lovato celebs who knew each other before they were famousPhoto: DFree/Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock

Gomez and Lovato were quite well known for their friendship during their time at Disney. However, they have known each other for much longer.

According to Teen Vogue, they met at the audition of Barney & Friends when they were just kids. They became best friends the minute they met as they bonded well.


The show’s director, Fred Holmes said, "Certain kids got along with other kids and they were just two of those that really clicked. They were pretty inseparable and ate lunch together and all those types of things."

However, their friendship didn’t seem to bear the test of time as they had a fallout in 2010. According to The Things, tension heated up when Gomez became good friends with Taylor Swift.

The two became friends when Gomez was dating Nick Jonas and Swift was dating Joe Jonas in 2008. This didn’t sit well with Lovato as she was dating Joe at the time and the BFF duo eventually stopped talking. 

The two have come a long way since then and while they may not be best friends, they have nothing but love and support for each other.


Lovato was asked by Harper’s Bazaar how she felt when Gomez shared a supportive message on Instagram for her Grammy performance in 2020.

“When you grow up with somebody, you’re always going to have love for them. But I’m not friends with her, so it felt …” Lovato said.

“I will always have love for her, and I wish everybody nothing but the best.”

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5. Maya Rudolph & Gwyneth Paltrow

Maya Rudolph Gwyneth Paltrow celebs who knew each other before they were famousPhoto: Ovidiu Hrubaru/Lev Radin/Shutterstock


Paltrow and Rudolph have been friends since they were kids. When Paltrow hosted Saturday Night Live (SNL) in 2001, she talked about Rudolph. 

According to SNL transcripts, the two had been friends because their fathers were friends in college. Paltrow started her monologue by acknowledging her best friend and calling her out to the stage.

She said, “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!” 

Paltrow even showed the audience a photo of the pair in the 5th grade and they reminisced on fond memories of their childhood. 

It seems they’re still good friends as Paltrow posted pictures on Instagram of some of her besties on International Women's Day in 2015 which included Rudolph. 


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6. Snoop Dogg & Cameron Diaz

Snoop Dogg Cameron Diaz celebs who knew each other before they were famousPhoto: BAKOUNINE/Tinseltown/Shutterstock


This unlikely pair have talked about knowing each other in high school. According to The Things, Diaz and Snoop went to Long Beach Polytechnic High School in Los Angeles.

While they may not have been friends, they have crossed paths in high school. Diaz spoke on Lopez Tonight that she may have bought weed from Snoop. 

"He was a year older than me... I remember him, he was very tall and skinny. He wore lots of ponytails,” Diaz said. "I'm pretty sure I bought weed from him.”

According to Yahoo, even Snoop has talked about knowing Diaz in high school. He said, "She was fly and she was hip."

When asked if they ever dated in high school on Lopez Tonight, he said, "I never got at her like that because she was younger than me."


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7. Justin Timberlake & Ryan Gosling

Justin Timberlake Ryan Gosling celebs who knew each other before they were famousPhoto: Featureflash Photo Agency/S_Bukley/Shutterstock

The 'Can't Stop The Feeling' singer and the La La Land actor also had been friends when they were kids. The two met when they were filming The Mickey Mouse Club back in the 90s.


Timberlake talked to Ellen about their friendship and the fun experiences they had as kids. He stated that they had been quite close when they were kids as Gosling lived with Timberlake for a while when his mom was working in Canada. 

“His mother had to keep her job in Canada the second year that we were on the television show, so my mom was his guardian for like six months," Timberlake 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.”

However, according to Cosmopolitan, Timberlake mentioned in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that the two weren’t friends anymore. He said, "We aren't the closest of friends, for whatever reason."


Gosling also spoke about the two not being close anymore in an interview with America Reads Spanish.

He said, “I see him around but it’s like anything [where] you’re friends with somebody in elementary school or something, how many friends do you still have from elementary school?”

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8. Ben Affleck & Matt Damon

Ben Affleck Matt Damon celebs who knew each other before they were famousPhoto: Jaguar PS/Shutterstock


Affleck and Damon grew up together and became friends when Damon was 10-years-old and Affleck was 8-years-old according to US Weekly.

The two had even been roommates when they were co-writing their Oscar-winning movie, Good Will Hunting, according to Forbes

“But we rented this house on the beach in Venice and 800 people came and stayed with us and got drunk,” Affleck said.

“Then we ran out of money and had to get an apartment. It was like everything was exciting.”

According to Entertainment Tonight, Damon has also spoken about their bond and friendship over the years.

He said, “I’ve known him for 35 years, and we grew up together. We were both in love with the same thing – acting and filmmaking. I think we fed on each other’s obsession during really formative, important years and that bonded us for life.” 


He further talked about his admiration for Affleck’s work as a director and that he would happily be a part of any of his movies.

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Sanika Nalgirkar, M.F.A. is a writer who covers entertainment & news, lifestyle, and pop culture topics.