It can be hard to imagine, but for many celebrities, there was a time before fame; A time when they were just average Joes — or more accurately — really really attractive and talented non-famous people. Before they were internationally known, before they were making millions starring in movies or breaking records with their albums. And in this before time, many of them went to a regular high school, just like you and I.
But, probably unlike you and I, some of them shared their high school hallways with other soon-to-be celebrities. And some of them were BFFs with their fellow soon-to-be-stars as they all sat through AP Bio and mandatory Gym classes. We’ve rounded up 17 celebrity pairs who you didn’t know went to school together. Some of them will definitely surprise you!
17. Cameron Diaz and Snoop Dogg
The “Drop It Like It’s Hot” rapper and the There’s Something About Mary actress are both California natives who were classmates at Long Beach Polytechnic High School in the ‘80s. Snoop Dogg, who was a couple of years older than Cameron, remembers her as having that “it” factor, saying that she was definitely popular and ran in the same crowd as his cheerleader friends.
Cameron remembers Snoop as being much the same as he is now — a total pot-head who she bought weed from “a couple of times.” We don’t see these two hanging out much these days, but it’s fun to imagine them running the halls together back in the day.
16. Eddie Redmayne and Prince William
If for some horrible reason we had to go back and repeat high school, we’d want to do it at Eton. The prestigious, boys-only boarding school is in southern England and was home to Eddie Redmayne and Prince William in the late ‘90s. The school is beyond gorgeous (seriously, go look it up), and we’re dying over the classic vibes it gives off. Plus, having these two as classmates? We would have been far too distracted to get anything done. To top it all off, Tom Hiddleston’s time at Eton overlapped with Eddie and William’s, meaning that all of Britain’s finest attended the posh prep school.
15. Freddie Prinze Jr. and Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris not only played a child prodigy on TV as Doogie Howser on Doogie Howser M.D., but he was also pretty smart in real life. In 1991, he graduated from La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico with high honors. In a weird twist of ‘90s fate, he was also classmates with Scooby Doo actor Freddie Prinze Jr., who grew up in Albuquerque and graduated from La Cueva three years later in 1994. We’re a little confused about how Neil Patrick Harris was still able to attend regular school with his crazy shooting schedule and all, but wonder if these two shared biology notes and swapped auditioning tips?
14. Jada Pinkett Smith and Tupac Shakur
Long before they were both über famous, these two creatives attended the Baltimore School for the Arts together in Maryland. In fact, the “Dear Mama” singer and the Girl’s Trip actress were more than just classmates, they were best friends. Jada Pinkett Smith recalls meeting Tupac on the first day of school, and not being super impressed with him, saying, “definitely from looking at him, he wasn’t necessarily the type of cat that I would even like, deal with.” But it didn’t take too long before they grew close and Tupac became “one of [my] best friends, like a brother.”
13. Lady Gaga and Nicky Hilton
This set of former classmates definitely came as a surprise to us! Socialite and heiress Nicky Hilton and singer Lady Gaga attended school together at the elite, all-girls school Covenant of the Sacred Heart. The Roman-Catholic school is situated in New York City’s Upper East Side neighborhood and is famed for its iconic red uniforms. While Nicky and Gaga knew of each other during their school days, and both claim to remember the other, they didn’t run in the same circles or spend that much time together out of the classroom. Even today, Gaga is better friends with Nicky’s older sister Paris Hilton.
12. Adele and Jessie J
Some schools are just known for turning out high levels of creative talent. The BRIT School in London is one of them. Over the years, they’ve had dozens of successful alumni including Amy Winehouse, all the members of The Kooks and Leona Lewis. Two other notable alumni, who were actually classmates? Jessie J and Adele! Adele has described the school as being a little bit like Fame, with the dancers spread out in one corner stretching and the singers in another corner having “sing-offs.” On a radio show, Jessie J recalled spending her lunch breaks with Adele, and how the two of them used to make up their own duets. Please tell us there are recordings of those somewhere!
11. Scarlett Johansson and Jack Antonoff
This pair wasn’t just high school classmates — they were actually high school sweethearts! Actress Scarlett Johansson and music producer Jack Antonoff dated for two years while attending the Professional Children’s School in NYC. The blog Old Loves broke the news of the pair’s former relationship, which took even Antonoff’s then-girlfriend Lena Dunham by surprise. But what’s really no surprise at all is that ScarJo and Antonoff’s senior prom pictures are to die for. They look like they could have been pulled straight off of an early ‘00s appreciation Tumblr. They broke up after graduation when Johansson moved to L.A., but there seem to be no hard feelings about the time they spent together as teens.
10. Jay-Z and Busta Rhymes
Long before Beyoncé and Blue Ivy, Jay-Z had a close pal in high school classmate Busta Rhymes. The two rappers attended George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School in their native Brooklyn. And they had a rap battle in the lunchroom. Jay-Z confirmed the story on Jimmy Kimmel and in a later interview, Busta credited the battle with making him the rapper he is today, saying “He had finessed the speed-rapping phenomenally at that time, and I was new with the speed-rapping, but losing that battle to Jay in speed-rapping is what made me one of the most dangerous speed rappers today.”
9. Adam Levine and Jonah Hill
If you’re anything like us, then you’ve probably wondered where the friendship between Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine and Superbad actor Jonah Hill came from. We love them both, but honestly, it doesn’t seem like they would have all that much in common. Well, it turns out that the two are childhood friends, and even attended school together at the Brentwood School in LA. They carpooled for most of their time at the K-12 school and formed such a long-lasting friendship that Jonah officiated Adam’s wedding to model Behati Prinsloo in 2014. They’re officially our new BFF goals.
8. Rami Malek and Kirsten Dunst
It seems that if making it big in Hollywood is among your goals, then you’ve got to go to Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California. Rami Malek who plays Elliot Alderson on Mr. Robot and the O.G. Mary Jane Watson Kirsten Dunst both attended the school, and even briefly crossed paths with The O.C.’s Rachel Bilson. Rami was a year ahead of Kirsten, but the two had a drama class together — and Rami admitted that he used to have a crush on the Bring It On actress. Aw! Melt our hearts! The two remain pretty good friends to this day.
7. Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts
It’s a well-known fact that these two leading ladies are good friends. They can often be spotted supporting each other at their various events and premieres. But theirs is not your typical Hollywood friendship formed over the fires of late night shoots and early morning set calls. Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts have been friends for a whopping 26 years. They first met at North Sydney Girls’ High School when they were students, and bonded over their passion for acting and performing; Something that lead them to be co-stars in a 1991 film called Flirting. We love their bond!
6. Kate Hudson and Cash Warren
Another California school with something in the water, Crossroads High School has a long list of celebrity alumni. Most notably, Kate Hudson, Cash Warren and Zooey Deschanel all were students of the prep school at the same time. Having this many stars in the same class seems surprising — however, the school is notorious for their celebrity clientele, and the list of stars who send their children there is a mile long. Nevertheless, we can only imagine that being in class with this group of future actors would have been super fun. And their class reunions must be quite the event when all three of them are able to attend.
5. Jennifer Aniston and Chaz Bono
Long before she became America’s sweetheart as Rachel Green in Friends, Jennifer Aniston was just a popular girl at New York’s High School of the Performing Arts (aka LaGuardia High School). She was also classmates and close friends with transgender activist Chaz Bono. There’s a picture that’s made the internet rounds of the two hanging out in the locker room after gym class, both boasting flawlessly big ‘80s hair. Jennifer’s also said they used to hang out almost every day after school, usually at Chaz’s house. And while some distance has come between the two since Chaz’s transition, Jennifer has still been very publically supportive of her old friend.
4. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck
Finally, Hollywood’s OG best friends Matt Damon and Ben Affleck went to school together at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School where their bromance had it’s origins. They went their separate ways after graduation, Matt to Harvard and Ben to Los Angeles, but they kept in touch and famously wrote the script to Good Will Hunting while on opposite coasts in order to give their careers a jump start. Matt has credited the friendship the two shared during their school years as being the reason they’re both such big names today, saying: “we were both in love with the same thing — acting and filmmaking. I think we fed on each other’s obsessions during really formative, important years and that bonded us for life.”
3. Jemima Kirke and Lena Dunham
Girls co-stars Lena Dunham and Jemima Kirke were creative partners for five years during the run of their super-successful show. But they actually were introduced long before Girls was even a thought in Lena’s mind. Both leading ladies attended St. Ann’s School in Manhattan. Can’t you just imagine these two as high school chums? Smoking cigarettes behind the building, leaving campus during lunch when they weren’t allowed to and having sleepovers on the weekend? We can.
2. Ansel Elgort and Timothée Chalamet
Ansel Elgort and Timothée Chalamet were classmates and friends at LaGuardia High School/New York’s High School of the Performing Arts (which, by the way, is the high school from Fame). They were both on the basketball team and vied for the same roles in the school’s theatrical productions. Both are quick to point to the other as the most popular in their year — Timothée claims that Ansel was more vibrant on stage in the school’s musical theater performances, while Ansel says that *literally* everyone liked Timothee while he had his fair share of enemies. Really though, we just wish that we could have been a part of this super-dreamy class.
1. B.J. Novak and John Krasinski
There’s no denying the fact that The Office is one of the best shows to ever air on TV. And as it turns out, without Newton South High School in Newton, Massachusetts, it might have never made it to air. Why you ask? Because both B.J. Novak, who was a writer and executive producer on the show as well as playing everyone’s favorite hot mess Ryan Howard, and John Krasinski, who of course played Jim, attended school there. In fact, it was B.J. who convinced John to start acting while in high school by casting him in an original play he wrote and directed during their senior year. Without B.J. there would be no Jim, and without Jim, there would be no Office, so thank god for Newton South High School.