Whether you loved or loathed them, your years as a student were likely some of the most formative of your life. You went to class (or, depending on the type of student you were, skipped a few every now and then), got into your fair share of drama, and maybe even met some of your best friends (or the love of your life!). For these A-listers, school brought them together and left them with memories that will stay with them forever—or, at least until the next reunion! Ahead, celebrities who attended the same school growing up.
Rashida Jones and Kim Kardashian West
On an episode of Bravo's Watch What Happens Live, the Parks and Rec star recalled her former classmates (Kim Kardashian West, as well as Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie) from The Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, California. "They [Kardashian, Hilton, and Richie] were younger than me. They were really cute and little, and they wore a lot of bows in their hair."
Out of the three, Jones was closest to Nicole Richie. "[She] is like a little sister to me," Jones told Porter Magazine. "Our parents were friends." Rashida's father is legendary record producer Quincy Jones, while Nicole is the daughter of singer Lionel Richie. After graduating, Jones hit the books at Harvard University, while Kardashian, Hilton, and Richie jumped right into the tabloids.
Lady Gaga and Nicky Hilton
Although the pop goddess and hotel heiress both attended Convent of the Sacred Heart, an all-girls Roman Catholic school in New York City, at the same time, they weren't in the same grade. The A Star Is Born Academy Award winner is a few years younger than Paris Hilton's little sis, Nicky. Even though Gaga is a powerhouse triple-threat today, she didn't always have the easiest time in school. Gaga's mother revealed to CBS that her daughter was "humiliated, taunted, isolated" during her school years.
Spencer Pratt and Whitney Port
Some people's lives are destined to intertwine for eternity, as is the case for reality stars Spencer Pratt and Whitney Port. Before the two went on to star in The Hills and The Hills: New Beginnings together, they were classmates at Crossroads School, an elite private school in Santa Monica, California. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Pratt revealed that "Whitney actually dated my best friend in high school. Her, like, three-year boyfriend was my best friend." The fact that they were so closely associated in high school only to years later both end up starring in The Hills "is a trip," said Pratt.
Jennifer Aniston and Chaz Bono
For Jennifer Aniston and Chaz Bono, The Morning Show star and the LGBTQ+ activist (who also happens to be the son of Cher) weren't just classmates at LaGuardia High School, a performing arts school in New York City. Apparently, they were also pretty close friends. "Every day a group of us would go to Chaz's house after school," Aniston told Allure. Hanging out at Cher's house after school? Yeah, no big deal.
Freddie Prinze Jr. and Neil Patrick Harris
Before Freddie Prinze Jr. became a '90s teen heartthrob and Neil Patrick Harris entertained television audiences on How I Met Your Mother, the two were classmates at La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Harris was slightly older, graduating in 1991. While Prinze Jr. nabbed his high school diploma in 1994, just three years before landing his breakout role in I Know What You Did Last Summer, where he met his wife, Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Kate Middleton and Prince William
Kate Middleton and Prince William's meet-cute is the stuff of fairytales. The royal couple came across each other while attending University of St. Andrews, with Kate catching William's eye as she strutted down the catwalk for a charity fashion show. The prince was smitten and, years later, they exchanged sacred vows at Westminister Abbey in front of the world. Today, Kate and William are the proud parents of three precious little ones: George, Charlotte, and Louis.
Prince William and Eddie Redmayne
Not everyone can say they’ve rubbed elbows with royalty, but Eddie Redmayne can—he attended the elite boarding school, Eton College, at the same time as Prince William! The two must have spent a lot of time together because they were members of the school’s prestigious Eton Society as well as teammates on the school’s famous rugby team.
On an episode of Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, Redmayne reminisced on William’s time on the field. “I always felt a bit sorry for him because basically any school you’d play [against], all they wanted to do was tackle Prince William in order for them to say ‘I tackled Prince William,’” the Fantastic Beasts actor joked. “So, if you were standing next to Prince William, it was actually quite easy and quite fun!”
Eddie Redmayne and Tom Hiddleston
Tom Hiddleston also attended the prestigious Eton College, but, as a student, he was nowhere near the big shot that he is now. In a school production of A Passage to India, Eddie Redmayne played the story’s female lead Adela Quested, and Hiddleston…well, he played one of the legs of the elephant that Redmayne’s character rode.
No hard feelings, though; the actors have come a long way since their Eton days. Redmayne has won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a Tony award, and Hiddleston has solidified himself within the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Loki.
Winston Duke and Lupita Nyong'o
The 2017 Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster hit Black Panther might have been Lupita Nyong'o and Winston Duke's first time working together on-screen, but their connection goes way back. The Us co-stars and real life friends attended Yale University's School of Drama at the same time; Nyong'o even gave Duke a tour of the campus on his first day of school. The duo grew close over time, oblivious when they watched the first Avengers film together that they would be joining the MCU years later.
“[Lupita] and I became really close because we shared that immigrant experience,” Duke told Esquire. He hails from Trinidad, and the Academy Award winner, whose family is Kenyan, was born in Mexico. “We shared the idea of having really big dreams knowing that we’d left our own country.”
Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts
Aussie starlets Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts have a friendship that goes all the way back to when they were just teenagers attending North Sydney Girls' High School in Australia. Post-school, the actresses bonded on the set of Flirting, with the 1991 film forging the close relationship that they have today.
"We’ve gone through a lot together over a significant amount of time. That history binds you,” Watts told People about her ties with Kidman. “We have a strong respect and love for one another.”
Ansel Elgort and Timothée Chalamet
Love Timothée Chalamet? You're not alone; we're pretty big fans of him here at Marie Claire. But even our love for Timmy doesn't compare to the feels that Ansel Elgort has for his friend and former classmate. The actors attended LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in NYC, where they discovered their shared love of acting and basketball.
Back in 2017, Elgort shared a picture of the LaGuardia alums at a basketball game with a particularly heartfelt caption: "Laguardia high school pride. It's really crazy, Timmy and I played on the same basketball team, we had the same drama teacher Mr. Shifman, we had the same science teacher Mr. Singh, and then in the same year, both of us are nominated for a f$&king Golden Globe!!! Living the dream sitting courtside at the Knicks game together. Life is crazy. Congrats to you Timmy ❤️." So pure!
Gwyneth Paltrow and Kerry Washington
Becoming a member of Spence School’s popular acapella group Triple Trio in high school was likely Scandal actress Kerry Washington’s first foray into the spotlight, and according to her, it’s all thanks to one Gwyneth Paltrow. “When I was in junior high school I really wanted to be in Triple Trio because there was this really amazing senior named Gwyneth Paltrow and she was president of Triple Trio,” Washington shared on an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! “So I really wanted to be president of Triple Trio one day. And then I was co-president of Triple Trio one day. My shining honor!"
Owen Wilson and Wes Anderson
University of Texas alums Owen Wilson and Wes Anderson got into their fair share of trouble during the days on The Forty Acres. One especially hilarious adventure involved literally breaking into their shared Austin apartment—the incident would serve as the inspiration for Anderson’s first feature film, Bottle Rocket. The dynamic duo's rapport stayed strong for years after college. "I feel like that’s as strong a friendship now as it’s ever been," said the filmmaker of his connection with Wilson in 1999. "And we still have several movies we want to do together."
Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand
Long before they were dominating the Billboard charts and giving us classics like "Sweet Caroline" and "The Way He Makes Me Feel," Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand were singing through the halls of Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, New York. Did they have any idea that their talents would make them into music royalty? Maybe, maybe not. "We were two poor kids in Brooklyn," Diamond recalled of his and Streisand's time at Erasmus. "We hung out in the front [of the school] and smoked cigarettes.”
The classmates joined forces in 1978 to create one of the saddest breakup songs of all time, "You Don't Bring Me Flowers."
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck
One of Hollywood's most well-known pairs of BFFs, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, first crossed paths while attending Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in Boston for High School. Their story continued in Los Angeles, where they lived together right before collaborating on Good Will Hunting, the film that would ultimately change the trajectory of their careers.
Zach Braff and Lauryn Hill
In 2018, Zach Braff stunned the Twittersphere when he tweeted (in response to a tweet from Paris Hilton herself) that Lauryn Hill attended his bar mitzvah. Fans couldn’t quite figure out the connection—she’s a neo-soul legend, and he’s sitcom gold—but then it was revealed that Braff and Hill went to the same New Jersey high school as kids!
Zooey Deschanel and Kate Hudson
On an episode of Watch What Happens Live, former classmates Zooey Deschanel and Kate Hudson reunited and looked fondly on their memories of their shared time at Crossroads School for Arts & Science in Santa Monica, California. Once specific instance really stood out for Hudson: the drama surrounding a school production of Don Quixote that both she and Deschanel auditioned for. While the How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days actress played the part of Quixote's niece, Deschanel got the shorter end of the stick, taking on the role of Quixote's horse!
Cameron Diaz and Snoop Dogg
The California natives were students at Long Beach Polytechnic High School, and though they didn’t exactly run in the same circles, they did have a lot of mutual friends. “[Diaz] ran with my homegirls, all my little cheerleading homegirls," Snoop said in an exclusive interview with Yahoo! Music back in 2013. “She was in [their] little crew. She was fly, and she was hip.”
Adam Levine and Jonah Hill
Best friends Adam Levine and Jonah Hill first came across each other as pre-teens after respective trips to the principal's office led them to meeting each other. "Our dads met in the principal's office in junior high," Hill said of the origins of his relationship with Levine. "We were in carpool, we lived at each other's houses."
Over the years, the friends have remained close, celebrating each other's wins along the way. Hill credits that to the fact that they're still the same people that they were as kids. "[Levine isn't] different now…that is a guy who is exactly who he ever was in a great way. And actually, I know a lot of famous people, and he's one that has not changed."
Jemima Kirke and Lena Dunham
When Jemima Kirke's family moved from London to New York City, the Brit found herself overwhelmed in the busy hallways of Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn, New York. One day, she crossed paths with classmate and future Girls co-star Lena Dunham, and the rest is history.
Busta Rhymes and Jay-Z
Believe it or not, the rap world is pretty small—many of your favorite lyricists, like Busta Rhymes and Jay-Z, have a long, long history that connects them. The Brooklyn rappers (and the late great Biggie Smalls!) attended George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School, where they spent a great deal of their time battling it out to see who was the best.
In 2010, Busta Rhymes spoke to MTV News' Sway about losing his first rap battle with Jay-Z, claiming that even then, he knew that Shawn Carter was nothing to play about. "That was probably the fist time that I lost a battle that mattered," he said. "[Jay-Z] always exemplified greatness as an MC. He was a scientist with it."
Ed Helms and Brian Baumgartner
Fans of The Office will be pleased to discover that the on-screen chemistry between Andy (Ed Helms) Kevin (Brian Baumgartner) is 100 percent real; their rapport comes from their years of attending The Westminster Schools in Atlanta together. Helms has nothing but good things to say about his castmate and former classmate, posting on a Reddit thread in 2014 that Baumgartner is "a smart, hilarious, down-to-earth fella."
BJ Novak and John Krasinski
The actors behind The Office's Ryan and Jim are also former classmates, alumni of Newton South High School. BJ Novak shared a few memories about their relationship on The Ellen Show in 2014. "John Krasinski and I have known each other our whole lives in the weirdest, most coincidental way," Novak told Ellen. "We played little league together!"
Adele and Jessie J
The BRIT School in Croydon, England, is the alma mater to a number of famous singers, including Jessie J and Adele! “I had all sorts of friends. I knew Adele; we were in the same year,” wrote Jessie J about her time at the BRIT School in her autobiography Nice to Meet You. “We used to hang out at lunchtimes and have a little jam. We'd sing songs we'd written or perform whatever we were working on.”
BRIT alumna Amy Winehouse was a huge inspiration for both powerhouse singers, who followed in her footsteps years after she made her debut. “When Adele started to take off–BRIT old girl Amy Winehouse was already huge by then–it was amazing to have the opportunity to watch and learn."
Tommy Lee Jones and Al Gore
Future politician and presidential hopeful Al Gore stepped foot on Harvard University's campus fall of 1965, and down the hall of his dorm, a young Tommy Lee Jones had just moved in. The unlikely pair met while at Harvard and even lived together, and their friendship lasted for decades. Jones even supported Gore in 2001 by nominating him at the Democratic National Convention.
Morena Baccarin and Clare Danes
Morena Baccarin and Clare Danes' time on Showtime's spy thriller Homeland occurred decades after their shared time at a local middle school in Manhattan. "When I was 7, we moved to New York because my dad's job was transferred. I grew up in the West Village and went to the New York City Lab School for junior high," Baccarin told TV Guide in 2012. "Claire was there at the same time! We were somewhat friendly, so when Homeland came up, it was great."
Christopher Reeves and Robin Williams
When Christopher Reeves and Robin Williams met on their first day at The Julliard School in 1973, they had nothing in common, and from the outside looking in, it seemed highly unlikely that they would be able to relate to each other. But, according to the late Superman actor, that was the exact reason that they were able to become friends closer than brothers, leaning on each other for moral and even financial support as students.
Years later, as the classmates started their careers, they remained close friends; when Reeves was paralyzed in a tragic equestrian accident, Williams was by his side as often as possible. "Robin was able to share his real feelings with me, and I always did the same with him," Reeves wrote in in his autobiography Still Me.
Camila Mendes and Cole Sprouse
Before Camila Mendes met Cole Sprouse on the set of The CW’s hit show Riverdale, she ran into him on campus at New York University as a student (the Sprouse twins graduated from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in 2015). Her first impression of her future co-star wasn’t the most positive, though. “He was a weirdo! He had really long hair down to his butt cheeks.” Mendes told Office Magazine of her co-star. “He was really shy too. I would see him at parties sometimes and I always kind of randomly talked to his brother [Dylan] but I never got a chance to talk to him because he was more to himself.”
Jada Pinkett Smith and Tupac Shakur
You might have heard a rumor or two about the relationship that existed between the late rap powerhouse Tupac Shakur and Jada Pinkett Smith, but did you know that the pair met for the first time while studying at Baltimore School for the Arts in Maryland? Pinkett Smith remembers their first encounter like it was yesterday, sharing the memory in an interview: “It was the first day and he came over to me and introduced himself. And in high school, Pac was a little funny looking. Definitely from looking at him, wasn’t necessarily the type of cat that I would even, like, deal with.”
Despite her first impressions of her classmate, Pinkett Smith immediately hit it off with Tupac, and they bonded instantly. “He was one of my best friends,” she spoke of the rapper fondly. “He was like a brother.”
Matthew Morrison and Kristen Bell
Like many fans of show choir tunes, Kristen Bell really loved Glee. But her connection to the FOX musical comedy stems from her relationship with Mr. Will Schuester himself, Matthew Morrison. Not only did the two attend New York University's Tisch School of the Arts together (Morrison later dropped out to star in the Broadway production of 'Footloose'), but Bell and Morrison also briefly dated before they ever made it big!
Beck Bennett and Kyle Mooney
The Saturday Night Live stars met on campus at the University of Southern California and clicked instantly because of their passion for comedy. Bennett and Mooney joined forces to create the comic sketch group Good Neighbor, creating and sharing more than 50 different hilarious short videos that caught the attention of the likes of Steven Spielberg. They got their big break when they were added to the cast of SNL in 2013 and have been making us cry from laughter ever since.
Nick Kroll and John Mulaney
Fellow funnymen Nick Kroll and John Mulaney linked up while attending Georgetown University in 2000; Kroll was the upperclassman responsible for recruiting Mulaney into the hallowed Georgetown Improv Association.
When Kroll met Mulraney, he just knew that there was something special about him. "Honestly when I met him, I was like, this guy’s so funny, I’m going to hold on tight," Kroll told The Washington Post. "I’ve sufficiently done that for a long time,” Kroll says. Their friendship has since grown into what many would describe as a lifetime professional partnership, leading the comedians to work together on numerous projects such as the beloved "Oh, Hello Show" on Kroll's Comedy Central series (which later turned into a Broadway show) as well as Netflix's adult animated comedy Big Mouth.
Rachel Lindsay and Kevin Durant
Before Rachel Lindsay was passing out roses as The Bachelorette on the ABC reality show's 13th season, she was a student at The University of Texas. Also at UT Austin during that time was NBA star in the making, Kevin Durant.
For awhile, rumors circulated that Lindsay and Durant had been romantically entangled during college, but the Bachelorette hastily put a stop to that fantasy on an episode of the "Bachelor Party" podcast. "I'll put it like this: I know Kevin," Lindsay said. "The way the media played it out, I think they said we were still serious and we were almost engaged. No...I wasn't getting engaged but we've known each other. We've hung out together."
Dean Cain and Brooke Shields
The actors initially met on the beautiful campus of Princeton University, and a beautiful romance eventually blossomed between them as they studied at the Ivy League institution. "I was in love with her certainly. We were college sweethearts," Cain said on an episode of the Meredith Vieira Show in 2014. "We truly had a wonderful relationship. We were two young people, and we cared for each other."
Alex is an entertainment and lifestyle writer who has a penchant for pineapple pizza, paranormal podcasts, paddleboarding, and alliteration.
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