Friends before fame! Celebrities including Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie were childhood pals before becoming Hollywood stars.
Affleck and Damon both grew up in Massachusetts and proceeded to climb the entertainment ladder side by side throughout their decades-long friendship. In March 2020, the Argo star joked that his success as a child star inspired Damon to act as well.
“When I was really young, my mom’s friend [was] a casting director in Boston. She was casting a kids’ science and math, adventure, sort of pre-Dora the Explorer kind of show for PBS and had me come in to audition and worked with me on it,” Affleck said on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Show. “I was 7 or 8 and ended up getting the part. It instilled in me a deep sort of love and affection for this art and craft and line of work. And it made Matt Damon so incredibly jealous [that] it drove him into a career in cinema. So I really take credit for that.”
Jonah Hill and Adam Levine have their parents to thank for their close bond. “Our dads met in the principal’s office in junior high,” the 22 Jump Street actor told Howard Stern in June 2014. “We were in carpool. We lived at each other’s houses.”
The Los Angeles natives have remained close throughout their careers, with Hill serving as the officiant at Levine’s July 2014 nuptials to Behati Prinsloo.
“Adam knew that he was putting himself [in] good hands by having Jonah officiate,” a source exclusively told Us Weekly at the time. “He and Behati set out to make this the most fun wedding that anybody had ever experienced, and they truly did just that.”
The Wolf of Wall Street star’s little sister, Beanie Feldstein, is also a master of making school friends into lifelong companions. After meeting Ben Platt in middle school, the Lady Bird actress and the Dear Evan Hansen star’s careers have skyrocketed almost in tandem.
“At 12, we met at a bat mitzvah. At 14, we became best friends,” Feldstein captioned a June 2017 Instagram post with her BFF after his Tony win. “At 16, I gave him cufflinks to wear when he wins his first Tony. At 23, we are on Broadway at the same time … and he wore the cufflinks.”
The Pitch Perfect actor gushed about his childhood bestie at the 2020 Golden Globes after they were both nominated for awards. “That’s the more exciting one for me. I’m obviously, very grateful that The Politician got included, and I’m excited for my whole cast,” he told E! News in January 2020. “But to hear about Beanie, it kind of makes it feel like a home event. It brings it all into reality for me, because I’ve known her since we were in braces.”
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Scroll down to see what other stars were pals in their youth, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire.