Before they were stars… they were CLASSMATES!
THESE A-LISTERS GO WAY BACK — TO HIGH SCHOOL, WHERE THEY FIRST FORGED THEIR LASTING FRIENDSHIPS
JENNIFER ANISTON & CHAZ BONO
If you could turn back time… you’d see that the Murder Mystery actress was there for Chaz, her classmate and pal. The two, both 50 years old, attended New York’s LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. Long before Chaz, daughter of Cher and Sonny Bono, underwent gender reassignment and transitioned from Chastity to Chaz, he and Jen had more than a passing friendship. “Every day a group of us would go to Chaz’s house after school,” Jen has said.
ADAM LEVINE & JONAH HILL
The Maroon 5 frontman and the Wolf of Wall Street actor may seem like an unlikely pair, but they grew up together in Los Angeles. “Our dads met in the principal’s office in junior high,” said Jonah, 35. “We were in a carpool; we lived at each other’s houses.” While Adam, 40, has become superpopular not only as a rock star, performing at last year’s Super Bowl halftime show, but also as a judge on The Voice, it wasn’t always that way: Jonah says Adam had a hard time finding dates because he was “nerdy,” and also “had bad acne when he was growing up.” But when Maroon 5 got signed in Adam’s senior year, things changed. “I always looked up to him,” Jonah admits. The two have stayed close friends: Jonah even officiated at Adam’s 2014 wedding to model Behati Prinsloo. Quips Jonah, “How could you not be doing well with ladies when you’re a guy in a band?”
JADA PINKETT SMITH & TUPAC SHAKUR
Before he became known as one of the greatest rappers of his generation — and before he was gunned down in Las Vegas in 1996 — Tupac was just another kid attending Baltimore School for the Arts in Maryland. Jada recalls meeting the future rap god on her first day of school. “He came over to me and introduced himself,” she’s recalled. “Pac was a little funny looking... [He] wasn’t necessarily the type of cat that I would even, like, deal with. But as soon as he approached me, he was like a magnet!” Jada went on to become an actress, appearing in both The Matrix and Madagascar franchises, while Tupac moved to California and became a rap legend. But their friendship remained close. “Jada is my heart,” he once said. “She will be my friend for my whole life.” Jada, for her part, called him “one of my best friends,” gushing, “He was like a brother. The type of relationship we had, you only get that once in a lifetime.”
NICOLE KIDMAN & NAOMI WATTS
The two Aussie actors have shared more than screen time together. Nicole, 52, and Naomi, 50, also attended North Sydney Girls High School together before they each moved to Los Angeles. “We’ve gone through a lot together over a significant amount of time,” the King Kong actress has said. The pair, who’ve known each other for nearly 30 years, both have kids around the same age — Naomi has sons Alexander, 12, and Samuel, 10, while the Big Little Lies star has daughters Sunday, 11, and Faith, 8 — and are respected Hollywood stars. They first worked together in 1991’s Flirting: “That’s when our friendship was forged,” Naomi explains. “That history binds you. We have a strong respect and love for each other.”
LADY GAGA & NICKY HILTON
It could’ve been a bad romance when Stefani Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga, and hotel heiress Nicky attended Sacred Heart private high school in Manhattan together. And though Gaga, 33, has said that Nicky, 35, and her older sister, Paris Hilton, were “very, very clean” while she was “always a weird girl in school,” the two may have influenced each other more than they realized. “It’s almost like they were there to make me aware, because so much of what I do now is [to] try to twist my world into the commercial community,” said Gaga, who focused her energy on theater at the time. “I came to school with lots of red lipstick on or my hair perfectly curled, or whatever I was doing to get attention.” But she gives some credit to the Hiltons for influencing her idea of “the self-proclaimed artist.”
ANSEL ELGORT & TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET
The two actors, who’ve been making names for themselves in emotional films like The Fault in Our Stars (Ansel) and Call Me by Your Name (Timothée), started out as teammates. Like Jennifer Aniston and Chaz Bono, the pair went to NYC’s LaGuardia Performing Arts High School. “They were both quite popular and very different,” recalled their former drama teacher. Ansel, 25, has said, “It’s really crazy, Timmy and I played on the same basketball team, we had the same drama teacher, Mr. Shifman… and then in the same year both of us are nominated for a f**king Golden Globe!” To this day, the pair have stayed pals, attending Knicks games together.
JAY-Z & BUSTA RHYMES
Hip-hop mogul Jay-Z had a hit with “Empire State of Mind,” but did you know he honed his skills in high school rap battles against Busta Rhymes? The pair attended Brooklyn’s George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School and Jay, 49, recalled things got competitive: “Me and Busta Rhymes actually had a rap battle in the lunchroom.” Busta, 47, has also recalled their epic battles, saying that Jay’s skills pushed him to improve his own rapping. “He had finessed the speed rapping phenomenally and I was new [to it],” Busta said. “But losing to Jay in speed rapping is what made me one of the most dangerous speed rappers today!”
CAMERON DIAZ & SNOOP DOGG
He now cooks with Martha Stewart, and she’s retired from acting, but back at Long Beach Polytechnic High School, Snoop Dogg and the Charlie’s Angel star used to hang out! “She ran with my little cheerleading homegirls,” Snoop, 47, has recalled. “She was in [their] crew. She was fly and she was hip.” And Cameron, 46, has said, “I’m pretty sure I bought weed from him!” But it’s Snoop’s look in particular she remembers. “He was very tall and skinny, wore lots of ponytails on his head!” Still, Snoop says, he never dated Cameron. He married his high school sweetheart, Shante Broadus, and Cameron’s now wed to musician Benji Madden. Said Snoop, “I never got at her like that because she was younger than me ”
RACHEL BILSON, RAMI MALEK & KIRSTEN DUNST
They were the fighting Irish of Notre Dame… High School, in Sherman Oaks, Calif. The Heart of Dixie actress and the actor whose embodiment of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody won him an Oscar were once chummy classmates dreaming of stardom. Rachel, 38, had fun posting an old candid of the pair on social media and urging Rami, 38 (whose career took off with his turn in Mr. Robot), “#dontforgetthelittlepeople.” But the pair had another future actor in their class: Kirsten Dunst, who’s currently earning rave reviews in Showtime’s On Becoming a God in Central Florida. “We’re still friends,” Rami’s said. “I used to have a little crush on her.”