People Shared Stories About Celebrities Before They Were Famous, And I'm Living For The Goss
As usual, Tom Hanks is the best.
I love to hear random things about celebrities. Which is why I was enthralled with this Reddit thread, started by u/RogueWolf300, that asked, "People of Reddit who knew celebrities before they were famous, how different do they act now?" Even though most of the answers weren't always entirely on topic, there was still tons of information about celebrities that was worth scrolling through for hours. Here are some of my favorite responses that I choose to believe are real:
1. "I went to high school with Sandra Oh. She was funny, dynamic, smart, outgoing, and very into drama. In one school play, she played what I will call sort of a mime character — she didn’t have lines but was still a big part of the action, commenting on what was going on through her actions. Anyhow, in one scene, as she was exiting the stage, she banged her head on one of the props — you could hear the loud bang — but she was a pro and just carried on. It has been great to see her have such success, and I love that she has kept in touch with her close friends from high school (you can spot them at awards shows sometimes)."
2. "A friend of mine was friends with Tom Hanks in high school and went to prom with him. He still writes her personalized birthday cards on one of his typewriters."
3. "I went to high school with Post Malone. We graduated the same year. He always wore a suit to class and was that nerdy dedicated kid. Glad to see how his life turned out. I hoped nothing for the best for him, and now I listen to him all the time. I’m just a rando to him, though. We never really talked."
4. "I went to high school with Mark Ruffalo. He was nice. He was 'one of those thespians.' Our high school had an acting group that challenged the students to get out of their shell and do things in front of strangers like introducing themselves as the wild fairy of the woods and presenting someone with a flower. We didn’t talk much, but like I said, he was a good guy."
5. "Tyler, the Creator — exactly the same. We were all concerned at how bizarre he was. He would call people 'a table' or something incredibly random, and the sense of humor caught on in my high school. The fame did nothing; he’s still strange and a sweetheart."
6. "My coworker's dad grew up with Queen Latifah in North Jersey. His whole family loves her because they were about to lose their house, so she paid it off for them. They’ve never said a bad thing about her."
7. "My older brother went to school with Chris Pratt and was in his German class. Chris told the teacher his older brother was in Germany and said he could grab her a piece of the Berlin Wall. Two weeks later, Chris grabbed a piece of concrete from the sidewalk, spray-painted it, and gave it to her. The last time I checked (2018), it was still there."
8. "I worked in a restaurant about 15 years ago as a manager. Rachel McAdams walked in for an interview. She was still in acting school and serving tables to pay for it. She worked at my restaurant over the course of the next two summers, serving on our patio. Still friends to this day. She hasn't changed a bit. Still bikes to get groceries."
9. "I went to school with Emily Ratajkowski. She’s always been kind and really smart and genuinely talented. Worst I can say is in middle school, she auditioned for a play and didn’t get the part she wanted, so she didn’t do the play at all. I got the part she refused, lol. I ran into her when we were in college (still before she got famous), and she seemed sincerely happy to see me and catch up. I remember she loved the coat I was wearing. IMO, her interviews and ‘famous persona’ are authentic — she is a legit badass babe. I’m super proud of her."
10. "I went to elementary and middle school with Aidy Bryant from Saturday Night Live (and many movies). She was incredibly sweet and quirky, but not nearly as funny as she is today. One year she wore a new Paul Frank shirt every single day. When we first met in third grade, she told me her name was Loafy, which I still call her to this day. Her family is also awesome. Her mom once threw a party before they remodeled their house where we all got to draw all over the walls and destroy things. Her mom also owns the cutest little boutique in Phoenix (where we’re from)."
11. "My grandmother worked at Dollywood for many years and met Dolly a handful of times. When she died, Dolly sent two dozen or so roses to the funeral home. She’s a real gem."
12. "Chris Evans was really obnoxious as a popular local teenage actor. Imagine his character from Scott Pilgrim but as a kid. He grew up and grew out of being obnoxious, and I’m happy for his absurdly successful career."
13. "My mom went to high school with Daniel Tosh (Tosh.0). The first time she saw him on TV, she went, 'Oh, look, it's Danny.' Then, after watching for a few minutes, she said, 'Yep, he was a douche then and is a douche now; can't believe he got famous for that s***.' She said she chose not to be friends with him for good reason."
14. "Michael Shannon lived in my home while I was growing up and he was beginning his career. He lived with us for four years or so on our top floor. He has always been a humble and great guy and is still friends with our family to this day. He hasn't changed a bit since we've known him!"
15. "I went to college with Joe Keery, aka Steve Harrington in Stranger Things. He was my college boyfriend’s suite mate and just the nicest guy. His hair has always been dreamy and amazing. Last time I saw him was at a viewing of The Hateful Eight after we graduated, and he still made a point to come over and say hi!"
16. "My best friend's dad used to be in the same group of friends with Bruce Willis. He said he played harmonica, wore Hawaiian shirts all the time, drove a Camaro, and was a total fucking asshole."
17. "My wife grew up with the Odenkirk (Bob, Billy) family in Illinois. Her brothers were friends with the boys, and my wife was besties with his sister. I met him at the sister's wedding, and he was down-to-earth and witty, as you'd expect. He took time to explain to me how they wrote the SNL 'Weekend Update' skits when he wrote for the show. He said it was the easiest to write, since the material was already there in the news; just alter for yuks. That was way back in like '87, prior to Mr. Show and Breaking Bad, etc. A genuine and smart dude. Wife and I are fans for life."
18. "I sat next to Tom Holland while we did our history GCSE and went to primary school with him, so I knew him quite well. He was often off filming in Thailand for The Impossible at the time. I didn't keep in contact with him past GCSE, but he was a great guy and very funny, as he seems to be now, which is nice to hear. One memory I do have is a bunch of us laughing at him when he was practicing ballet in the school gym getting ready to be Billy Elliot. We weren't laughing for long."
19. "I went to college with Hasan Minhaj. He was an early open mic–er then and I thought he was hilarious, so I would go to his shows and tell friends of mine to come too. We became Facebook friends, I moved to San Francisco, and he started performing at some pretty big clubs there. He would reach out and offer me free tickets because I'd supported him for so long. One time, he set aside four tickets for me and my friends, I got the date wrong, we missed the show, and I was too embarrassed to ever go to a show of his again."
20. "I went to school and did theater with Kelly Marie Tran. She was so funny, charming, and nice. I was a theater tech. And my goodness, was she talented at anything she tried: She led the plays and musicals and was always so funny to be around. She appears to be the same kind girl she was in high school. She always took time to be nice to anyone she worked with, and of course would make anyone laugh. Plus, she's got an amazing singing voice."
21. "I went to high school with Bo Burnham as he was just starting out in comedy and music. He walked into my chemistry class one day, joked with the chemistry teacher, then kicked over a trash can. As he was walking away down the hall, he yelled, 'Badass alert.' Thought he was entertaining."
22. "Went to middle school with Megan Fox for a bit. She rode my bus and she mostly kept to herself. Most of the guys would fight over who was going to sit next to her, but she was very shy and didn't really have much to say."
23. "I went to school with Rupert Grint. I was into acting too, so we had done a few school plays together. He was really nice, very chill, a good laugh. I haven't seen him since school days, but he kept coming to classes whenever he wasn't filming, and was always happy to chat about the movies. Sometimes he'd need a little break from so many people wanting to talk, and would come and hang out in the library, and honestly, you'd never know he was in the biggest film series at the time."
24. "I knew Robert Pattinson about 15 years ago. Nice guy, friendly, a lot of fun to be with. He lived by himself in the center of Soho, London, in a tiny one-bed flat where I think he felt like the romantic version of a starving artist. He had a weird side. He'd say random, violent, depraved things. He was obsessed with Jack Nicholson. He never really gave a fuck; he had confidence and he was always himself, and he knew he could be deliberately contradictory, and he used that as a personality trope. But he was a good guy, and I get the impression he's very comfortable with himself now that he has developed his career, that he acts very well, and that he can pick and choose his roles based upon what he wants to do and who he wants to work with."
25. "My dad was good friends with Will Smith before the Fresh Prince days — Will actually showed him the pilot before it aired. Fast-forward, however, many years to After Earth and Will invited us on the set. His first words when he saw my dad 10-plus years later were, 'The Philly crew is back!'"
26. "Jennifer Lawrence. I moved to Louisville, Kentucky, in the middle of seventh grade. She was my first friend, and the first person I had a sleepover with. We hit it off. She was very different from me, a cheerleader, came from a lot of wealth, but her family was really awesome and we were both kinda weird and outgoing, so we become good friends very fast. Her family owned a farm that had a children’s summer camp (Hi-Ho), and we went to it a couple of times; she had one of her birthday parties there! I remember her kissing our friend Jon under a trampoline. We talked about it for way too long! We hung out fairly often until she moved to New York City a year and a half after we met."
27. "My friend's mom was one of Kelly Clarkson's teachers in high school. I asked her about it and she said, 'She never did her homework.'"
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.