13 Unexpected Celebrity Friendships

6 minute read
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Fame makes the world small. In no way is that more obvious than when you consider the unexpected celebrity friendships that spring up, thanks to the overlap of Hollywood and the worlds of music, politics, and business. From Martha Stewart’s surprisingly chummy relationship with Snoop Dogg to Lena Dunham’s connection with Taylor Swift—and, of course, Barack Obama’s bromance with Richard Branson—here are some of the duos whose relationships might surprise.

Martha Stewart + Snoop Dogg

Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg
Lester Cohen—Getty Images

Taste mogul Martha Stewart and savvy rapper Snoop Dogg have a long history as one of the most unlikely celebrity pairings in the game, regularly professing their mutual respect and admiration for each other. This fall, the two took their relationship to the next level with the debut of “Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party,” a raucous cooking show and chill session where they get to put their chemistry on display.

Channing Tatum + Jonah Hill

Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill
Jon Kopaloff—Getty Images

21 Jump Street costars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum have admitted to a serious bromance, with even their director verifying the relationship status: “They love each other – they have a for-real romance,” 21 Jump Street’s Christopher Miller said. Plus, Tatum has made it Instagram official with plenty of duo photos.

Kevin Hart + The Rock

Kevin Hart and the Rock
Frazer Harrison—Getty Images

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is (literally and figuratively) one of the biggest men in show business. Meanwhile, comedian Kevin Hart is no slouch when it comes to fame—he’s one of Forbes’ richest celebrities of the year—but his stature is, well, more diminutive. But the Central Intelligence and Jumanji costars have a genuine bromance going, onscreen and off; just watch them try to impersonate each other. Johnson originally requested Hart as his costar because of the comic potential in their physical differences, despite never having worked with him before. Since then, the practical jokers have played pranks on each other that would annoy most friends, but seem to keep getting a kick out of their relationship.

Lena Dunham + Taylor Swift

Lena Dunham and Taylor Swift
Jeff Kravitz—Getty Images

When renegade Girls writer and director Lena Dunham befriended pop’s princess Taylor Swift by sliding into her Twitter DMs like a true millennial hero, their unlikely status as a duo also led to Swift’s public pronouncement of her feminist awakening. Meanwhile, Dunham stood up for Swift in the wake of Kanye West’s controversial “Famous” music video.

Ruby Rose + Taylor Swift

Ruby Rose and Taylor Swift
Jason Kempin—Getty Images

While their images might be opposite— Orange Is the New Black’s Aussie actor Ruby Rose vs. demure country starlet Swift—the actress and pop icon are close friends. Rose has stood up for Swift on social media, and Swift returned the favor by introducing her friend at an awards show, solidifying her acceptance into the all-important squad.

Ryan Gosling + Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds and Ryan Gosling
Jeff Kravitz—Getty Images

Two Ryans. Two Canadians. Two A-list actors with male-model good looks, adoring fan clubs, talented wives, and enviable young families. It would be easy to think that Ryan Reynolds and Ryan Gosling would view each other as the competition, given their similarities. But instead, they’re completely friendly, joking about their similarities and further proving that we simply don’t deserve these two.

Nicole Richie + Kim Kardashian

Nicole Richie and Kim Kardashian
Bertrand Rindoff Petroff—GettyImages

Pioneering reality star Nicole Richie grew up as a family friend with Kim Kardashian West in Beverly Hills. While the now-infamous Kardashian may have eclipsed Richie in reality fame, the two L.A. moms clearly still get along, Kardashian even posting a video of Richie hanging out with her and her own mom, Kris Jenner, at home.

Gwyneth Paltrow + Beyoncé + Jay Z

Beyonce, Jay Z, Gwyneth Paltrow
Dave M. Benett—Getty Images

American royalty Jay Z and Beyoncé and actress/lifestyle maven Gwyneth Paltrow have been friends for a while—really. After appearing at a number of events together, Beyoncé and Gwyneth Paltrow seem tight, and have been open about their mutual admiration, with Paltrow regularly attending Jay Z concerts and gushing about her friend Queen Bey in interviews.

Bette Midler + 50 Cent

50 Cent and Bette Midler
Johnny Nunez—Getty Images

From working together to restore a community garden to joking about collaborating on musical endeavors, the iconic performer and the rapper have proven they are true longtime pals who just get each other.

Elton John + Eminem

Elton John and Eminem
Kevin Winter—Getty Images

Detroit’s fiery rapper and the British music legend may seem like an odd pairing, but the two have been fast friends ever since a duet performance in 2001 at the Grammy’s. That performance came in the wake of accusations leveled at Eminem for purportedly homophobic lyrics in the The Marshall Mathers LP. (It was a controversial duet; GLAAD was one of the groups protesting the rapper, while Elton John is also a GLAAD honoree.) Later, Eminem reportedly reached out to Elton John first when he was confronting his own substance abuse issues, and sent John a gift for him and his partner following their civil union.

Tom Cruise + Dakota Fanning

Dakota Fanning and Tom Cruise
Jim Spellman—Getty Images

After working together on War of the Worlds eleven years ago, Cruise and Fanning have remained close; Fanning has said that she considers Cruise a “lifelong friend” and that the thoughtful actor sends her a birthday gift every year. (Usually, it’s shoes.)

Blake Lively + Florence Welch

Blake Lively and Florence Welch
Kevin Mazur—Getty Images

Hollywood golden girl Blake Lively and folk-rock music favorite Florence Welch have a sweet friend thing going, despite the fact that they seem to exist in separate celebrity spheres (especially considering Lively’s known relationship with pop icon Taylor Swift). But Welch and Lively are true-blue pals who have celebrated New Year’s Even in Vegas together, with Lively even receiving an once-in-a-lifetime gift from Welch on her wedding day to Ryan Reynolds: a live performance from the Florence and the Machine frontwoman.

Barack Obama + Richard Branson

Jack Brockway/Virgin.com

It was a bromance that left the country breathless: Barack Obama, just weeks after leaving the White House, was documented hanging out with Virgin founder Richard Branson at his private island in the British Virgin Islands in early February. In a blog post, Branson shared details about their sun-and-surf activities, including their face-off in a friendly watersport competition—which Obama won with his newfound kitesurfing skills. “On his next visit, we plan to do the long kite over to Anegada together,” Branson mused. Looks like this is one budding friendship that’s here to stay.

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Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa.bruner@time.com