Movie and Television Casts Who Became Families
While producers would probably like us to think that everything goes as smoothly as possible on movie sets, the truth is that the casts don’t always get along. There are plenty of infamous instances of casts who couldn’t stand each other. But what’s most remarkable is that there are even more casts that became like families in the years that followed filming. Months, years or even decades later, these movie cast members still remain close friends.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Last Jedi (2017)
While it might continue to divide fans even years after this entry in the Star Wars saga hit theaters, The Last Jedi managed to do one thing indisputably right: bond together a diverse cast and foster friendships that remain strong today.
While casual fans and longtime loyalists still find ways to debate this divisive film, it seems that John Boyega, Kelly Marie Tran, Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac couldn’t be closer than they are now. Hopefully, this bond will carry into any potential future Star Wars films.
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
As a departure from the mood and the tone of the first two Thor films, Thor: Ragnarok brought in Kiwi filmmaker Taika Waititi to completely revitalize the third entry in the series. This was to help the movie align more closely with the lighthearted feel of James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy films.
As such, the vibe on set was a lot more amicable. As a result, the film’s stars — Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins and even director Taika Waititi — formed a seemingly unbreakable bond during shooting. It’s no surprise they’re doing another Thor.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s groundbreaking fantasy novel of the same name, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring completely revitalized the way franchise filmmakers approach their material. Director Peter Jackson continues to be praised for his trilogy two decades later.
Likewise, the movie’s co-stars, who had to spend years together while they shot the trilogy’s massive films, continue to spend time together. Nearly 20 years on, Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Sean Astin, Liv Tyler, Christopher Lee and others all remain close.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Considering the amount of time it took to get to Avengers: Infinity War, it’s not surprising to see the movie’s main stars remaining close in the wake of the film’s release. Some, like Robert Downey Jr. and Samuel L. Jackson, have remained with Marvel since the very beginning: 2008’s Iron Man.
Others, like Mark Ruffalo and Benedict Cumberbatch, are newer — they’re no exception to friendship, though. It seems anyone who joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is immediately admitted into this club of fun pals.
Green Book (2018)
The only thing that might be as surprising as Green Book‘s contested Best Picture win at the 91st Academy Awards is the fact that the film’s stars, Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali, are still as friendly now as their characters eventually became.
It makes sense when you consider the film’s subject matter: Mortensen and Ali play an unlikely pair — a driver and a musician, respectively — in the midst of an incredibly tense time in the American South in the 1960s. The turmoil the pair faces bonds them together until they become inseparable.
A record-breaking film in its own right, Bong Joon Ho’s South Korean masterpiece Parasite shattered expectations and revolutionized the Academy Awards by earning unexpected levels of money at the box office and just as many surprise Oscar nominations and wins.
A darkly comedic look at the struggle between the rich and the poor in an upper-class South Korean home, Parasite‘s stars are practically like family at this point. They’ve gotten to travel all over the world because of this film’s success, so it makes sense to see them almost functioning as a real family — a more stable one than those portrayed in the film.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Plenty of superhero fans and avid moviegoers were skeptical when Sony and Marvel announced they’d be collaborating on yet another Spider-Man series. After Sam Raimi’s monumental trilogy in the early 2000s and a less successful pair of Spider-Man films in the early 2010s, this third iteration was met with a reasonable amount of backlash.
When Spider-Man: Homecoming hit theaters, it was clear that this criticism was unnecessary. The film’s stars, especially Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr., showed that the third time really was the charm. Apparently it was a charm for the pair’s lasting friendship, too.
Justice League (2017)
It’s hard to deny that the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) rushed some superhero team-up plans. Whereas the MCU spent time establishing individual characters before uniting them in 2012’s The Avengers, the DCEU hit fast forward and had them team up after just a few solo films.
This doesn’t mean that the film’s cast didn’t grow close during the process, though. Even after a change in directors midway through the shoot and an extensive number of reshoots afterward, Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa became quite friendly off the set.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
Like the Lord of the Rings films from the early 2000s, Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy combined the fantastical techniques of the original trilogy and the revolutionary technology of the 2010s to bring J.R.R. Tolkien’s prequel novel to life.
Considering the closeness of the original trilogy’s cast, it’s no surprise that both new and old faces managed to become just as friendly throughout the shooting of this new trio of films. The sheer amount of time it takes to shoot a fantasy trilogy allows for plenty of opportunities to get close with people.
Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven remake traded the Rat Pack of the 1960s for some of Hollywood’s greatest talents. Perfectly structured, expertly paced and incredibly fun from start to finish, the movie has a real camaraderie to it. Many viewers were really convinced that these guys were all friends at some point.
Coincidentally, thanks to the positive feel on set, this vibe isn’t just movie magic — it’s legitimate. Co-stars Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Matt Damon formed a bromance that carried over to the two Ocean’s sequels and the real world.
Charlie’s Angels (2000)
Recently remade (and less successfully done than this earlier iteration), McG’s Charlie’s Angels brought together some of the most iconic actresses of the time and had them team up to fight crime. There’s no way it wasn’t going to be a hit, but the lifelong bond they formed as a result was never a guarantee.
Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore in particular became and have remained best friends over the two decades since the film’s release. Perhaps that’s one thing the 2019 remake lacked: the friendship.
James Cameron doesn’t mess around when it comes to his film sets. A supremely disciplined and profoundly intricate filmmaker, Cameron insists on realism and big-budget technology to make his blockbusters look as good as physically possible. For this reason, the rapport between the cast doesn’t always come first.
Luckily for him, his Titanic co-stars formed a bond that was stronger than the ship itself. Nearly 25 years on, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet still reunite often. The two remain stars, but it’s nice that they make time for each other.
This one’s a little different than the others. Set in Depression-era Virginia, Lawless tracks a trio of bootlegging brothers who do their best to keep their business alive while avoiding the police. It stars Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy, two now-friends who didn’t start out that way.
Reports from the set claimed that the two often fought — not just verbally, but physically, too. As it turns out, though, this violence only made the two stronger friends. Now, LaBeouf and Hardy are admirers of one another and have become good buddies.
Good Will Hunting (1997)
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are two of Hollywood’s closest and most famously friendly pairs. For those who didn’t already know, Good Will Hunting is where it all began for them — at least when it comes to Hollywood. They actually grew up together and helped support each other while trying to get acting gigs in college.
The film is great, of course, but this comes second to the fact that Damon and Affleck are even greater friends. They’ve collaborated many times since this initial landmark, but perhaps nothing will top this first project from the two friends.
The Great Gatsby (2013)
Baz Luhrmann is not one for subtlety or restraint. His whole slate of films exudes decadence and spectacle, not a single one appearing as any less than grand and gargantuan. It’s likely pretty exhausting to work on one of his films, something that Tobey Maguire and Leonardo DiCaprio got to do in 2013 with The Great Gatsby.
The two go way back, first meeting as up-and-comers in the 1990s. Maguire and DiCaprio managed to stay close throughout the years until getting the chance to do it big with Baz in Gatsby.
Released the same weekend as The Hunger Games, Wanderlust, David Wain’s silly satire of big city living, never really stood a chance. The film wasn’t a big success at the box office, but its stars — Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston — were thankful for the chance to work together.
The two have been friends for quite some time, working together on a small romantic comedy in the early ’90s and reuniting on Friends a decade later. But Wanderlust is a real delight to see, particularly because it’s a fun onscreen reunion for two lifelong friends.
X-Men: First Class (2011)
Presented as a way to contextualize the later X-Men films by going back to the origin of the divide that formed between Professor X and his colleague Erik Lehnsherr, X-Men: First Class has a cast that’s chock-full of talent playing the seminal supers.
Despite playing soon-to-be arch-enemies, fellow actors James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender actually managed to form quite the bond on set. The two have remained best pals even after the conclusion of these X-Men films. We hope that the friendship they developed is one that’ll last forever.
21 Jump Street (2012)
Phil Lord and Chris Miller definitely know what they’re doing. Across both animated films for kids and R-rated comedies for adults, the writing-directing pair have managed to present all kinds of unique hits. One such example is 2012’s 21 Jump Street remake starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill.
After their work on this film and its sequel, Tatum and Hill — who play buddy cops in the films — became good buddies. Even though no third film is planned for the future, these pals like each other so much that they’ve now acted in five movies together.
Arguably the least-well-known film here, Flirting managed to pair up two of Hollywood’s most notable actresses. It’s a wild thing, but it happens quite often. Before actors make it big, they have to put in work on much smaller films. Flirting happens to be one of those.
Featuring a young Nicole Kidman and an even younger Naomi Watts, the latter in her debut feature film role, Flirting introduced two future all-stars. These women ended up forming a best friendship that continues to go on strong, decades after the film wrapped.
Pineapple Express (2008)
Throughout the 2000s and early 2010s, Seth Rogen and James Franco were a dynamic comedy duo. The pair first met on the set of Judd Apatow and Paul Feig’s short-lived TV show Freaks and Geeks. They continued to collaborate for years after that.
With each new film, the pair’s friendship solidifies further. To date, Pineapple Express seems to be the most accurate depiction of the close bond Rogen and Franco have formed over the years. Considering all they’ve done since their first meeting in the late ’90s, the two might as well be brothers by now.
Seen recently in 2019’s Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes are two comedians-turned-filmmakers who can’t seem to get enough of each other. First seen on-screen in Smith’s earliest work, Clerks, Smith and Mewes are a pairing that isn’t going to be splitting any time soon.
Since Clerks, Mewes has been an integral part of almost everything Smith does. If there was a bond closer than brothers, it’d be the perfect way to describe these two funny guys. They’re more than family at this point.
The first collaboration between directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg as well as the first real pairing of Penélope Cruz and Salma Hayek, 2006’s Bandidas shows the actresses as a bank-robbing duo in turn-of-the-century Mexico as they try to fight off a dastardly law enforcer.
Cruz and Hayek are practically as close as sisters at this point, with almost two decades separating today from their life on the set of Bandidas. Rønning and Sandberg are pretty chummy, too — they continue to work as a directing duo on big blockbusters.
High School Musical (2006)
One would think that most of the big names associated with High School Musical would dismiss it as an embarrassing bit of early work designed to help them get a leg up in the industry, but that’s actually the opposite of what really went down.
Ashley Tisdale and Vanessa Hudgens, two of the film’s female leads, consider High School Musical to be one of the most important things they’ve ever done. It launched their careers and it brought them together. They remain friends today, often reuniting to fondly reminisce.
The Proposal (2009)
These days, it seems like good romantic comedies are getting harder to come by. With films like The Proposal being over 10 years old at this point, it’s hard to imagine how Hollywood could learn to prioritize these sorts of films when superheroes and action stars dominate the screen.
Still, the genre’s actors like to think back fondly on the work they used to do. Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock, stars of The Proposal, formed a great bond while on set and remain friends today. Just like old times, it seems.
Second Act (2018)
Hollywood is a place where unlikely friendships run rampant. From red carpet events to fancy premiere parties, actors and actresses get the chance to meet one another without ever having to work together. In fact, sometimes future collaborations can sprout from personal relationships like these.
Just look at Jennifer Lopez and Leah Remini. While the two might not be paired together in the minds of audiences, they’re actually very close friends (and have been for some time). Their relationship can be seen on screen in Second Act.
Do the Right Thing (1989)
Spike Lee showed the whole world what he was capable of when he dropped Do the Right Thing in 1989. Combining the tense disputes between people on different walks of life in Brooklyn with a brutal heatwave in the dead of summer, Lee’s film was groundbreaking then and continues to resonate now.
In addition to introducing him to Hollywood, Lee’s film also showed off the acting chops of Samuel L. Jackson. The two, first collaborating here, continue to work together and spend time together well into their very successful movie-making careers.
Set It Off (1996)
Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah have a friendship that began in the ’90s and grew even stronger in the late 2010s. First working together on the set of 1996’s thrilling heist film Set It Off and reuniting in 2017 for the uproarious comedy Girls Trip, Smith and Latifah are essentially sisters.
The close relationship between Latifah and Smith is pretty endearing, to be honest. They’ve never passed on an opportunity to work together and always make sure to check in on one another before too much time goes by.
A Wrinkle in Time (2018)
Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s essential novel A Wrinkle in Time carried all sorts of hype in the months leading up to its release in 2018. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling and Oprah Winfrey, the film was surprisingly not as successful as it was expected to be.
Despite this, A Wrinkle in Time forged a friendship as strong as steel for Witherspoon, Kaling and Winfrey. While it’s only been a short time since filming wrapped, it seems that the trio will continue to grow even stronger going forward.
The Best Man Holiday (2013)
While not always true, it seems that, more often than not, fun movies have fun sets. These lighthearted comedies and romances that grace the screen have to be a lot of fun to shoot if the filmmakers hope to portray something convincing, after all.
Take The Best Man Holiday, for example. With a cast made up of Regina Hall, Sanaa Lathan and countless other big names, The Best Man Holiday helped showcase an iconic friendship between its costars. Regina Hall and Sanaa Lathan have been this close for a long time.
The Break-Up (2006)
For those keeping track, Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston have appeared in five films together since their first collaboration back in 2006. The Break-Up, co-starring the two alongside Vince Vaughn, was their very first project together. Since then, it’s become clear that the pair like hanging out together as much as they enjoy acting together.
With each passing collaboration, Bateman and Aniston continue to prove that they’re meant to be together (in movies, at least). Think of it like a brother-sister relationship without all the teasing and fighting.