The stars…they’re just like us. At least in the sense that they probably went to high school or college before they became huge movie stars or supermodels.
What were they like before they stepped into the spotlight? Were they unassuming nerds? Or were they always part of the popular crowd?
These former classmates of stars gave us the inside scoop on what celebs they went to school with and what they were like way back when.
Some of these may surprise you!
1. Anne Hathaway
“I went to college with Anne Hathaway. She was the roommate of my best friend’s girlfriend, so I was invited to the pre-party for this massive party she threw when she got paid for Princess Diaries.
Honestly, it makes me very happy to say she was incredibly kind and generous. Even after she left school to pursue acting full time, I’d run into her on campus now and then (my girlfriend was a few years younger than me, so I was on campus quite a bit for a few years after graduating). Anne always said hi to me, gave me a big hug and a kiss, even though I suspect she didn’t remember my name. Whatever, I wasn’t going to complain. It was obvious to everyone on campus that she was incredibly talented.
I remember friends going to see her perform in a play on campus where she played an assault victim. They said it was probably the most moving live performance they’d ever seen, and they were amazed at her ability to cry on cue and really embody the role.
To this day, I smile every time I hear about her success. She was a really lovely girl, and I think she deserves what she’s achieved. It also helps that she’s been openly supportive of equal marriage rights, and has generally taken advantage of her ‘soapbox’ to spread a bit of goodness.”
2. Taylor Lautner
“I went to junior high with Taylor Lautner. I also hung out with him after school sometimes. He was always super nice. He can actually do some crazy backflips and is very athletic.
I also remember him being sponsored by Abercrombie and Fitch after he did the Shark Boy and Lava Girl movie. He said he didn’t have a choice but to dress like a jerk.
Lava Girl (Taylor Dooley) also went to my school during the same time. She is a rad chick that I still hang out with today. She’s smoking hot too.”
3. Robert Downey Jr.
“I went to Junior High School with Robert Downey Jr.
He was very, very much like many of the characters that he often plays in movies – always trying to make the quick joke. Sometimes I can’t separate his character (especially in his early movies) from the kid I knew in JHS because that is exactly the way he acted back then. We were also in a drama class together one year and the teacher used to constantly make a joke where he basically wondered aloud why Downey was here in the class adding that his father (a writer and filmmaker) was going to get him a bunch of jobs through his connections.
Also, one time he got the cr*p kicked out of him by another kid for dating a girl that the other kid liked.”
4. Justin Trudeau
“Justin Trudeau was my substitute teacher in high school. I had him for grade eleven socials. We were learning about the origins of WWI. He started telling us about this really cool band called Franz Ferdinand. He seemed really agitated that no one in the room had heard about them. Like he was taking personal offense at that and kind of spazzing. At the time I was just thinking, ‘wow settle down, man.’
A few months later “Take Me Out” became a smash hit and I thought, ‘Man, that prime minister’s son sure is hip. That’s bad news for Ben Mulroney.’
On September 11, 2001, I was only 13 but I could tell that this was some serious stuff. For social studies that year I had a wonderful teacher named Tom Harpunik who’d won the Prime Minister’s award for teaching and I knew that he’d have an excellent class discussion set up for that.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have socials that day. But my French teacher wasn’t at school that day and our sub was Mr. Trudeau. At the time I knew who Pierre was and I think I knew he had a son who was a teacher but I don’t think I put that together at the time.
So there I am in French class on 9/11 with this sub who says that he’s actually a history and drama teacher but he’s from Montreal so he teaches French from time to time.
He wasn’t going to teach us French that day; he wanted to talk about geopolitics, to the extent that 13-year-olds could. He had some thoughts but he was more concerned with facilitating discussion. Unfortunately, I don’t remember a lot of what was said but I remember that he really did want to hear from every student about how they thought it would affect their lives.
I’ve got my problems with his policies, but given that day I’m not surprised that he’s prime minister.
He’s got the name recognition, he’s handsome, and he’s really good at bringing people together and making them feel heard.”
5. Debby Ryan
“I knew Debby Ryan. We didn’t go to the same high school but we went to the same church youth group. She was nice, very bubbly (borderline obnoxious), and was involved in a lot of church productions. Major drama geek. She even played Mary for Christmas, one year. I actually remember overhearing her, afterward, telling someone how she felt she had played the part so well it brought people to tears and she found it touching or something.
I thought it was hilarious.
Her brother played guitar in the youth group band and all the girls were crazy over Chris. Chris is his real name and I don’t understand why he changed it to Chase. Ryan isn’t their real last name, either, but I can at least understand why they’d change that. But yeah, he was hot stuff and one of my friends almost dated him but he was notoriously hard to get.
I remember when she auditioned for Disney. She wouldn’t stop bragging about it. Our church was in Keller, TX and I wanna say her mom took her to Dallas for it? I remember thinking there was no way she’d land a part for Disney. That’d be like winning the lottery. It just doesn’t happen to people you know.
But then low and behold, she actually landed a Disney gig.
I never thought she’d actually get famous, but then a few years later, she was. I’m actually pretty proud of how true to her values she seems to have stayed, honestly.”
6. Cardi B
“I went to high school with Cardi B in Bronx, NY. She was super skinny and not thick at all. I think she was a grade or two ahead of me when I was a freshman.
I don’t remember too much of her, we never really interacted because A) she was older and B) we had completely different friend groups/interests.
I do remember, however, that her voice was super fre*king loud and you could hear her laugh from down the hallway. A couple of my friends hung out with her and they all said that she was relatively friendly and always making jokes.
She definitely liked to make others laugh.
Besides that, I remember she dressed up as Lady Gaga for ‘Celebrity Day.'”
7. Justin Bieber
“I went to elementary school with Justin Bieber. He was a nice guy, but a lot of people made fun of him cause he was short. I remember he was really good at sports and singing, though. One day he came to school and told everyone he was going to get a record deal and that he met Usher.
No one believed him.”
8. Miranda Lambert and Kacey Musgraves
“Miranda Lambert was a senior at my high school when I was a freshman. Watched her do a talent show but I don’t like country music so I thought nothing of it really. A couple of years later she won the first season of Country Music Star.
A couple of my female friends were really good friends with her younger brother and get to go to backstage shows occasionally.
Kacey Musgraves, who is getting pretty big now in country music, also went to my high school.
She was a freshman or sophomore when I was a senior. Absolutely gorgeous at the time, and only getting better looking with age.
The thing is, I hate country music so I don’t really listen to their music.
But it’s kind of cool, I guess.”
9. Tyler the Creator
“I sat across Tyler the Creator for one semester, but he was in my class all year long.
He was always making stupid jokes, and of course, inappropriate jokes here and there. He broke my pen and said I could just go buy another one.
He was always chatty, talking about his favorite hip-hop artists, (The Neptunes and N.E.R.D, I believe).
Towards the last few days of school, our teacher brought a camcorder to record the class, and he wanted to do a rap battle with another classmate sitting in our group.
The entire class roared with laughter and I wish I could remember why, but the opponent sat down afterward.
I didn’t know he was Tyler the Creator until a few years ago. Crazy that he’s famous now, and his humor is still intact.”
10. Evan Ross (Diana Ross’s son)
“I was best friends with Evan Ross (Diana Ross’s son) growing up. His bodyguard would pick us up from school every Wednesday and we would go to the Ross’ mansion. They had a bowling alley in their house and I got to play in her closet every week.
One time, her other son (Ross) broke his arm when we were playing on the trampoline and we had to wait to go to the hospital until she found the perfect pair of shoes.
She’s the ultimate supreme diva.”
11. Emily Ratajkowski
“I knew Emily Ratajkowski. She was really nice but pretty quiet and aloof. She was really artsy and mostly hung out with the artsy girls and skateboarding guys. I remember she invited me to her birthday party once and I was pretty excited about that.
She was already modeling at the time and had even been on that iCarly TV show when she was a kid.
I think she started doing nude modeling the instant she turned 18. She was always really comfortable with her body (not surprising) and for her, it was just art.
From what I see on her Facebook and everything, fame hasn’t really changed her much.”
12. Mark Hamill
“My mother dated Mark Hamill’s cousin and indirectly caused the car accident Hamill was in. She convinced her boyfriend to have Mark come to some family reunion or something. I do not remember the details and, considering my mother, I would say this story has a chance of being completely true.
My mother and uncle were friends with Alexis Denisof (Wesley in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, among other things) growing up.
He was nice and down to earth. The same uncle was roommates or neighbors (I forgot which) with Jason Segel when they were both trying to make it big. Apparently, he’s a great guy and funny.
My grandmother knew all the great singers of her time, Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, etc.
Frank was a jerk, but Bobby was sweet to her. She loved the movie ‘Beyond the Sea,’ and wrote to Kevin Spacey about how spot on he was in portraying Bobby Darin. He wrote back, which was pretty cool. Not many celebrities mail a handwritten note to a fan.”
13. Miranda Kerr
“I went to school with Miranda Kerr. She was a typical popular pretty girl, who tried hard and had everyone fawn over her. Basically, she was the perfect poster child and good girl who did whatever she was asked.
I mean that with no disrespect intended.
Her parents, on the other hand, were attention seekers, and I have no respect for them. They moved the family across the country for her ‘career’ when she was still young, without much care for her childhood and even less care for her younger brother who has struggled a lot in life living in her shadow.
She was doing magazine shoots at 14 and being heavily made up and posed in skimpy outfits. There was quite a bit of uproar locally with people asking the question of whether it was borderline illegal because she was so young.
They were making her up to be so much older because she was tall and skinny with big eyes and lips. It seemed they were making an adult out of a girl who wasn’t even close to the legal age of consent.
It always seemed off that a parent would allow that. The parents made it all about her and they pinned everything on her gaining success at whatever cost. The parents were controlling and only gave the brother half glances in life.
I believe Miranda tried to distance herself from them for a while.
Not long ago, they were doing interviews saying they had not seen her in years and she wouldn’t speak to them and didn’t know why. Again, manipulative attention seeking trash.”
“I went to elementary school with Grimes. She was charismatic, but I got the feeling she was more of an introvert.
If I recall correctly, she was an average student. Keep in mind that this was a private Catholic school in an affluent neighborhood, so all of our parents had high expectations.
I did not know her parents that well, but her mom is a crown prosecutor and her dad is a professor, so I’m sure they expected her to be doing well. Her parents went through a messy divorce in either the fifth or sixth grade.
Claire (Grimes) took it hard. She had always been artsy, but I think she got more into her art during this phase as she focused less on her academics.
One thing that may come as a surprise is she wasn’t musical at all in these days.
Apparently, she taught herself how to play the piano when she was 16 or 17, but this was after I lost track of her. Our school had a decent music program, but she wasn’t into it. We had an excellent visual arts program at the school and that was her jam – drawing and painting.
She liked drawing fashionable women.
She also loved animals, so she would paint them a lot. I think her dog’s name was Toby and she liked to paint him. I think I remember her drawing and painting nature scenes from time to time.
She also loved Barbie dolls.”
15. Ellen Page
“I went to school with Ellen Page. We were in the same group of friends, went to all the same parties, and ate lunch together. She kept thinking I was calling her ‘Helen’ all the time, which was weird.
I would say, ‘Hi Ellen, how’s it going?’
‘My name is ELLEN! Not Helen!’ she would say. I think it was a legit thing the first time, but she later started doing it purposely as a joke to get me riled up.
My best friend, a guy, dated her for a bit in 2005 and they were nice together.
When she came out, I thought it was a tabloid rumor at first but, frankly, wasn’t that surprised. It wasn’t an overly serious relationship nor did it last long. He still hears from her every so often, but less now then he used to.
I have not spoken to her for a few years.
She may not even remember my name, honestly. Weirdly enough, I work behind the camera in film and I’ve seen her at some film galas and around town occasionally. I always imagined if we did talk it’d just get a little awkward.
Hey, Ellen, what are you up to these days? Making movies? Oh me too… Just small, little ones for much less money in Nova Scotia.
She’s one of those people who acted exactly how you would expect.
She’s a bit timid and shy, but nice.”