Hollywood is a land of both friendships and rivalries. For every story of famous co-stars who sparked a special bond, you find an infamous tale of two actors with clashing egos. Study any era of Hollywood, from its golden age to its current mega-blockbuster saturated incarnation, and you’ll find pairs of stars who both love and despise each other.
Public fascination with celebrity BFFs and mortal enemies seems to be of equal fervor. As a society, we seem to find equal satisfaction with the lifelong friendship of Leonardo Dicaprio and Tobey Maguire as we do the bitter feud between Star Trek veterans William Shatner and George Takei. We are warmed by the eternal bromances of Rogen and Franco, or Clooney and Pitt, yet we take morbid pleasure in the legendary feud between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Whether friends or enemies, there’s just something about the exaggerated relationships of larger-than-life Hollywood personalities that keep us fascinated in their world.
We live in an era where the stories behind movie productions are creating an industry as big as the film industry itself, but our fascination with the relationships between our favorite stars behind the scenes is hardly anything new. So let’s take a look back at some of Hollywood’s greatest friendships, as well as its most bitter feuds, with 10 Co-Stars Who Are Real-Life Buddies (And 10 Who Hate Each Other).
20. Enemies: Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams
A whole book could be written about movies that produce vicious feuds between their romantic leads. From Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis in Some Like It Hot to Nick Nolte and Julia Roberts in I Love Trouble, Hollywood has clocked in its fair share of on-screen romances-turned-behind-the-scenes squabbles. One of the most famous on-screen rifts of recent years was that of Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams in The Notebook. The two had sufficient on-screen chemistry, but it wasn’t enough to keep them from having serious issues with one another between takes.
According to Notebook director Nick Cassavetes, Gosling and McAdams were at serious odds during the making of the movie. Gosling went so far as to ask Cassavetes to start auditioning other actresses to take McAdams’ place. Fortunately, the director ended up staging an intervention for the two leads, forcing them to get it all out in the open until their conflict was resolved. Production on the film remained rocky, but ultimately, tensions fizzled. The two leads even ended up in an off-screen relationship together for a while.
19. Buddies: Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams
Stark sisters Sansa and Arya may not always get along on Game of Thrones, but their real-life counterparts are true best buds. One brief browse of the social media accounts of either actress will show that GoT stars Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams have a special bond. The pair have been practically inseparable since the day they met, becoming one of the most adorable BFF pairings you could ever hope to see.
On screen, the two actresses have been apart for some time, portraying two very separate journeys for their respective characters, both geographically and thematically. The plot surrounding Sansa and Arya’s reunion in Season 7 was met with mixed reviews by fans and critics, but there’s no doubt that the real-life chemistry between the two actresses bled into their scenes together. Game of Thrones only has one season remaining, but here’s hoping we see Sophie and Maisie’s real life adventures together for many years to come.
18. Enemies: Ryan Reynolds and Wesley Snipes
Stories of Blade: Trinity’s troubled production have been rolling out for years. Everything from studio overreach to difficulties between director David S. Goyer and star Wesley Snipes seemed to have doomed the third entry in the Blade film series from the start. But the most famous and longstanding tale of Blade: Trinity’s tricky shoot is the onset feud between Snipes and co-star Ryan Reynolds.
Reynolds was far from the only person on the set of Trinity to endure abuse from the disgruntled Snipes, who reportedly spent the majority of production smoking marijuana in his trailer and mostly refusing to speak with Goyer. But it’s his colorful interactions with Reynolds that have gotten the most attention. Snipes was reported to have been disparaging to Reynolds frequently on set, calling him a “cracker” on more than one occasion.
17. Buddies: Tina Fey and Amy Pohler
These two former SNL Weekend Update co-anchors, frequent collaborators, and comedy powerhouses have only become a stronger and more exciting duo as the years have gone by. From Baby Mama to Sisters, Fey and Poehler always bring out the best and funniest in one another when they work together. And it probably has something to do with the fact that they’re practically family in real life.
Fey and Poehler first met in the Chicago improv scene in the early ‘90s, and supported each other up through the ranks of comedy all the way to their stints on Saturday Night Live. On SNL, the pair not only killed it as co-anchors on Weekend Update, but appeared together in some of the most memorable sketches of their time on the show (Mom Jeans, anyone?). Since then, the two have kept working together in the movie biz and remain the closest of friends.
16. Enemies: Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett
The 2003 buddie-cop comedy Hollywood Homicide was kind of a disaster. The jokes weren’t funny, the action felt like a weak imitation of an ’80s action movie, and the two leads had absolutely no chemistry to speak of. Perhaps that last part has something to do with the fact that action veteran Harrison Ford and then-hearthrob Josh Hartnett didn’t get along for the majority of production.
Even if Ford and Hartnett had got along swimmingly, the film would likely have still been a bland bomb. Though they had a difficult time even talking to each other for the majority of production, according to Hartnett, he and Ford did manage to bridge their personal gap, at least partially, by the time the movie wrapped up. Unfortunately, they had so little to work with in terms of the script that no mended relationship could’ve saved this misfire.
15. Buddies: Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan
The 2013 festival flick Kill Your Darlings tells the story of a murder in 1944 that brought together the defining writers of the beat generation, most notably Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe), Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston) and William Burroughs (Ben Foster). The whole cast of young stars conveys an authentic sense of closeness and camaraderie that was surely created behind the scenes of the low-budget production.
Both during and after promotion for the film, Radcliffe in particular was very vocal about his strong kinship with co-star Dane DeHaan. In some interviews, Radcliffe even went so far as to say that DeHaan was the best friend he had made since he started acting—a noteworthy statement, considering the fact that Radcliffe grew up in the spotlight of Harry Potter with Emma Watson and Rupert Grint.
14. Enemies: Jerome Flynn and Lena Headey
Most of the cast members of Game of Thrones are close pals, but that doesn’t mean it’s all good times and friendship bracelets in Westeros. Co-stars Lena Headey and Jerome Flynn have a now-infamous ongoing, on-set feud that stems from a past romantic relationship between the two actors.
Luckily, Headey and Flynn haven’t had to share much screen time in recent years, but when they do, they’ve been said to completely avoid speaking to one another unless absolutely necessary. On screen, Flynn’s character has spent a lot more time with Lannister brothers Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) than Headey’s Cersei Lannister. Perhaps the GoT writers would do well to keep it that way, for the sake of the rest of the cast and crew.
13. Buddies: Seth Rogen and James Franco
As two of the Apatow crew’s most towering figures, Seth Rogen and James Franco have converged and diverged from each other frequently over the course of their careers. Since their debut together on Freaks and Geeks, Rogen has largely stayed on the Apatow comedy track, while Franco has done everything from making his own stream of literary independent films to writing books of poetry. But that hasn’t stopped the two friends from getting back together for a new project every couple of years.
The Judd Apatow comedy oeuvre is incredibly bromance-centric, and no one embodies the modern bromance more than Seth Rogen and James Franco. Both on and off-screen, the two actors have formulated an infectious bromantic bond that continues to result in some of their finest and most hilarious work.
12. Enemies: William Shatner and George Takei
William Shatner’s seriously inflated ego during his time on Star Trek is the stuff of legend. Equally legendary is co-star George Takei’s severe dislike for the series’ lead, both during and since filming wrapped. Takei never misses an opportunity to share his less-than-favorable feelings toward Shatner when the subject comes up.
The former Captain Kirk, on the other hand, usually seems to be more perplexed by Takei’s hatred, but he certainly reciprocates his hatred to some degree. According to Shatner, the two have barely spoken to each other personally over the course of their shared Star Trek career, while Takei frequently cites Shatner’s over-bloated ego has the main reason for his intense bitterness toward his on-screen captain. Regardless of whether Takei’s hatred is justified or not, the 40 years running feud continues to fascinate fans everywhere.
11. Buddies: George Clooney and Brad Pitt
Has there ever been a better looking bromance? Veteran leading men George Clooney and Brad Pitt have starred in several films together, including the Ocean’s movies and the Coen Brothers’ underrated espionage comedy Burn After Reading, and their onscreen chemistry together is mere evidence of the deep friendship they share in real life.
George Clooney is well-known in Hollywood as a dedicated prankster, and some of his most elaborate tricks have been played on Pitt. During the filming of Ocean’s Twelve, Clooney took revenge for a prank Pitt pulled on him by putting some incriminating bumper stickers on Pitt’s car (“Small Penis Onboard” being the most colorful). Clooney’s also sent other A-list actors embarrassing pitch letters and signed them with Pitt’s name. The prank war between the actors goes to show just how much fun two best pals can have at each other’s expense.
10. Enemies: Bill Murray and Harold Ramis
It may be shocking for some fans to learn that a dynamic duo of comedy like Bill Murray and Harold Ramis ever had a falling out, but the legendary pair found themselves in a serious rift during the making of Groundhog Day. Murray was going through a divorce at the time, which reportedly made him quite temperamental during the film’s production. Combined with creative differences and writing struggles, Murray’s mood resulted in a friend breakup between he and Ramis.
Murray and Ramis were able to bury the hatchet shortly before the latter’s death in 2014. Murray also gave an impromptu shoutout to his late friend while presenting the Oscar for Best Cinematography that same year. It’s still a shame, though, that their differences managed to ruin a legendary friendship and working relationship for so many years.
9. Buddies: Matt Damon and Ben Affleck
Superstars Matt Damon and Ben Affleck broke into Hollywood together, even winning an Oscar together for their Good Will Hunting screenplay in 1997. The two actors and filmmakers have only grown closer over the years, collaborating on Project Greenlight and various other media endeavors. The pair are clearly great creative partners as well as best friends.
Though Damon and Affleck continue to collaborate behind the camera, they haven’t appeared in a film together since 1999’s Dogma. Given that their BFF bond has seemingly only grown stronger in the intervening years, it’d be great to see the pair team up on the big screen again for a high profile picture. Given their unwavering closeness, perhaps it’s only a matter of time.
8. Enemies: Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw
The on-screen rivalry between the characters of Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw in Jaws is surprisingly accurate to the relationship the two actors shared in real life. The scruffy Shaw would frequently intimidate and ridicule the more timid Dreyfuss on set. Dreyfuss has clarified in interviews that Shaw was perfectly kind to him most of the time the cameras weren’t rolling. It was only when the two got close to filming that Dreyfuss’ co-star would start to give him a hard time.
If Shaw’s actions were merely acting tactics to get the feud between their respective characters just right for the cameras, boy, did it pay off. Most behind-the-scenes feuds tend to ruin onscreen chemistry. In the case of Jaws, the “feud” paid off in a major way.
7. Buddies: Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire
Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire paired up for Baz Luhrmann’s polarizing Great Gatsby adaptation in 2013, but they were best pals long before they brought F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic characters to life. DiCaprio and Maguire met as kids at an audition and formed an instant bond. Both aspiring young actors trying to break into Hollywood with the support of their single mothers, DiCaprio and Maguire share a history that has likely kept them grounded and supportive as both actors have risen to the top of the Hollywood heap.
The Great Gatsby may have been kind of a dud, but the chemistry between DiCaprio and Maguire was a real positive mark on the film. The years of friendship between them is clearly felt through their performances. Should the two ever decide to act together in the future, here’s hoping it’s on a project that’s more worthy of their shared history.
6. Enemies: Bruce Willis and Cybil Shepherd
Despite their differences, Bruce Willis and Cybil Shepherd managed to star together in four seasons of Moonlighting. The influential ’80s “dramedy” series saw Willis and Shepherd as private detectives with a tense, will-they-won’t-they working relationship. Throughout the series’ production, tensions were also high between the show’s headlining duo, brought on by everything from simple personality clashes to Willis’ breakout as a movie star.
Like Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw in Jaws, the tense relationship between Willis and Shepherd paid off onscreen. The fiery, back-and-forth relationship between their characters on Moonlighting was the perfect scenario to turn their personal clashes into TV gold, and made them one of the greatest couples in small screen history.
5. Buddies: Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore
Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore are another pair of celebrity BFFs who have known each other since their teen years. The two Charlie’s Angels co-stars met when Barrymore was a 14-year-old barista and Diaz was a 16-year-old model. But it wasn’t until the first Charlie’s Angels movie that they really struck a bond, and they’ve been best friends ever since.
You don’t exactly have to scour the Internet to find evidence of Diaz and Barrymore’s adorable friendship. They’ve been very public pals for years now, and were even bridesmaids at each other’s weddings. Recent tabloid rumors have speculated on whether the deep bond between the two Angels has broken in recent years, but there’s no real sign that these two awesome ladies are ever going to part ways.
4. Enemies: Bill Murray and Lucy Liu
Apparently, not everyone was best friends on the set of Charlie’s Angels. Bill Murray is an actor who clearly doesn’t have a hard time making enemies among his co-stars. Stories of Murray’s short temper have circulated quite frequently since his most recent divorce, and tales of he and Liu’s onset feud is further evidence of the comedian’s short fuse.
According to sources associated with the production of Charlie’s Angels, the clash between Murray and Liu came to a head when Murray yelled at Liu, complaining about her acting techniques, to which Liu responded with equal fury. Needless to say, Murray was jaded by the experience—enough to let himself be replaced by Bernie Mac in the 2003 Angels sequel, Full Throttle.
3. Buddies: Norm MacDonald and Artie Lang
Comedians Norm MacDonald and Artie Lange met when Lange was cast in MacDonald’s 1998 debut feature Dirty Work. It took almost no time at all for the two comedians to discover a deep connection. According to Lange, he and MacDonald share a lot of the same struggles and demons, as well as a similar sense of humor.
Artie Lange has fallen on hard times in recent years, moving in and out of prison and drug rehab. Lange frequently notes that Norm MacDonald has been one of his most ardent supporters and closest confidants. MacDonald is one of comedy’s most authentic voices, so it stands to reason that he’d be an upstanding friend during times of need.
2. Enemies: Bette Davis and Joan Crawford
It’s arguably the most legendary feud in Hollywood history (so much so that it inspired a successful FX miniseries). In fact, so much has said of the furious rift between the two golden age Hollywood starlets that it’s nearly impossible to distinguish fact from fiction. But at the root of all the hype, there is certainly an authentic tale of two enormously talented actresses with clashing egos.
David and Crawford butted heads for years, and accumulated so many crazy stories that Feud: Bette and Joan creator Ryan Murphy didn’t even have time to compile them all for his show. Stories of the actresses trying to do everything from sabotaging one another’s careers to interfering with their personal lives have permeated through Hollywood for decades. In 1962, Davis and Crawford turned their feud into cinema gold by starring together in the psychological horror film Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, perhaps the greatest artifact of the diabolical pair’s legendary relationship.
1. Buddies: Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi
As two of the many legendary names who came from Chicago’s early ’70s sketch comedy scene, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi are one of the greatest comedy duos of all time. Their Blues Brothers characters went from SNL to a Hollywood feature that changed the face of comedy for the next several decades.
Unlike many of today’s lighthearted comedic personalities, both Aykroyd and Belushi were very serious artists who approached their craft with a frenetic desperation. Tragically, Belushi’s demons would end up costing him his life in 1982, when the actor died of a drug overdose. Best friend and comedy partner Aykroyd would go on to make comedy classics like Ghostbusters and Coneheads, but nothing in the remaining years has captured the magic of what he did with kindred spirit Belushi. Hollywood has produced plenty of brilliant comedy duos, but none of them are quite like Aykroyd and Belushi.
Who are your favorite Hollywood BFFs? What famous movie feuds fascinate you the most? Let us know in the comments!
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