Working on any set is a bit of a gamble. Most actors have big personalities. They have to in order to put themselves out there in front of millions of people. It stands to reason that sometimes those personalities are simply going to clash.
Different actors have different styles and methods that work for them but don’t always gel with what works for their co-stars. Sometimes, however, the opposite is true. Working so closely with people over a few months— or years, in the case of a TV show— can form bonds that last a lifetime.
It’s impossible to tell how things are going to go sometimes. Whether or not actors become best friends or simply rub each other the wrong way is usually something that only becomes totally clear as the production gets underway. In the case of superheroes, these are movies and shows that all too often rely on teamwork. Communication is always key.
As you’ll see on this list, some people take that to heart better than others. These are actors across the entire superhero spectrum, be they movies or shows from any period, who have either become best friends or bitter rivals throughout their careers.
Here are the 8 Superhero Actors Who Are Best Friends IRL (And 7 Who Are Frenemies).
15 Best Friends: Chris Evans & Chris Pratt
Although they’ve yet to share the screen in the MCU, Star Lord and Captain America are great friends in real life. The two good-natured actors appear to have great camaraderie.
Their good-natured ribbing usually has a great cause behind it as well. The best example of this would be when the two of them staged a healthy competition trying to one-up the other by both attending children’s hospitals in their full costumes.
These really sweet and tender moments continue to make them stand out as two of the apparently nicest guys in the business.
Fans can only hope that some of that chemistry can be seen on the big screen when the two finally share the screen in this April’s Avengers: Infinity War. Fun and charming as they both may be, Cap and Star Lord are two very different characters and it’s no stretch to imagine that they might not actually get along.
14 Frenemies: Robert Downey Jr. & Terrence Howard
It’s no secret that there were tensions on the set of Iron Man between its two of its main actors. Stark and Rhodes are and have always been best friends in the comics, but establishing that friendship on screen proved to have its share of difficulty.
It didn’t take an eagle-eyed fan to notice that Rhodes was played by a different actor in Iron Man 2-- one of the few instances of recasting in the MCU to date. Howard felt as though he was mistreated on the set of the first movie and never shied away from talking about it.
However, even when addressing the announcement of Don Cheadle’s casting, Downey played it pretty cool by saying that he had nothing to do with the decision and that he still loved Howard very much.
13 Best Friends: Anne Hathaway & Hugh Jackman
They’re both anti-heroes in their own right and they both have claws, but one wouldn’t expect Catwoman and Wolverine to be the best of friends, especially since they hail from separate universes.
In the real world, though, the Les Miserables co-stars couldn’t be closer. It makes sense, as the intimacy and emotional rawness of that story must have allowed serious bonds to be formed among the cast. Hathaway has referred to Jackman as her “bro” and was even present when he was awarded his star on the walk of fame.
Given that they both seem to have left the comic book world behind, it’s unlikely that fans will see them teaming up for any kind of big screen superhero epic any time soon. However, never say never.
12 Frenemies: Wesley Snipes & Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds is an immensely charming, funny person and that clearly seemed to pose a threat to Snipes on the set of Blade Trinity, when Reynolds joined the franchise as Hannibal King and began to upstage Blade in his own movie.
Snipes was notoriously hard to work with throughout that production, as he never left his trailer and only communicated with the cast and crew through Post-It notes that said “From Blade.” Reynolds did his best to keep the set light, but it didn’t stop Snipes from hating him for it.
It seems highly unlikely that the two have patched anything up in the fourteen years since the movie’s release. Reynolds has finally found his own comic book franchise, one that he loves dearly, and doesn’t plan on giving up any time soon. Don’t expect any appearances by Snipes in further Deadpool sequels.
11 Best Friends: Grant Gustin & Melissa Benoist
When it was announced that Supergirl would be set in a completely different universe than the other two Arrowverse shows, fans were disappointed and were left wondering if there would ever be any chance of crossover.
Luckily, Flash had begun to explore the multiverse in Supergirl’s debut season, so the opportunity to have them meet made perfect sense. Right from that first crossover, they’d clearly captured lightning in a bottle.
From the first moment they shared the screen together, Barry and Kara had better banter and chemistry than he’d ever had with Oliver.
It’s now even gotten to a point where crossovers between the two shows seem to have replaced the yearly Flash/Arrow crossover, not to mention the bigger event crossovers that also seem be part of the yearly plan.
Much of that stems from the great chemistry that these Glee co-stars have both on-screen and off.
10 Frenemies: Chad Michael Murray & Sophia Bush
One Tree Hill co-stars Sophia Bush and Chad Michael Murray married young and it wound up causing all sorts of problems for them. The downfall of their relationship was highly publicized, and even after their divorce, they had to continue working together on the show.
Sophia Bush has said that they were stupid kids who had no business being in a relationship. Whatever the case, the damage was clearly done and the production surely suffered for it. The marriage lasted only five months.
The marriage did not hurt their careers, though, as they’ve both gone on to other things and have even entered the worlds of superhero shows and movies, respectively. Chad Michael Murray appeared in both seasons of Agent Carter, while Sophia Bush will be playing a wannabe superhero in the highly anticipated Incredibles 2.
9 Best Friends: Tom Holland & Zendaya
Many were incredibly excited when Tom Holland’s solo Spider-Man movie was announced after his spectacular debut in Captain America: Civil War. He stole every scene he was in with a pitch-perfect take on the young hero.
However, fans were even more surprised when Zendaya wound up stealing scenes from the hero himself in Spider-Man: Homecoming. The chemistry revealed between the two of them on-screen stems from the bonds they’ve formed behind the camera.
Knowing how close their characters are likely destined to be in the movies, Holland and Zendaya have made an effort to hang out and truly become close so that when their moment happens on screen, it will be all the more believable.
It’s clearly worked, because their affection and respect for one another is immediately clear whenever they appear together.
8 Frenemies: James Franco & Heath Ledger
Franco and the late, great Heath Ledger never appeared to have any actual bad blood between them, but the two did have a friendly rivalry.
They were up for many of the same roles, many of which were the roles that helped Ledger to launch his successful career. Both of them auditioned for 10 Things I Hate About You, both of them went out for the role of Mel Gibson’s son in The Patriot, and both even went for A Knight’s Tale.
In case fans have forgotten that James Franco wrote a book of poetry, he did. One of those poems happens to be titled “Ledger” and is about the friendly rivalry and how he always went out for roles that eventually went to Ledger.
7 Best Friends: Sophie Turner & Maisie Williams
These Game of Thrones sisters have formed an incredibly strong bond over the years, almost to the point that they might as well be sisters in real life.
Both of them support each other and appear to hang out all of the time. Both of them have now joined the X-Men universe as well. Turner took on the role of young Jean Grey in X-Men: Apocalypse and will now take center stage for X-Men: Dark Phoenix.
Williams, meanwhile, will be playing Rahne Sinclair (aka Wolfsbane) in Josh Boone’s The New Mutants.
New Mutants was originally planned to hit next month. That was the date on all of the trailers, but that all changed when the movie went back for reshoots. It will now be released February 22nd of next year.
It seems unlikely, though, that the two movies would have had any overlap or that Turner or Williams will wind up sharing the screen as their respective mutant characters.
6 Frenemies: Tom Hardy & Charlize Theron
While both actors (but especially Theron) were lauded for their roles in Mad Max: Fury Road, they had a miserable time filming the movie together.
Right from the first moment, they just didn’t get along. Their personalities clashed, the conditions under which they were making the movie were already exhaustive, and it just proved to be a bit too much for them.
Director George Miller has noted that this actually worked for their character trajectory, because their two characters hate each other at first and only learn to respect one another as the movies goes on.
Theron has echoed that sentiment and said that if they were friendly the whole time, “the movie could have been a lot worse.” She doesn’t appear to hold much against Hardy, as she’s joked that other people appear to have fine experiences working with him.
5 Best Friends: Channing Tatum & Joseph Gordon-Levitt
An unlikely duo, the would-be Gambit and all-too-brief Robin actually appear to be the best of friends. Their bromance is very real and Levitt has been friends with Tatum since Havoc, which was one of his very first roles.
This is definitely an “opposites attract” kind of friendship, as the two are very different, especially on screen. Both actors appeared together in Stop-Loss and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, but their styles are quite different. Levitt gives off a more refined, semi-hipster vibe whereas Tatum is just a good-natured beefcake.
They continue to work together whenever they can and appear to remain great friends off set as well. It seems unlikely that they’ll ever team up for a superhero movie, but with as close friends as they are, fans probably shouldn’t be too surprised if Levitt actually winds up making an appearance in Gambit.
4 Frenemies: Viola Davis & Jared Leto
Some of the cast of Suicide Squad have talked about how unnerving it was to work with Jared Leto, but most of them have done it with reverence for his method and the lengths he would go to in order to get into character. Viola Davis was not one of those people.
Davis never found his antics charming, amusing, or admirable and even said that she wanted to pepper spray him on the set. She did not get any of the gifts that Leto would send to his other co-stars— gifts that included things like dead rats and condoms— but said that she would have told her husband to “take care of the Joker” if she had.
Even when promoting the movie at Comic Con, Davis could clearly be seen being less than enthused as Leto went on about his take on the Joker and everything he did to get into character.
3 Best Friends: James McAvoy & Benedict Cumberbatch
Professor X and Doctor Strange have actually always appeared to have a friendly relationship in the comics, treating each other with admiration and respect. They were both members of the Illuminati, and thus responsible for shaping some of the major events of the Marvel Universe.
Even among a group including at Atlantean King and a man made of rubber, they were essentially the two weirdos of the group. That friendship also extends into real life, though it will likely never be realized on the big screen.
James McAvoy and Benedict Cumberbatch are great friends in the real world, leaving fans to only hope that their paths might cross as their famous characters should the Fox/Disney deal ever actually go through.
Ever since appearing in Starter for 10 in 2006, the actors have been very close, so hopefully they’ll be working together on something soon.
2 Frenemies: Scarlett Johansson & Jeremy Renner
Although Black Widow and Hawkeye are well-established as best friends in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the relationship off-screen might not be as close.
While most of the cast get along extremely well— to the point that director Joss Whedon really felt like he had to reign them in to get anything done— there’s always been a bit of a wall between Johansson and Renner. It certainly didn’t help when Renner made an inappropriate comment about Black Widow when promoting Age of Ultron.
Chris Evans, who was part of that joke, gave a very sincere apology after, admitting that he hadn’t even realized how ignorant he had been. Not only did Renner not apologize for actually making the comments, but he also said that he didn’t get why people were upset about it in the first place.
1 Best Friends: Edward Norton & Mark Ruffalo
Fans would have to imagine that there would be bad blood between the guy that introduced Hulk to the MCU and the guy who took the role out from under him. After all, Edward Norton hadn’t planned on letting go of Hulk.
Norton had even agreed to The Avengers even if he didn’t seem completely enthusiastic about it. However, after Marvel decided to go their separate ways and went with Mark Ruffalo instead, there appeared to be no animosity for the actor replacing him.
That’s because Norton and Ruffalo are actually great friends in real life. Because of that close friendship, Ruffalo has said that he’s not entirely happy about how he got the part because he didn’t want to take anything away from his friend.
Meanwhile, Norton has said that he couldn’t be happier for Ruffalo for taking on the role and getting to play the incredible character.
Can you think of any other superhero actors who are friends in real life? Do you know of any frenemies? Join the conversation in the comment section!