Before they were big names in Hollywood, these celebrities went to school and had awkward phases just like everyone else. We may not all have the pleasure of personally knowing someone who went on to become famous, but these Redditors sure did! From talented snobs to truly kindhearted souls, these people dish on what celebrities were really like at school.
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"The original Footloose was filmed at my high school, so I kind of went to high school with Kevin Bacon and Sarah Jessica Parker for a few months. They were at the very beginning of their respective careers and both extremely nice, fun people; many of us were extras in the movie and had a lot of casual interaction with the cast.
I always win Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon because I appeared in a movie with him."
"I have some friends who went to high school with Taylor Swift. They said she was a total jerk all through high school and was Ms. Popular Cheerleader. She tries to make it seem like she was bullied and everything, but it's all one huge lie. Probably stemmed from the fact that her family was also loaded. Her dad was in the private jet business and her family lived in a nice house on the lake. Taylor's Father also owns 3% of the label Big Machine Records, and was an initial investor in the record company launch with an estimated 120 thousand investment. This was huge in starting Taylor's career. It's actually quite impressive that she has had all the breaks in life but has sold herself successfully as an underdog."
"I went to high school/was friends with David Lee Roth (John Muir, Pasadena). David had recently moved from NYC to Los Angeles - his doctor dad wanted to start a new practice out here on the West Coast. Having grown up in NYC, Dave was a bit more sophisticated than your average SoCal surfer/stoner bros (the rest of us). He talked about bands that we weren't really that familiar with (Stooges, for example). The one thing we ALL had in common was smoking weed, which we'd do whenever possible between classes - and we all had a tendency to congregate together because we'd been bussed from the rich neighborhoods into the ghetto - Pasadena was one of the first cities in the nation to do so in 1969.
David & I were also involved in the drama department, which had a great instructor and spawned two Oscar-winning screenwriters and an operatic diva during our era. We'd sneak out during afternoon rehearsals of scenes we weren't in, and smoke weed while pondering the great future before us. Dave would take the joint, Bogart it - and begin to pontificate on how he was going to be a BIG ROCK STAR. We'd laugh and reply, 'Sure, Dave - now pass the joint!'
Dave had oodles of style even during that era - he'd walk around looking just like Jagger on the cover of 'Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out' - his lips pooched out, a little cape - and a top hat! That boy had MAJOR game back then, you'd always see him off chatting up some studious type hottie - AND we even recall David scoring with more than one black sister, in that era of Black Power it was SUPER-rare to see a black chick dating some rich white kid! Good times!"
"My parents went to school with Brad Paisley. As far as I've heard he seemed to be a prick. I come from a small town so everyone over 30 has a Brad Paisley story. Sometimes I think all the negative comments might come from jealousy because he actually got out of the area and made something of himself while half his classmates are in prison or are addicts. Then again there was this big incident when I was in high school. He wanted to shoot a music video in his hometown (Letter to Me). They asked students to audition as extras since a large portion of the video was filmed inside our high school. Once the video was all finished there was a big bonfire and wrap party where all the people who were in the video were told they'd be able to meet Brad Paisley and get pictures and autographs. He was supposed to show up at 8 and people stood out in the rain in anticipation for hours, but he never showed up. People waited until about one in the morning until they just went home. After weeks of working for free and promises of meeting him he just never showed up. The whole high school was mad for the next 2 weeks.
Bonus: my mom threw up on him in high school."
"Miranda Kerr. Typical popular pretty girl, who tried hard and had everyone fawn over her. Basically 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, are attention seekers and I have no respect for them. They moved the family across the country for her 'career' when she was still quite young, without much care-factor for her childhood, even less care-factor 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 borderline on pedo stuff because she was just SO young but they were making her up to be so much older because she was so tall and skinny with such big eyes and lips... it always seemed off that a parent would allow that.
Anywho, the parents basically made it all about her and they pinned everything on her gaining success at whatever cost. The parents were quite controlling, and only gave the brother half glances in life.
I believe Miranda tried to distance herself from them for a while, and not long ago they were doing interviews to the media saying they hadn't seen her in years and she wouldn't speak to them and didn't know why. Again manipulative attention seeking trash, I have nothing good to say about her parents, at all."
"James Corden. God was he a show-off. When a bunch of 10-11-year-old kids are trying to get a school play together it helps if you don't start making up your own lines and throwing everyone into a state of utter confusion. Corden has one of the worst reps going. His own parents staged an intervention over his foul behaviour. From what I've read, so many in the industry have a 'James Corden is a prick' story. One was from a guy who got Cordon to do some voiceover work. When lunch time came around Corden put in a massive order and then was all like, 'How am I supposed to eat all this, I'm not even hungry' when the food arrived. Also, I remember reading one where his wife handled their newborn during an entire plane ride and he wouldn't even hold it so she could get her stuff."
"I lived in the same dorm / was in the same English class as Emma Watson. Honestly, she struck me as slightly pretentious-- she lived in one of the nicest suites for sophomores, and she still felt the need to do $10,000 in renovations to it and build a kitchen in there (god forbid she had to use the kitchen downstairs with all the normal people). Also, she ended up dropping the English class we were in together right when the teacher announced the final project... from what others have told me, she was known for dropping classes towards the end.
I've heard many people say she's a perfectly nice person, but I've heard so many others say she was a snob. I don't really know what to believe."
"My ex-mother-in-law was close friends with Johnny Knoxville, except everyone around here calls him PJ. He absolutely adores her father. So anytime he came into town, he'd visit my ex-wife's grandfather, who happened to live next door to my ex-mother-in-law. She said he was just a sweet, goofy kid growing up who was always doing stunts even back then. He used to wear a football helmet around for his stunt work or something like that.
Anywho, he came into town for his parents' 50th and we were all invited. Then we hung around outside and walked around and I gotta say, I don't know any celebrities, but I've heard they can be total jerks to fans (looking at you Daniel Craig, you Bondly prick, you). This just cannot be said about PJ. He's just as friendly after 3 hours of fans stopping him as he was the first fan of the night. He smiles from ear-ear, gives each fan a great big hug, takes pictures with them, gives them that Knoxville laugh, and just genuinely appreciates their support. He's just an all-around nice guy from the sticks."
"Kylie Jenner was a grade or two above me at a K-12 school we attended in SoCal. This was in the late 2000s.
Around 2008 when I was in fourth grade, Keeping Up With The Kardashians had already launched by then and the Kardashian sisters were universally famous, but Kendall and Kylie were still quite young and no one knew them.
I actually didn't even realize the Kardashians existed until 2011 when Kim got divorced from Kris Humphries, and I began to read up on them. I started to watch a few episodes of their show on TV and quickly realized that the older girl I frequently saw hanging around my school was actually on the show: Kylie Jenner.
A few days later, I ran into Kylie in the school and was amazed that she was this famous. We chatted for a few minutes, and she was extremely kind and friendly.
For the next few months, we'd frequently run into each other and exchange smiles and greetings.
Suddenly, after a bit, she all but vanished from the school, and I never saw her again. It turns out she switched to homeschooling at that point.
Looking back, it was all so surreal to me."
"I hung out with Tim Tebow (the footballer) when we were both back in middle school at camp. We were both in the same cabin. I also vividly remember one day when all of the cabins were swimming, he and I chose to spend our time digging a big hole on the beach.
From what I remember he was a pretty decent person, not holier than thou but definitely had a moral compass. He was well-liked and generally interacted with everyone regardless of their social status. He was athletic but at the time he never struck me as having out of the ordinary ability. It was a religious camp and everyone was fairly religious but he had a daily devotional that he did every night which was unusual for a middle school boy. He didn't showboat it, but I remember half thinking it was weird, and half being jealous because my sister in high school had a personal devotional she did every night and it seemed really mature.
I enjoyed hanging out with him and we developed a camp friendship but we didn't keep in touch afterward."
"I was in Drake's class for grades 1-4. We weren't super tight, but we got along okay. His mother was always taking him out of school to go to auditions, and to be quite honest, it never really seemed he was feeling the whole stage kid thing back then. Not that he seemed to hate it, just that to him it seemed more like an errand his mother often took him on. (Though he later seemed to grow into it, so good on him.)
I haven't seen him since then, so I don't know what he's like in real life these days, and I hope he's happy with whatever he's up to. But I will say that I am totally incapable of buying his stage persona. I remember little Aubrey Graham as, if anything, kind of a goody-two-shoes. Quick to remind other kids of rules nobody else saw them breaking, inclined to take the teacher's side if he overheard other kids complaining about her, that kinda thing. Assuming he wasn't faking an accent the entire time he went to elementary school (I gather that is not, in his case, a safe assumption), I can also confirm that buddy's natural accent and dialect is indistinguishable from any other middle-class white kid from Toronto."
"I went to elementary school with Shia LaBeouf for a few years. We were decent friends, my mom was a teacher there too and so when I made friends my mom had a way of getting to know all the families/parents. His mom looked like a straight-out-of-Romania gypsy and she was very nice, I always liked seeing his mom. Shia was a bit of a troublemaker but all in good fun really.
Had this one teacher together, Mrs. Robinson (no joke). She was the scariest teacher you could imagine for a 5th grader, A big lady with one leg, excess makeup and NO sense of humor. Shia was passing notes one day and one of them was left in his desk after class. The next day the teacher reads the note out loud and it contains some very disparaging remarks about our overlord instructor. It was like an execution order being read aloud, but Shia wasn't there that day. The next day he hears about all of what happened the day before and we watched him walk right into class with his head high ready to face the music. Took balls. Shia was a good guy, always wanted to get back in touch with him to let him know how proud my family and I are of him.
This all took place at a performing arts school in Los Angeles. Talent agents cruised our school a LOT, I did a few screen tests and the likes, one with Shia if I recall, but it was Shia that got picked up for that Disney Channel show the year after my family and I left for Nor-Cal."
"I went school with Tina Fey from 6th through 12th grade (had several classes with her over the years). We were friendly although we never hung out. My impressions of her were that she was intelligent, witty and quite nice. When I heard she was writing for Saturday Night Live I wasn't surprised at all. I never envisioned her becoming a star though. Also, she is much more attractive now, wish I could say the same about me."
"My mother's friend circle was involved with Eminem obviously far before he was famous. We've lived in the Warren area almost our entire lives so it was when he was younger living around here, mid-80s.
Uncle also was friends with him and was there for the first tape he tried to get local shops and people to listen to and pick up during his young/teenage years. My uncle went up to the park they all used to hang out at, and when he came home later that day he had a tape given to him by his friend 'Marshall.' He was really excited about it because obviously that was his good friend but my mom said it was pretty terrible from the song she heard from it. But being a master doesn't happen overnight.
My uncle had that tape for awhile, but a friend wanted to borrow it to let other friends hear it, still before he was famous so there was no foul play. Either it's sitting somewhere and nobody knows about it, in the trash, or somebody realized what it was and stashed it away by now. A really cool story overall though."
"My husband went to high school at the same time (but not the same school, we live in an urban area) and was friendly with Sid, Corey, Joey and Shawn from Slipknot. They were all very down to earth and fun to be around. Corey worked at an adult bookstore for a while.
Whenever they come home they are happy to hang out with lots of people from the town.
Likewise, Jason Momoa visits his mom and grandma in small-town Iowa as regularly as possible. I have friends who have waited on him and he's just the friendliest of guys. He actually works hard to get his entrepreneur friends gigs on movies - for instance, he recently had a clothing creator friend contribute a lot to the costuming in Aquaman.
Personally, I think our shining star is Ashton Kutcher. He and Mila are just the most regular-people celebrities around. They regularly attend University of Iowa games and visit the kids at the Children's Hospital. He learned about the 'Iowa Wave' and came home to see it in person. He is the biggest celebrity philanthropist from Iowa I know of as well. He works for a number or incredibly great causes."
"Frank Abagnale is my dad's cousin. We were at a family wedding and he was telling us, 'Yeah, they're making a movie about my life. Leonardo DiCaprio is playing me.' He's a professional liar, so we all just laughed at him. Then Catch Me If You Can came out."
"I went to Elementary with Jacob Hoggard (he was on Candian Idol). We were the best of friends since we lived 2 doors down from each other. He was a cool chill kid. Always smiling and having a good time. His parents were always so nice to me and I used to have the biggest crush on his sister back then. Never told him because we were like brothers. I went to his birthday once and almost pooped myself because I ate something bad there. But anyway, back to the story. I moved away across the city and lost touch with him. 10 years later I bumped into his dad and he told me that Jacob was started to sing on the side and stuff. Oh, the foreshadowing. I moved to a different city and I started listening to a band name Hedley. One day at work my co-worker was saying what male celebrity she would sleep with if she were straight. She said Jacob Hoggard. I look at her confused and say how do you know Jacob? She looks back at me confused and says 'why wouldn't I want to sleep with the lead singer of Hedly?' I was like 'what are you talking about?' She shows me a pic of Jacob and I was shocked. Turns out I've been listening to the guy all these years and didn't know. I was shocked that day. So I did what any normal person did. I tried to get in contact with the guy and only mentioned things that I and he knew from back in the day. Even mentioned the 3rd friend we hanged out with since we were a trio. Sadly, I never did hear back from him. Oh well, I still have the times we hanged out back before he was famous."
"I went to high school with Michael Vick. I'm quite serious when I say that he was a very humble, respectful, well-liked person who would stand up for the weak/defenseless and just generally show maturity beyond his years. His brother Marcus would generally act like a thuggish spoiled brat who was living on his brother's name.
I saw Michael Vick try out for baseball. He was clocked in the upper 90's as a left-handed pitcher (ridiculous for high school baseball). The only problem was that every pitch he threw was at least five feet from the catcher. Rocket arm, no control. I also saw him throwing footballs from his knees from the 50-yard line through the uprights. That kid was a pure athlete even then.
We didn't really appreciate how awesome he was at the time, because Ronald Curry went to a rival high school, so all the focus was on him. Curry was recruited for basketball and football at North Carolina, and if I remember correctly he was the #1 prospect out of high school in the country. Let's just say he didn't turn out quite as well as Michael Vick, but at the time he had the spotlight."
"We weren't students at the same time, but I went to the same high school as Lin Manuel Miranda (the guy who did Hamilton). He was a substitute teacher for my 7th-grade communications/theatre class for a bit (prior to doing 'In the Heights'). I remember he struck me as being dorky in the grown-up theatre-kid way, but ultimately nice and clearly talented.
Another notable alum was Cynthia Nixon, who had been married to one of my teachers there prior to her current relationship -- aka the guy she left for a woman. My teacher was awesome and it seemed like he had somewhat of a sense of humor about it.
Immortal Technique (rapper) was another, and apparently, he bullied Lin Manuel Miranda during their time together."
"My close friend's high school was the rival of the high school that Ariana Grande went to in Florida. Her high school was considered the 'rich kids' school. Apparently, she was pretty popular, was always involved with (and good at) music and theater but was completely stuck up and kind of mean. Not sure if this is true but that's what the rumors were. She left at some point to go be on Victorious."
"I lived in the dorms with Andy Samberg at UCSC freshman year. I remember that he had a bunch of pretty cool hip hop and a record player in his room. He also had a girlfriend that went to another school come visit and he talked his roommate into leaving for the night and then took the two single beds in his dorm room, put them on the floor and prepared a 'king size' bed for the night. Our dorm was Cowell College and he performed a really bizarre rap at the talent show the second semester. Really talented guy but his level of fame, especially when he made the jump from hustling comedy writer in LA to SNL sensation was shocking to witness."
"My life is oddly intertwined with Miley Cyrus' in a few ways.
1) She (and her dad) went to the church in my area and she was always well behaved and just like anyone else. She also didn't stay long, but was comfy enough with one person in my family to let him sit next to her in the pew.
2) My elementary school music teacher, this 60+ year old guy who was balding with a duck dynasty beard took his teenage daughter to try out and be an extra in the Hannah Montana movie. The casting people picked him instead of his daughter. He didn't even audition."