Friendship often leads to the best relationships, as these stars know all too well. Before dating and becoming involved in some of the most high-profile romances in the world, these famous significant others were just platonic pals.
From Prince William and Kate Middleton to Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher, here are 15 celebrity couples who started out as friends.
1. Prince William and Kate Middleton
The royal couple were friends for many years before becoming the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. As Vanity Fair once recounted, the pair lived in the same dormitory at University of St. Andrews in Scotland. As undergrads, the two had mutual friends and were interested in several similar activities.
It wasn’t until their sophomore year though that things took off. The two have been together ever since, with the exception of a brief breakup in 2007. They got married in 2011 in a lavish, internationally watched ceremony at Westminster Abbey and have two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
2. Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher
Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis knew each other long before they started dating, as friends and former co-stars on That ‘70s Show. Though the two played love interests on the TV comedy, things never got romantic between the two off screen, with Kutcher admitting he thought of her more like a little sister at the time.
Fast forward to 2012, when the duo reunited at an awards ceremony. After catching up there, Kutcher invited her to a housewarming party and that’s where their relationship turned from platonic to something more. The two got married in 2015 and have two children, daughter Wyatt and son Dimitri.
3. Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds
The couple first became friendly while working together on 2o11’s Green Lantern. At the time the movie was being filmed, both were involved in other relationships, with Ryan Reynolds married to Scarlett Johansson and Blake Lively dating Gossip Girl costar Penn Bagdley.
It wasn’t until about a year after the movie, when both stars had split from their former significant others, that the two realized they had chemistry off screen as well. As Reynolds revealed during Entertainment Weekly’s Sirius XM show, sparks began flying when the two were actually on a double date — with other people!
“That was the most awkward date for their perspective probably because we were just like fireworks coming across,” he said. “It was weird at first but we were buddies for a long time. I think it’s the best way to have a relationship is to start as friends.”
The couple got married in 2012 and now have two daughters, James and Ines.
4. Beyoncé and JAY-Z
Before they became music’s most famous couple, they were just a pair of good friends. As Beyoncé has previously revealed, she and her now-husband met when she was just 18, but things didn’t turn romantic until about a year later, after she turned 19.
The two got married in 2008 and have since welcomed three kids, Blue Ivy and her two newborn siblings.
5. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
It may be hard to remember the days before Kimye, but there was a time when the famous duo just thought of each other as longtime pals. The two maintained a friendship for about nine years before they finally began dating in 2012, shortly after Kardashian divorced her second husband, Kris Humphries.
The two welcomed daughter North in 2013 and got engaged later that year. They officially tied the knot in 2014 (about a decade after first meeting each other) and have since welcomed their second child, Saint.
6. Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton
Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton probably wouldn’t have crossed paths if it hadn’t been for stint on The Voice. Stefani joined the reality series in 2014 and the two — both of whom were still married at the time — quickly struck up a strong friendship.
But that friendship turned into something more, following highly publicized divorces from each of their respective ex-spouses. The two went public with their relationship in 2015 and still seem to be going strong.
7. Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder
Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder were friends long before their high-profile long-term relationship. The Vampire Diaries costars began dating shortly after the show’s successful debut in 2010 and were together for several years before eventually calling it quits in 2013.
Dobrev later spoke out about their relationship, telling E! News, “I’ve said this before, that we didn’t break up because anything bad happened or because there wasn’t love or friendship. I love him and the friendship is still strong and I think he’s great and I care about him. We were friends long before we dated and we still are now.”
Somerhalder has since married actress Nikki Reed.
8. Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake
Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake were the quintessential couple of the ‘90s pop era, but they knew each other years before they were famous musicians. The two first crossed paths as young talented stars on The Mickey Mouse Club.
It wasn’t until they were a little older that their friendship blossomed into a romance. They began dating in 1999, making headlines with their red carpet appearances and matching all-denim ensembles. They eventually split in 2002, amid rumors that Spears cheated.
9. Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith
Will Smith first met his future wife when she auditioned for a part on his sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Though she didn’t end up nabbing the role, the two became friendly — although it wasn’t until years later that the relationship escalated.
“After we had known each other for many years, we went out for dinner one night [with mutual friends] and I saw that he had grown from this lanky kid to this really responsible man,” Jada Pinkett Smith once told YourTango. “We started courting each other and our friendship turned into romance.”
10. Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna
Before the reality stars got together and eventually became embroiled in an ugly, public split, they were actually friends. As the former couple revealed during a Facebook Live video in 2016, the two met at a Sweet 16 party for Rob Kardashian’s sister, Kendall Jenner.
“The weirdest thing now like looking back at pictures, we was like winning prizes together and sitting on the ride like close to each other,” Blac Chyna said of their early friendship.
Though the two are now enduring a bitter and highly public breakup, they dated on and off for a little over a year and welcomed a baby daughter, Dream, in November 2016.
11. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson
Twihards couldn’t get enough of the highly publicized relationship between these Twilight costars, which lasted from 2009 to 2012. The two first crossed paths in 2008, after nabbing starring roles in the blockbuster franchise. Though the duo faced intense romance rumors almost immediately, Kristen Stewart was actually dating someone else at the time of their meeting.
Still, the actors became close friends on set and it was about a year later that their romance was finally confirmed. The couple dated for three years — even reconciling after a high-profile cheating scandal involving Stewart and director Rupert Sanders — before calling it quits.
12. Carey Mulligan and Marcus Mumford
The talented actress and the Mumford & Sons singer were married in 2012, after a nine-month courtship. But they actually have a long history together. The two were childhood pen pals, having reportedly become friends after attending the same Christian church camp.
Though they went their separate ways as they got older, they eventually found their way back to each other after finding success in their respective fields. Talk about a fairy-tale romance.
The two now share a daughter, Evelyn.
13. Jessica Alba and Cash Warren
Jessica Alba says she and her husband of almost 10 years, Cash Warren, were friends before they started dating, despite sensing some immediate chemistry. “It was kind of a love-at-first-sight thing, but I met him when I was dating someone else, so it started off as a friendship,” she told Cosmopolitan back in 2005, when they first started dating. “I was actually attracted to his spirit and mind before it went to a physical place.”
The two tied the knot in 2008 and now have two daughters, Honor and Haven.
14. Ariana Grande and Mac Miller
These two singers first met when they collaborated on Ariana Grande’s “The Way” in 2013. Though the duo shared a steamy kiss in the music video for the song, Grande was actually dating someone else at the time and the two never took their friendship to the next level. Still, they remained close throughout the years and their relationship eventually evolved into romance.
The two began dating in 2016 and Grande has since spoken out about the relationship. As she told Cosmopolitan in 2017, “I met him when I was 19. We have loved and adored and respected each other since the beginning… just because we were fans of each other’s talent. We weren’t ready at all, though, to be together. It’s just timing.”
15. Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr.
The longtime couple first met on the set of their 1997 movie I Know What You Did Last Summer, but they didn’t actually start dating until three years later. Even then, their romance started somewhat accidentally.
As Sarah Michelle Gellar told People magazine of their first date, “We had made plans for dinner with a mutual friend and the person canceled. We decided to have dinner anyway and never looked back.”
Since walking down the aisle in 2002, the pair have welcomed two children, daughter Charlotte and son Rocky.
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