The road to success in any industry is tough, and none more so than entertainment. Many of today's biggest stars were struggling not too long ago, and some helped each other out along the way.
Of the thousands — probably millions of people who pursue the dream of becoming a famous actor, musician, or other celebrity, it's a shock when any of them make it to the top, much less two who lived together down at the bottom. However, for some celebrities, that is the case.
Struggling actors share small apartments to save on rent. Hustling bands cross paths on the road. Screenwriters shack up to try and workshop their pitches. Every once in a great while, one of those ambitious people claws their way to the top, and once in an even greater while, they get there with someone they knew from way back in the day.
Some former celebrity roommates are no surprise. They're people who work together to this very day, because Hollywood is a business that relies heavily on personal connections. Others are a little more surprising. Actors you've never seen on screen together used to eat breakfast at the same table every morning, if they could afford a table. Some people who audiences can only dream would cross paths were randomly assigned to the same room in freshman year of college.
This odd housing phenomenon is a delight to fans, and can help lift the veil on what a small world we live in. Here's a look at some of the biggest celebrity former roommates working today.
Before he was dominating the screen in the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise, Jamie Dornan shared an apartment in L.A. with fellow struggling actor Eddie Redmayne. He first revealed the connection in a 2015 interview on Live! With Kelly and Michael. He told the TV hosts that he and Redmayne made the leap from Ireland to Los Angeles together, hoping for the best.
"So Eddie and I went over together and the idea was 'this is going to be great,'" he said. "People just would be like throwing work at us and — polar opposite. It was just tough. And we were at the same agency at the time."
"When we were fresh off the boat in LA someone from the agency dropped scripts for us. Must have been like 25 scripts in my pile and three in his," he went on. "What that seriously means is I had 23 more jobs that I wasn't going to get. It's just like more failure for me, I guess."
The two actors have discussed their humble origins on many occasions now, as Redmayne holds the lead role in J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them franchise. The two stars have really cornered the market on novel adaptations.
The stars of two of TV's hottest shows once lived one together in a Brooklyn apartment. Ilana Glazer, one of the stars of Broad City, moved in with Rachel Bloom, the star of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, right out of college.
The pair was destined for greatness, as they now dominate the world of edgy TV.
"6 years ago we were roommates in Brooklyn," Bloom wrote in an Instagram post featuring the two together, "and now we have tv shows. [Ilana Glazer] is just the best."
While their trajectories have been very different, Justin Timberlake and Ryan Gosling started from the same place.
Both were on Disney's The Mickey Mouse Club as young boys. During their second year, Gosling's mother had to return to Canada for a job. The Timberlake family took Gosling in.
"We were probably a little closer than the rest of the kids that were on the show, Timberlake said in a 2011 appearance on Ellen, "just because we had to share a bathroom.”
At 28 years old, Milo Ventimiglia was sharing an apartment with 18-year-old Penn Badgley while they worked together on the short-lived series The Bedford Diaries.
In 2010, Badgley recalled Ventimiglia would even let him use his ID to get into bars on occasion, telling Bullett "I've still got it somewhere."
Gosling wasn't just crashing with his Disney co-stars throughout his whole career. He lived with Michelle Williams while they filmed Blue Valentine together.
Strangely enough, this wasn't a match borne out of necessity. The director, Derek Cianfrance, asked them to stay together to get into character.
Gosling and Williams were only supposed to do the exercise for a week, but it helped their chemistry so much that they stayed together for a month.
Jason Priestley revealed in his memoir that he lived with Brad Pitt for a while in the early '90s. "We lived on Ramen noodles and generic beer," he wrote. "The kind that came in white cans labeled 'beer.'"
Priestley went on to star in 90210, while Pitt went on to do a couple of movies.
The filming of Aloha went longer than expected, and Bradley Cooper's was up early. Rather than looking for a new arrangement, Emma Stone offered to let the actor stay with her until they finished.
The two stressed that the quarters weren't too tight during their stint as "housemates."
"We barely saw each other," Stone told E! News. "We were roommates," she said, before Cooper quickly said, "Housemates!"
"You had your own little section... your little enclave," Stone said.
Raven-Symone shared an apartment with Lindsay Lohan for a while, though she told Us Weekly that it wasn't a constant slumber party.
“She paid rent, and she was there probably three times,” Symone said. “She had her clothes in the apartment we were supposed to live in together.”
Before he was a beloved comedian, Robin Williams was a serious actor studying at Juilliard School of Drama in New York City. While there, he lived with Superman himself — Christopher Reeve.
The two maintained a tight bond for years, and Williams helped Reeve move on and cope with his paralysis after his accident in the '90s. Reeve's wife, Dana Reeve, once said the pair were "closer than brothers."