These Celebrity Bromances Will Brighten Your Weekend

There's just something about best buddies working together, supporting each other and—yes—sometimes dunking on one another that warms the heart.

By Natalie Finn Nov 04, 2023 2:00 PMTags

A summer romance is well and good, but a solid bromance is fit for all seasons.

Many of us know guys who are good dudes apart but turn into the funniest people alive together, or the fellows who've been buddies since they sat next to each other on the school bus on day one of first grade.

Take all that adorableness and multiply it by Hollywood, however, and you've got endless entertainment.  

Whether their bond blossomed in Boston 40 years ago or one actor slid into another's DMs to compliment a performance and now they own a soccer team together, famous men being dear friends is one of our favorite genres.

While he admittedly doesn't message strangers often, Ryan Reynolds told his Wrexham A.F.C. co-owner Rob McElhenney last year, "This one changed my life."

Grab Your Galentine: Kickass Celebrity Friendships

True story: The scene in Welcome to Wrexham where it looks like they're meeting in person for the first time really was the moment they first laid eyes on each other after negotiating their unlikely $2.5 million venture over text and Zoom.

And we don't even want to know what it would be like if Ryan and Rob, not to mention Ryan and Hugh Jackman, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and many more had not met and become the dynamic friend forces they remain today. 

Keep reading for more celebrity bromances that will brighten your day just in time for the part of the year when it gets dark at 5 p.m.:

Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds

The cup of good fortune has truly runneth over for the relatively new friends since they teamed up to buy the storied Welsh soccer club Wrexham A.F.C., which was promoted back to the English Football League after one season under new ownership.

"I consider him one of my closest friends," McElhenney told People of Reynolds in August, "and I didn't even know him three years ago."

It all started when Reynolds, touched by McElhenney's performance on a certain episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadephia, reached out over DM to let him know. They started chatting regularly and, after Reynolds found out it was McElhenney's dream to own a soccer team, they ended up in business before they'd even met in person.

Since then, their families have also "grown incredibly close," McElhenney said, "and even though we live on opposite coasts, we feel like we're right next to each other."

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon

It's 40 years and counting for the actors' Boston-born friendship, which has transcended the trappings of fame and their 1998 wunderkind Oscar win for writing Good Will Hunting.

They finally joined forces to launch their own studio, Artists Equity, in 2022 so they could hang out more. And probably also to make quality movies.

"If you're lucky," Affleck told E! News at the premiere of their birth-of-the-Air-Jordan biopic Air,  "you can find a way to work with people that you love and then, as they say, you never work another day in your life."

Zach Braff and Donald Faison

The Scrubs stars remain close years after their TV medical licenses expired, and their quirky exuberance continues to translate in commercials and their hit rewatch podcast Fake Doctors, Real Friends.

“I realized we were gonna be best friends after season one," Faison told British GQ in 2020, "when we rented an apartment in New York together and every night we played ping-pong in our underwear."

And their friendship itself has a legacy. “I think we showed dudes that it's OK to be a little bit sensitive," Faison added. "It’s OK to be buds who say I love you. For a really long time that was looked at as a bad thing. We might not be the original 'bromance,' but we’re definitely the best version of what a 'bromance' is because we’re very comfortable with each other."

Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire

They're usually snapped partying on a yacht from much farther away, but occasionally these friends of 30-plus years put on jackets and attend an event with an official photographer.

In 2013, when they starred in The Great Gatsby together, Maguire told People that he and DiCaprio are "like any other buddies."

"There's a lot of laughing and chatting between us," he shared. "We enjoy doing a lot of things we have in common, like basketball. We like to play and talk about basketball."

Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman

Though their "feud" picked up in hilarity and visibility in more recent years, thanks to social media, their friendship dates back to Reynolds debuting his Deadpool character in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, one of Jackman's many outings as the quick-healing super-mutant.

And while their long-awaited reunion in Deadpool 3 remains unfinished while the SAG-AFTRA strike drags on, they continue to hang out—including at a certain New York Jets game where...something about some pop star cheering on a player from the opposing team.

Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett

After 25 years of friendship, the trio put their heads together and came up with the podcast SmartLess. Because it was either that or a banana stand.

"We love each other so much," Bateman told USA Today of the real feelings on display in their Max docuseries SmartLess: On the Road. "I feel like I'm my best self when I’m with them. I'm more parts of myself than I am with most people, aside from my family."

Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart

The wait for Godot wasn't nearly as existentially draining when these longtime pals shared a West End stage in 2009 and reunited on Broadway in 2013, a month after McKellen officiated at Stewart's wedding to Sunny Ozell

But while they met in the course of being classically trained British actors 20 years beforehand, McKellen and Stewart didn't truly bond until they played Magneto and Professor X in 2000's X-Men.

"We had adjoining trailers," Stewart recalled on Wired's YouTube series Web’s Most Searched Questions. "On those kind of movies, you spend more time sitting in your trailer than you do in front of the camera. So, Ian and I hung out together, drinking tea—and maybe in the afternoon, something a little stronger—and we got to know one another."

Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes

"The friendship started just because we’re very similar where we want to win," Mahomes said on TODAY of his longtime Kansas City Chiefs teammate, with whom he's won two Super Bowls. "But we like to enjoy life, too. We’ve kind of built this friendship of we’re gonna go out there and compete and we’re gonna enjoy it while we do."

Added Kelce, "You could tell the first day that Pat came into the building it was gonna be fun playing with him."

In addition to fierce rounds of ping-pong at Mahomes' house ("Travis has never beaten me"), the pals have gone on vacation and attended concerts together, and many of Kelce's childhood friends are now in Mahomes' regular circle.

And it has not gone unnoticed that the quarterback's wife, Brittany Mahomes, has been welcomed with open arms into Taylor Swift's squad, the ladies drawing eyes up to the visitors' suite with their own elaborate post-touchdown celebration.

"I need to talk to Travis because me and Travis don't even have a handshake yet," Mahomes quipped in an interview with sports radio station KCSP. "So I mean, they're ahead of the game on us."

Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart

Colbert's never had a problem with Stewart for the 20-plus years he's known him, their Daily Show-fostered rapport standing the test of time.

"We've never actually had a donnybrook," Colbert noted on a 2022 episode of the Late Show when his pal was in the guest's chair. "I have said things like, 'You can't wear a tie?' But that's not an argument, that's just disappointment."

Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárritu and Guillermo del Toro

They don't call the acclaimed filmmakers "The Three Amigos" for nothing.

In addition to having 11 Oscars among them, the trio are longtime friends and supporters of each other's work dating back to the earliest days of their careers in their native Mexico—and you can often find their names in the "thank you" credits of each other's movies.

"To walk this path, never lonely in your life, always with two friends that can hold you in failure and can celebrate with you in success," Iñárritu said during a January 2023 Netflix conversation with all three. "These two guys, without them, I would not exist."

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul

After showing so much entrepreneurial flair on Breaking Bad, the actors went into business for themselves in real life, launching the mezcal brand Dos Hombres together.

"Bryan, he is my mentor, one of my best friends on the planet," Paul gushed to People in June. Added Cranston, "Equally, I love this guy."

Lou Adler and Jack Nicholson

In case you ever wondered who the dapper fellow in the hat was sitting next to Nicholson at Lakers games for the past 50 years, it's Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Lou Adler, record producer and co-founder of the famed Roxy on Sunset Boulevard.

"Same sort of social guys," Adler told LAist's Off-Ramp podcast, explaining why The Mamas and the Papas singer Michelle Phillips wanted to introduce him to her then-boyfriend in the early '70s. "And it was a real easy friendship."

Before they became the Lakers' most storied season ticket holders, Adler and Nicholson bought any seats they could afford and worked their way up (or down, technically) to their iconic courtside perches as they got more successful.

Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder

We'll drink to the immortal tie between the Vampire Diaries stars and founders of Brother's Bond bourbon.

"I have many friends," Wesley said in a 2021 SiriusXM interview, differentiating between mere friendship and what he shares with Somerhalder. "A brotherhood is where you know you're connected kinda forever in some sense."

Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells

After starring in the Tony Award-winning smash The Book of Mormon, Gad and Rannells were on a 12-year mission to work together again, finally finding the right vehicle in Gutenberg! The Musical! which reunited them on Broadway in 2023.

"I really only wanted to come back with him 'cause he's the only person who would perform with me," Gad humbly explained on The Kelly Clarkson Show. Rannells cracked, "And finally the restraining orders ran out."

A tad more seriously, reflecting on how he and Gad went through the Mormon phenomenon together, then both moved to L.A. at the same time, landed sitcoms that were both canceled, etc., Rannells said, "We got to go through all of it and I could look at Josh and be like, 'Oh, you know exactly what I'm going through right now.' It's very rare."

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