Why This Photo of Paul Mescal and Ayo Edebiri Has the Internet Buzzing

Paul Mescal and Ayo Edebiri raised eyebrows after The Bear actress shared a picture of the two celebrating St. Patrick’s Day together.

By Brahmjot Kaur Mar 19, 2024 1:55 PMTags
Watch: The Bear's Ayo Edebiri Is Joining Abbott Elementary

Paul Mescal and Ayo Edebiri's latest outing is stirring the pot of gold. 

The Bear actress sparked a social media frenzy over the weekend when she shared a snap celebrating St. Patrick's Day with the Normal People star.

In the festive photo, Paul and Ayo, both 28, can be seen sitting and laughing on a stairwell, with her hand rested on his shoulder and his arm rested on her leg. The Emmy winner captioned the March 17 Instagram Story pic, "Happy St Paddy's."

It makes sense that Ayo posted the photo with Paul—who born in Maynooth—on the Irish holiday. After all, the Bottoms star has continued to entertain the longstanding joke that she's Irish, which began when she praised her time living on the island to prepare for a role in The Banshees of Inisherin. Although none of that was actually true.

However, Ayo's post set the internet ablaze for a different reason, as some fans speculated that the two may have soft-launched a romantic relationship. As one social media user noted with the heart-eyed emoji, "This would be a true Irish power couple."

E! News has reached out to Ayo and Paul's reps for comment.

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Meanwhile, other fans see the pic as a sign that they'll be starring in a new project together. "Ayo Edebiri and Paul Mescal hanging out," one user on X, formerly known as Twitter, wrote. "Is this a sign our rom-com dreams are coming true?" 

And it is a possible theory. Paul previously revealed his interest in working with Ayo in the future.

"I think in the next five years I'm going to set myself a challenge to do maybe a rom-com with Ayo," he told Awards Watch in November, "or something like that would be cool."

Ayo Edebiri/Instagram

And it seems like it might be a wish come true for the All of Us Strangers actor. Writer Emily Henry—whose books Beach Read, Book Lovers and People We Meet on Vacation were greenlit for film adaptations—also shared the photo on her Instagram Story. And so did Beach Read director Yulin Kuang, raising eyebrows that Paul and Ayo may be starring in the upcoming film.

While we wait to see if Paul and Ayo's chemistry will make it to the silver screen, keep reading to see costars who never actually dated.

Emma Watson and Tom Felton

Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy?! If Emma had it her way, the Harry Potter franchise would have had a Hogwarts House-crossed romance going down off-screen. The actress has admitted to nursing a serious crush on her bleached blonde co-star.

During the recent Harry Potter 20th anniversary special, Emma shared that as a child she "fell in love" with Tom while on the set of their first film together, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

"I used to come in every day and look for his number on the call sheet, it was No. 7, and if his name was on the call sheet, it was an extra exciting day," she said during the reunion. "He was three years above me and so for him he was like, 'You're like my little sister.'"

Shortly after the special premiered, fans of the series quickly took to the Internet to share their wish for the longtime friends to become something more.

However, in an interview with British Vogue, Emma addressed the online reaction and put any potential dating rumors to rest. "We speak most weeks," she said, "and we just think it's sweet."

Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer

The one where Ross and Rachel were almost each other's lobsters in real-life.

During HBO Max's Friends reunion last year, Jennifer and David, who played one of TV's most beloved couples, explained that art reflected real life a bit during the show's first season. "At some point, we were both crushing hard on each other, but it was like two ships passing because one of us was always in a relationship, and we never crossed that boundary," David said. "We respected that."

Jennifer added, "Honestly, I remember saying one time to David, 'It's going to be such a bummer if the first time you and I actually kiss is going to be on national television.' And sure enough, the first time we kissed was in that coffee shop."

So, instead of having a romance IRL, she explained that they "just channeled all of our adoration and love for each other into Ross and Rachel."

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet

Arguably one of the most iconic pairings in movie history, fans have shipped Leo and Kate together since 1996's Titanic (even though she didn't make room for him on that door). Still, they never let go of their friendship, with Kate telling The Guardian last year that they are "bonded for life." 

From walking the red carpet together at the 1998 Golden Globes to watching DiCaprio blow kisses to Winslet during her emotional 2009 Golden Globes speech, it's so evident that the feelings between the besties have only continued to grow over the past two decades, iceberg be damned.

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper

The unexpected pairing's chemistry in 2019's A Star Is Born and its ensuing press tour made fans blind to the fact that the actor and director was dating Irina Shayk and the pop star was engaged to Christian Carano.

Still, it was clear that the costars had a close bond, with Gaga revealing that she had an "instant connection" with Bradley that came "the second that I saw him."

Of course, that closeness was on full display when the pair took to the Oscars stage in 2019, hand-in-hand, to perform their Best Song-winning number, "Shallow," just days after Gaga ended her engagement. 


But the House of Gucci star quickly shut down romance rumors following the performance, telling Jimmy Kimmel, "Yes, people saw love and—guess what—that's what we wanted you to see."


Bradley, whose romance with Irina ended later that year, never addressed the speculation until November 2021, telling The Hollywood Reporter they were acting during the Oscar performance.


"They kind of fall in love in that scene in the film," he explained. "It's that explosive moment that happens to them on a stage in front of thousands of people…It would have been so weird if we were both on stools facing the audience."

Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves

Since starring in Speed together in 1994, rumors have raced over the decades that Keanu and Sandra had an off-screen romance. Alas, it was never meant to me, with Sandra denying the two were ever a couple in an interview with Esquire magazine.

"Nope...but who knows?," she said. "Keanu's a guy who, I feel like, is friends with every woman he's ever dated. I don't think there's anyone who has something horrible to say about him. So maybe we could have survived. I don't know. But we didn't have to survive anything. We just get to grow up together on parallel roads and tip our hats and meet for a dinner and try to work together. And the longer time goes on, the more in awe I am of the human being. Would I have been able to say that if he had dumped me and made me angry? Probably not."

Still, the duo, who also co-starred in 2006's The Lake House, are close friends, with Sandra citing Keanu's listening skills as one of his best attributes. 

The Miss Congeniality star recalled that about a year after filming Speed, she casually mentioned to her co-star that she'd never had champagne and truffles. A few days later, she told the outlet, Keanu hand-delivered those two items (and flowers), explaining, "I just thought you might want to try champagne and truffles, to see what it's like."

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone

Moviegoers have Crazy, Stupid, Love for this pairing after they've played romantic interests in three films, including La La Land.


Though they never dated in real life, working together forged a bond between the two actors. During a Q&A session at the 2018 Telluride Film Festival, the Cruella star revealed how much Ryan meant to her and his impact on her life and career. Calling him a "dear, wonderful friend," Emma said, "I can't even imagine what my life would be without Ryan. She then added, "He's so special. It makes me emotional."


And before La La Land debuted in 2016, Emma joked around about the number of films she's done with Ryan, telling E! News, "He has a restraining order against me now."


"Restraining order" aside, Ryan said it was "great to work" with Emma, explaining, "I think it brings the best out of [us] because you know one another, and you are able to help each other in a way that you can't if you're strangers."

John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer

Jim and Pam on The Office are one of the most beloved TV couples of all-time, with fans rooting for the Dunder Mifflin employees to be together throughout the NBC hit's nine-year run. 

Jam's chemistry never transitioned into an off-screen romance between John and Jenna, though she did admit to the pair having "real chemistry" during a 2016 appearance on Watch What Happens Live when a caller asked how close they were.

"There's like a real part of me that is Pam and a real part of him that's Jim and those parts of us were genuinely in love with one another," Jenna explained. "But in real life we aren't totally Pam and totally Jim, so in real life we're not the perfect match…he was like a type of spouse that I had for a long time, he was my partner and we will always be close because of it."

John later weighed in on his co-star's headline-making comments, telling The Daily Beast, "I think we both feel it's such an honor to be a part of that relationship. As far as how she was quoted about saying we were 'genuinely in love,' I think that was taken wildly out of context and I feel bad for her."

We'll always have the teapot. 

Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence

Gaga isn't the first co-star Bradley has been romantically linked to in the press, with his on-screen dynamic with Jennifer in movies such as Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle sparking rumors for years. 


In fact, Bradley was asked by Howard Stern in 2015, "When are you two gonna have sex? Everyone is waiting for that." Bradley was quick to respond, "Never. It's just not the way we are together."


And, at the 2013 Golden Globes, when he was asked by Entertainment Tonight if they were were dating, Bradley responded, "Oh my God. That's very funny. No, my God, no."

Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson

They may have co-starred in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, but the pair gained a rapid number of fans rooting for them to find each other IRL after the 2006 rom-com. But it never happened.


In an interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show in October 2020, Matthew revealed it simply never appealed to him to date one of his famous co-stars.


"I've always tried to keep it professional and the people I worked with, I must say, did it well," he shared. "Maybe we had certain crushes on each other at certain times but we always just kept it professional."

And with that, the chance for their love to blossom died, just like that love fern.

George Clooney and Julia Roberts

These A-list best friends have off-the-charts on-screen chemistry (Ocean's Eleven, anyone?) that has extended off-screen in a purely platonic way. Just look at their giggle-filled interviews, gushing public speeches and the fact that George has lent out his coveted Lake Como home to the Roberts-Moder family for anniversary celebrations. NBD!

Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen

Along with the ball dropping on New Year's Eve, you can always count on people wondering if the best friends and CNN's Live From Times Square co-hosts have ever dated. 

When Andy appeared on Howard Stern's radio show, he was asked, "What is it about Anderson Cooper that keeps you from falling in love with him?" The Watch What Happens Live host replied, "I just think it's not what our relationship is based on. We're just friends. That's not a part of it. I think, at this point, we know each other too well. We're not attracted to each other in that way."

Funnily enough, the pair first met when they were set up on a blind date over 25 years ago. 

"You know when straight people know two gay guys, they're like, 'Oh, you guys should meet,'" Anderson said on The Tonight Show in 2017, adding that when the two had a phone call to schedule the date, he "knew within 45 seconds I was never going on a date with Andy Cohen."

He explained that Andy "violated" a cardinal rule" when it comes to dating the CNN host: He asked about Anderson's mother, Gloria Vanderbilt

"I wanted to date the Vanderbilt boy!" Andy admitted. "I was excited!" 

Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

While Zooey said the pair had "so much fun" making the 2009 indie rom-com (500) Days of Summer, Joseph admitted dating his co-star and longtime friend would be "awkward" in a 2012 interview with Playboy.

"Zooey and I just think it's funny," he said of fans wanting them to be together. "It is funny. We've been friends for 10 years."

Zac Efron and Ashley Tisdale

Before it was confirmed that the High School Musical heartthrob was dating his co-star Vanessa Hudgens, there was speculation that he was involved with their mutual best friend Ashley. His 2006 guest appearance as her love interest on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody only fueled the rumors.

Zac and Ashley still remain close to this day, with Ashley calling him her "brother/best friend," though she did pick Zac as her worst onscreen kiss in an interview with Elle

"It was the worst because he is like my brother," she explained. "At the time, he was used to acting on Warner Brothers, which is CW, and we were on Disney Channel."

She then called him out for trying to kiss her "with his tongue," prompting her to tell him, "'Get away from me!'"

"I closed my mouth so fast. I was like, 'This is Disney Channel, we don't kiss like that on Disney Channel!'" Ashley recalled. "It's just weird when you're so close to somebody, we'd already done a movie, I'd known him for years before,'" she said. "'That is why it was the worst, it's just we're too close.'"

Corbin Bleu and Monique Coleman

While their High School Musical characters Chad and Taylor were teen sweethearts, Corbin and Monique left the Disney franchise with a life-long friendship. 

The duo reunited on-screen in the 2021 Lifetime Christmas movie, A Christmas Dance Reunion, with Corbin writing on Instagram, "After 13 years it felt like coming home working and dancing with [Monique] again. Starring in a [Lifetime] Christmas movie has always been a dream of mine, but never in a million years did I think I'd get to share the screen with one of my favorite people."

And Monique is hoping to continue working with "one of her best friends," telling People, "I honestly pray that we get to do more things together because we have that sort of spark that Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan had, and Leo and Kate, and Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, and all of these different couples that we've seen in movie after movie together. I really feel like we have that potential as well and I'd like to see that happen."

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson

They may have played one of TV's most iconic will-they-or-won't-they couples on The X-Files, but the co-stars actually didn't get along while filming their hit Fox show. 

In a 2008 interview with Metro UK, David admitted that he often fought with Gillian during the series' initial eight-year run because, "Familiarity breeds contempt. It's nothing to do with the other person. We used to argue about nothing. We couldn't stand the sight of each other."

That didn't stop fans from wanting Mulder and Scully to get together, both on-screen and off, with a photo from their May 2021 lunch date going viral, much to David's amusement. 

"As I was leaving she was like, 'Let's take a photo,'" he told People. "I was told there was a big reaction to it! I never get that stuff, but it's really cool that people are interested after all these years."


Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson

Avengers shippers, assemble!


While they've appeared in eight movies together since first collaborating on 2004's The Perfect Score, the superhero co-stars have never hooked up IRL. But Scarlett and Chris have developed a deep comfort level with each other over the years. 


"It's really a result of 10 years of knowing somebody and being able to have a kind of intimacy with them that I think you get from just spending a lot of time with somebody and knowing their soft underbelly," Johansson explained of their chemistry to Entertainment Weekly in March 2020.

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