Sometimes it feels like celebrities live in a fantasy land, complete with an aspirationally large walk-in closet and a daily run-ins with the paparazzi. Given the glamour and headlines, it’s easy to assume that the life of an A-lister is in no way relatable, but one place we can all find common-ground with some of the biggest names in celebrity: the dating game. Like us, even Hollywood’s elite play the rigmarole of looking for love, which we know, isn’t always easy, and is only further complicated if you have a household name (think: Prince Harry, Gisele Bundchen, and Jennifer Aniston). Though our favorite beautiful celebrity couples may appear like they were magnetically forced together by the laws of attraction, the truth is, their set-up stories often err on the side of normal. As we found out, some of the most lovable celeb duos actually first met on blind-dates, set up by meddling friends, family-members, or co-workers. Sound familiar?
Although not all relationships have stood the test of time (RIP Brad and Jen), many of the blind set-up situations ended in marriage, children, and a happily ever after in the spotlight. Ahead, a comprehensive list of all the celebrity couples who found love through a forced set-up, and the stories behind that admittedly-awkward first date.
From their first TV interview, the world had hope that royal love could be born out a blind date, as Price Harry and fiancé Megan Markle revealed that their relationship was born out of a totally blind set-up by a mutual friend. “It was definitely a set-up,” Markle said in the interview. “It was a blind date.” The blindness of the initial encounter makes the story all the more adorable as Prince Harry said, “I was beautifully surprised when I walked into that room and saw her and there.” And despite their best attempts to keep her identity hidden, we’ve since found out that the famed matchmaker is Violet von Westenholz—a fashion PR director for Ralph Lauren and childhood friend of Harry who met Markle through the brand. Suffice it to say, May 19th can’t come soon enough.
You might be surprised to know that one of the most genetically-blessed couples (aka the Bündchen-Bradys) met through a seemingly mundane set-up. In a 2009 interview with Detailsmagazine, Brady admitted that a close personal friend egged him to go on a date with the supermodel, just weeks after his split with actress Bridget Moynahan in 2006. “This friend told me he knew a girl version of me,” Brady told the mag. And that friend aptly predicted the spark, as the power-couple married just three years after the initial blind date, and birthed three (obviously, beautiful) babies since.
Anne Hathaway and now-husband Adam Shulman began dating in 2008, after being pushed together by friends. “We met through mutual friends,” Shulman told Life & Style in November 2008, and the relationship grew from there, as the couple was engaged to be married just three years later.
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In a touching tribute to Brad and Jen, The Daily News reported that the used-to-be Hollywood ‘It’ couple met on a blind date, orchestrated by their agents.
Although they knew of each other, Benji Madden and Cameron Diaz weren’t formally introduced until Diaz hosted a dinner party with Madden’s then-sister-in-law, Nicole Richie, E! News reports. And just as casually as they met, the couple chose to tie the knot a few years later privately, in their living room. “We got married in our living room in front of our friends,” Diaz told E!. “[We] Had a little party in our backyard on the tennis court and yeah.”
We have Anne Hathaway to thank for bringing together Emily Blunt and John Krasinski. In 2008, after Blunt co-starred with Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada, Hathaway arranged a meet-up between the British beauty and The Office funny guy. And the rest is history. As Krazinski told Ellen DeGeneres in a 2011 interview, it was love at first sight for him. “It was one of those things where I wasn’t really looking for a relationship,” Krazinski explained. “But I met her, and I was so nervous and I was like, ‘oh no I’m going to fall in love with her.’ I shook her hand and I went, ‘I like you.’”
According to Hemsworth’s interview on the Spanish game show El Hormiguero, he first met wife Elsa Pataky on a blind date. The hunky Aussie actor later told Elle that he knew upon that first blind introduction that Pataky was the one. “From the first time we met, we just made sense. She’s fun. She’s outgoing, and she has a sense of humor and a passionate attitude toward life, which is nice to try to keep up with.”
Though previously married to another NBA star (Lamar Odom), it took a blind date to bring Khloe Kardashian and Cleveland Cavalier’s Tristan Thompson together. “I was put on a blind date with Tristan and that’s how [we met].” Khloe Kardashian revealed on the 10th anniversary special of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. “Brandon Jennings, who is a basketball player and a friend of mine and Malika [Haqq]’s, was like, ‘you’re such a good girl, I want to introduce you to someone.’ I was at the Bel-Air Hotel, and [Tristan] came to the dinner. I didn’t want to go on a blind date, so Brandon kind of ambushed the blind date. We just connected.”
E! News reports that Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan first met on a blind double-date. It was Morgan’s Supernatural co-star, Jensen Ackles, who organized the date with his wife, Danneel Ackles, Morgan and Burton. “We ended up back at my house drinking shots of tequila,” Morgan recalled during a 2015 interview withHuffPost Live in 2015. The couple is now married with two kids—if only all tequila-filled nights had such a happy ending.
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Not all blind dates start with that immediate spark, at least that’s what Salma Hayek and husband François-Henri Pinault will tell you. According to the actress’s interview with Latina, it wasn’t love at first sight. “My first date with my husband started badly,” she revealed.
“I didn’t know it was a date. I thought I was going to an event, and then there was one person at it. I was set up by friends to think I was going to an event, because they knew I wouldn’t go on a date! I was angry. And he didn’t know, because he thought I knew he was coming just to meet him. I started out really badly, but, as you can see, it ended happy.” All’s well that ends well.
Almost as perfect as they are as a couple, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynold’s how-we-met story is a classic. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Reynolds revealed that he and Lively’s first date was actually a double date, and surprisingly (not to mention, awkwardly), they came with different people. “She was on a date with another guy and I was on a date with another girl,” he explained. “It was the most awkward date for to respective parties because it was just like fireworks coming across the table.”
Jen and Justin were actually friends before things turned romantic. The two were first introduced in 2007, on the set of Tropic Thunder which Theroux co-wrote with Ben Stiller. Years later, in 2011, the two were re-introduced and sort-of blind set-up by mutual friends, Aniston’s rep told Us Weekly. After being photographed together for the first time at West Hollywood’s Sunset Towers Tower Bar, Aniston was quick to explain that the “date” wasn’t just the two of them. “There were three other people at the dinner,” Aniston’s rep explained to Us Weekly at the time. “It was a friends dinner.”
Though they originally met when Conrad was better known as 16-year-old ‘LC’ on MTV’s Laguna Beach, the former reality star dished on her blogthat she was re-introduced to now-husband William Tell on a blind date. “I met my husband when I was 16 and sitting onstage at one of his concerts,” she wrote. “Ten years later we were set up on a blind date.”
In this day and age, cyber-stalking is considered the norm, which means a blind date probably isn’t completely blind. But back in the pre-Google decades, you normally didn’t know what your date was going to look like. That is, unless you’re set up with a world-famous supermodel, which was the case for Rande Gerber. “I knew who she was, and I knew she was beautiful,” said Gerber of his forced set-up with now-wife Cindy Crawford. More than looks, Gerber continued: “I was surprised at how cool and down-to-earth she was.”
If anyone knows love, it’s Ed Sheeran, which is why we’re not too surprised to discover that the poetic songwriter is also a matchmaker on the side. Sheeran was former roommates with Snow Patrol’s Johnny McDaid, and he introduced McDaid to Courtney Cox. “My housemate [Snow Patrol’s Johnny McDaid] who I’ve lived with for a year, I introduced him to Courtney Cox,” Sheeran explained in an interview with OMG! Insider in 2013. “They started dating and [are] crazy about each other,” he gushed about the former couple.
Lord Disick has received a lot of shaderecently for his current relationship with 19-year-old Sophie Richie, which has us reminiscing about the days when he was Kourtney Kardashian’s counterpart. Allegedly, the Kardashian-Disick love affair started because of a blind-introduction, courtesy of Girls Gone Wild founder, Joe Francis. “I introduced Kourtney and Scott at my house in Mexico,” Francis revealed to In Touch in 2014. “Scott came as the guest as a friend of mine, and they met in my master bedroom.”
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Back in the days of T. Swift and Calvin Harris (circa 2015), the duo hit it off almost immediately thanks to an intro from another celebrity musician and pal, Ellie Goulding. Goulding told The Sun in a 2015 interview: “I did play matchmaker, that’s true,” she revealed. “Calvin is a really great mate and he’s so fantastic, and Taylor is such a cool person who I love. I thought, ‘They’re both really awesome and both really tall, they’ll be brilliant together’.” Alas, despite musical matchmaking, in 2016 Swift moved from Harris to Tom Hiddleston and well, you know the rest of the story.
This post originally appeared on Harper’s Bazaar US.
- A-List Couples
- Adam Shulman
- Anne Hathaway
- Blind Date
- Brad Pitt
- Calvin Harris
- Celebrity Couples
- Celebrity News
- Emily Blunt
- Gisele Bündchen
- Jennifer Aniston
- John Krasinski
- Justin Theroux
- Kourtney Kardashian
- Lauren Conrad
- Meghan Markle
- Prince Harry
- Scott Disick
- Taylor Swift
- Tom Brady
- William Tell