13 actors who play onscreen enemies but are actually friends in real life

These actors play enemies on

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These actors play enemies on “Breaking Bad,” but are pals in real life.
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Charley Gallay / Stringer

  • Many stars who play onscreen enemies may seem like they are rivals in real life, but sometimes these actors are actually friends.
  • Lupita Nyong’o and Michael B. Jordan have an intense rivalry in “Black Panther,” but it doesn’t continue off-screen.
  • Andrew Lincoln was friends with David Morrissey long before the two were rivals on AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”
  • View Insider’s homepage for more stories.

It’s easy to assume that actors who play enemies in movies and on TV shows actually dislike each other in real life, but in reality, some stars are just, well, really great at acting.

From Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale in “High School Musical” to Tom Felton and Rupert Grint in the “Harry Potter” films, here are some onscreen enemies who are actually buddies in the real world.


Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale began their long friendship when they played foes in the “High School Musical” franchise.

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Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale played Gabriella and Sharpay, respectively, in “HSM.”
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Mike Windle/Getty Images

Although Vanessa Hudgens’ Gabriella and Ashley Tisdale’s Sharpay were enemies in the legendary Disney franchise, the actresses have bonded in real life and continue to be best pals long after the “HSM” films ended.

As Tisdale told Us Weekly this year, “[Me and Hudgens] just have a connection and she’s so awesome and one of my best friends. What I love about her is that she’s so talented, and I think what we share is that we’re really grounded people and I think that that’s important, especially with what we do, is to stay grounded.”

Hudgens feels the same way about her gal pal, telling Teen Vogue in 2017, “She’s one of those girlfriends who will be my friend forever.”

Tisdale and Hudgens are frequently spotted on one another’s Instagram and they even served as bridesmaids together in “Pretty Little Liars” star Brant Daugherty’s wedding to Kimberly Hidalgo.

Read More: 50 of the best Disney Channel original movies of all time, ranked


Andrew Lincoln was friends with David Morrissey before the two were rivals on “The Walking Dead.”

On AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” Morrissey plays one of the comic’s most evil villains, The Governor, whereas Lincoln plays the show’s heroic protagonist, Rick Grimes.

In an interview with EW about Morrissey’s casting process, the show’s executive producer and “The Walking Dead” comic writer Robert Kirkman confirmed that the two leading actors are “actually pretty good friends.”

Morrissey spoke about this in an interview with Uproxx, where he talked about how he originally knew Lincoln from drama school.


“Breaking Bad” actors Bryan Cranston and Giancarlo Esposito played rivals on the hit show, but have a fun friendship in real life.

These actors play enemies on

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Bryan Cranston and Giancarlo Esposito seem to share a sense of humor.
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Charley Gallay / Stringer

On AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” Bryan Cranston played Walter White, who eventually took down Giancarlo Esposito’s character, Gus Fring.

But the two are friendly in real life, and a few years ago, Cranston showed how close he was to Esposito in the most hilarious way.

When Esposito won the 2013 AFME Robert & Sibylle Redford Creative Achievement Award, Cranston sent a heartwarming yet hilarious video congratulating Esposito on the honor.

In the video, Cranston called Esposito “a dear friend, a great actor, and most deserving of [the] award.” But during his speech, the camera zoomed out to reveal that Cranston was delivering the message while sitting atop a toilet.


Although they represent the opposing sides of The Force in the “Star Wars” films, Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver are actually “besties.”

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Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver said they became friends a few years ago.
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Charley Gallay / Stringer

Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver may star together as representatives of the feuding light side and dark side of The Force in the newest “Star Wars” films, but in real life they are friends who have respect and love for one another.

In a 2017 piece for V Magazine, Ridley and Driver interviewed each other and showed the world the beauty of their off-screen friendship.

“We became besties last year,” Ridley said during the interview. Driver agreed by telling Ridley that becoming friends with her was his favorite part of the filming process.

In an interview with “The Oh My Disney Show” the same year, the actors praised each other’s talents as actors and discussed how easy it is to work together.


Despite being enemies in the “Harry Potter” franchise, Rupert Grint and Tom Felton have been friends since they were kids.

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Their characters had major issues with one another throughout the “Harry Potter” films.
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Kevin Mazur/TCA 2011 / Contributor

The stars of the wildly successful and now-iconic “Harry Potter” movies kicked off their friendship when they first began filming the series as children.

In the series, Rupert Grint played Harry Potter’s pal Ron Weasley and Tom Felton played Potter’s enemy, Draco Malfoy.

From partying together in Las Vegas, to hanging with the rest of the cast and pranking one another, it’s clear these guys have a strong bond.

So much so, they even have been seen wearing t-shirts honoring one another. At the “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” movie premiere, Grint donned a homemade “I [heart]  Tom Felton” shirt for his buddy.

Later, Felton returned the favor by wearing an “I [heart] Ron Weasley” shirt.

Read More: 20 little-known facts about the ‘Harry Potter’ series


Lupita Nyong’o and Michael B. Jordan have an intense rivalry in “Black Panther,” but it doesn’t continue off-screen.

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They’ve both called each other’s souls “beautiful.”
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Lester Cohen / Contributor

In “Black Panther,” Erik Killmonger (played by Michael B. Jordan) returns to Wakanda and takes control, whereas Nakia (played by Lupita Nyong’o) stays loyal to T’Challa and tries to take him down.

But in real life, the two regularly post photos of their travels together and send one another kind wishes.

In 2018, Jordan wished Nyong’o happy birthday, writing on Instagram that she has a “beautiful soul.”

“Those of us who are lucky enough to know you personally are definitely changed for the better!” he wrote in the post.

For Jordan’s birthday that same year, Nyong’o shared a sweet post on Instagram, saying that she loves him and also admires his “beautiful soul.”

Read More: 11 things you might not have known about Lupita Nyong’o


Andrew Scott and Benedict Cumberbatch face off on “Sherlock” but have bonded in real life.

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Andrew Scott was at Benedict Cumberbatch’s wedding.
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David M. Benett / Contributor

On BBC’s “Sherlock,” Benedict Cumberbatch plays the titular character and Andrew Scott is James Moriarty, Sherlock’s arch-nemesis.

But the two proved they weren’t enemies in real life when Scott attended Cumberbatch’s wedding to Sophie Hunter in 2015.

They seem to have fun as friends do, often impersonating and praising each other in interviews and at events.


Even though they have beef on “Riverdale,” KJ Apa and Charles Melton are friends in real life.

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The two regularly joke about one another on Instagram.
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Andrew Chin / Contributor

Even though they butt heads often and have a strong rivalry on The CW’s “Riverdale” as Archie Andrews and Reggie Mantle, respectively, KJ Apa and Charles Melton are pals in real life.

The two regularly share photos of each other on social media, exchange jokes, and once even wore matching cat costumes.


Although they play on-screen nemeses, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart have the sweetest friendship.

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The two regularly post silly photos online.
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@SirPatStew / Twitter

The British actors behind legendary enemies Professor X and Magneto from the “X-Men” franchise have known each other since the 1970s, but they seem to have really bonded during the making of the 2000s films.

Their friendship grew so strong that Stewart had McKellen officiate his wedding in 2013.

Fans of the actors love seeing their posts about one another on social media and flock to see theater productions that they star in together.

Although the two have both frequently been compared throughout their many years in the acting world, McKellen told CBS News that he considers his friend to be his equal.

“We are the same actor, really,” McKellen said. “We’ve had the same career. So we’re peers. We’re equals. We’re not rivals.”


Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth from the “Thor” movies have a self-proclaimed “bromance.”

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Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth play brothers who don’t get along.
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Albert L. Ortega / Contributor

Throughout the Marvel franchise, these stars are known for playing Norse brothers, Loki and Thor, whose fighting goes way beyond brotherly disagreement.

In real life, however, Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth are friends.

Hiddleston called Hemsworth his “brother from another mother” when he welcomed his friend to Twitter in 2015. And, in an interview with Collider, Hemsworth said that his off-screen chemistry with Hiddleston made it easy for them to work together.

“You either have chemistry with someone or you don’t and, thankfully, it was there,” Hemsworth said. “To play brothers was easy and fun.”

Hiddleston echoed the sentiment by calling their relationship a “bromance.”

“It’s such a huge journey. We both spent two years of our lives working on this film, and it’s so nice that there’s somebody else who’s alongside,” Hiddleston added.


In parts of the “Fast & Furious” movies, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Vin Diesel’s characters are far from friends — but, the actors are like family in real life.

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Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Vin Diesel have had ups and downs.
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Buda Mendes / Staff

For part of the “Fast & Furious” franchise, Luke Hobbs (played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) and Dominic Toretto (played by Vin Diesel) certainly didn’t get along.

But now, as the franchise has continued, the two actors have stayed pals – although they have had some ups and downs, especially regarding the creative direction in “Fast & Furious.”

“I don’t think the world really realizes how close we are, in a weird way,” Diesel told USA Today in 2017, when putting out reports that he and Johnson were feuding. “… In my house, he’s Uncle Dwayne.”

“Dwayne has only got one Vin in his life. Dwayne Johnson only has one big brother in this film world and that’s me,” Diesel added.


Lili Reinhart and Madelaine Petsch were once real-life roommates despite playing opposites on “Riverdale.”

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In 2018, Madelaine Petsch said Lili Reinhart was her best friend.
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Michael Kovac / Contributor

Although Madelaine Petsch plays mean girl Cheryl Blossom on The CW’s “Riverdale,” she still managed to bond with co-star Lili Reinhart, who plays the once-innocent Betty Cooper.

But, from popping each other’s pimples to helping one other out with wardrobe malfunctions, these two seem to be close pals.

The pair has talked about their close relationship in interviews and on social media and, in 2018, Petsch even referred to Reinhart as her “best friend” in an interview with Glamour.

“She’s my best friend. I live with her,” Petsch said. “We can talk about my relationships or personal lives or whatever and I feel like she’s always got my back.”

Read More: 10 things you probably didn’t know about Lili Reinhart


Although they don’t get along on “Euphoria,” Zendaya and Jacob Elordi seem pretty close in real life.

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Zendaya and Jacob Elordi have reportedly traveled together, too.
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FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Even though season one of HBO’s “Euphoria” ended with Rue (Zendaya) and Nate (Jacob Elordi) at odds, the two actors are actually friendly in real life.

The two have spoken positively about each other in interviews, with Elordi telling The Hollywood Reporter that he and the “Euphoria” cast are “like a tight-knit family.”

In August, the two were reportedly spotted on a trip together in Greece.

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