The following article references domestic abuse allegations.
Look at the origin story of many a Hollywood couple and you’ll often find that they were introduced by a “mutual friend.” This mysterious “friend,” as it turns out, tends on the super-famous side — hence the conspicuous absence of name-dropping. But with just a little bit of expert sleuthing, we were able to find out who exactly some of these famous Cupids are, and which of their equally famous friends they introduced. These stars may be actors, singers, and TV stars, but there’s definitely a career in matchmaking for them if things turn sour on that front.
From the success stories to the relationships that fell apart, we walk you through the famous couples who were set up by their high-profile pals. Don’t be surprised if you see some of the same names pop up again and again, as many of these celebs were all too happy to play both matchmaker and matchmakee!
Ellie Goulding introduced Taylor Swift and ex Calvin Harris
“Love Me Like You Do” singer Ellie Goulding worked her magic to bring her pals Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris together in 2015. While at an afterparty for the BRIT Awards, the pair hit it off, according to the Daily Mail. Goulding, seeing a golden opportunity, actively encouraged Swift and Harris to go out. “I did play matchmaker, that’s true,” Goulding told The Sun. “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.'”
It won’t come as too much of a surprise that “both really tall” wasn’t the key to longevity for our couple, who called it quits in May 2016. There’s been a fair share of bad blood between the exes since then, with Harris tweeting some pretty harsh words about Swift soon after their breakup. After TMZ reported that she wrote “This Is What You Came For” under a pseudonym, Harris tweeted (via The Sun), “I figure if you’re happy in your new relationship you should focus on that instead of trying to tear your ex bf down for something to do.” Oof. As for Swift, she went on to pen several less-than-complimentary songs that, as Showbiz CheatSheet noted, may or may not be about Harris. In 2017, the DJ told GQ (via Metro) he regretted his actions, but we still wish Ellie Goulding better luck with her future matchmaking endeavors.
Ed Sheeran reconnected with Cherry Seaborn at Taylor Swift's home
Ed Sheeran and his wife Cherry Seaborn met in school, but they may never have reconnected if it weren’t for Sheeran’s close friendship with Taylor Swift, as Sheeran explained in a behind the scenes for the singing duo’s “End Game” video. “I wanna talk about the fourth of July line, ’cause that makes me really happy,” Swift prompted. “Well, you see, it’s kind of a play on words,” Sheeran said. “There’s a film with Tom Cruise called ‘Born on the Fourth of July.’ … My relationship started on the fourth of July.” Swift, always one for giving credit where credit is due, then asked, “Where? Whose house? Whose house?” Sheeran answered, “Taylor’s house.”
The “Folklore” singer was hosting one of her famed Independence Day parties at her Rhode Island home when Sheeran found out Seaborn was close by. “I was like, ‘Taylor, can she turn up?’ and you were like, ‘yep’ and then here we are.” Sheeran and Seaborn began dating, before marrying in December 2018 and welcoming a baby girl named Lyra Antarctica Seaborn Sheeran in August 2020. Incidentally, this may have not been the first time Swift played an instrumental role in Sheeran’s love life. According to the Mirror, she reportedly introduced him to Ellie Goulding.
Ed Sheeran helped Courteney Cox and Johnny McDaid get together
The world of celebrities is pretty small, it seems. Taylor Swift helped Ed Sheeran get his love life off the ground, and Sheeran then paid it forward by introducing “Cougar Town” actor Courteney Cox and Snow Patrol member Johnny McDaid. Sheeran doesn’t want too much of the credit, though. He told the Daily Mail, “I think I did the ‘Courtney [sic] meet Johnny, Johnny meet Courtney [sic]’ thing, but Sacha Baron Cohen did the matchmaking. It’s just two people who fell in love and I hope they’re really happy.”
Cox sees things differently: “We are certainly grateful to Ed for introducing us,” she said in The Sun in 2015, when rumors that Sheeran would be performing at the happy couple’s wedding were confirmed. “I can’t imagine him not playing something at the wedding. It’ll be a musical night.” The wedding in question has yet to happen, but Cox and McDaid’s relationship is still going strong. The bottom line? Sheeran can feel free to set us up with the dashing Irish musicians and A-list Hollywood actors in his entourage any day.
John Krasinski and Emily Blunt connected thanks to Justin Theroux… sort of
On a 2018 episode of “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” Emily Blunt shared the “kind of lame” way she met husband John Krasinski. “I was in a restaurant. He was in the restaurant. I was sitting with a mutual friend,” Blunt recalled. “And my friend Gray goes, ‘Oh, my God, there’s my friend John.’ And that was it.” Oh, but that’s not it. She said Krasinski happened to be “sitting with our friend Justin Theroux.” And while Theroux didn’t join them, he did let Krasinski bail on his table and hang out with Blunt. And to think, had Theroux called Krasinski back over, who knows if this love connection would’ve happened. An unintentional matchmaker if there ever was one.
“And then I met her, and I was so nervous, and I was like, ‘Oh God, I think I’m gonna fall in love with her,'” Krasinski said of their introduction on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” “And as I shook her hand, I went, ‘I like you.'”
As they appeared together on “The Graham Norton Show” in 2018, Blunt teased Krasinski about his undying love for “The Devil Wears Prada.” Krasinski, attempting to play down how big of a fan he was of Blunt, quipped, “I couldn’t get Annie [Hathaway] and so I was like, ‘Oh…!'” Anne Hathaway, who is a friend of the pair, promptly posted a picture of a headline about his joke on Instagram and wrote, “John, I’m only with Adam [Shulman] because I couldn’t get Emily.”
Meghan Trainor and Daryl Sabara have Chloë Grace Moretz to thank
Pop star Meghan Trainor has one rule in life: If you want to be set up, just ask for it. “I asked every person I met since day one, ‘Find me a boyfriend!’ Like, especially new friends too,” Trainor told Chelsea Handler on her Netflix show (via People). “Chloë Grace Moretz is a friend of mine, and day one of meeting her, I was like, ‘You know anybody that I could date? Or love? Whatever. And she’s like, ‘I know the nicest guy in the world, Daryl, and you should meet him.’ I was like, ‘Daryl? Okay.'”
Sabara’s career took off when he took on the role of Juni Cortez in the “Spy Kids” franchise. As for Trainor, you know her for her bops “All About the Bass” and “NO.” The two got married in December 2018 and are definitely a perfect match. “It feels like we’ve been married for five years,” Trainor told People in 2020. “I don’t know how to say it and not be cheesy, but he’s my other half. We say the same s*** at the same time. He’ll get dinner for me and set it all up for me, and he knows what I want to drink, makes my ginger ale with my ice.” It sure sounds like Trainor got everything she asked for in her song “Dear Future Husband.” In 2014, she sang, “’cause if you’ll treat me right, I’ll be the perfect wife.”
Sofia Vergara met Joe Manganiello through her co-star
Always one for asking the hard-hitting questions, James Corden asked Jesse Tyler Ferguson whether he had in fact set up his “Modern Family” co-star Sofia Vergara with now-husband Joe Manganiello. “I knew Joe sort of through people and we’d done benefits together, and I knew Sofia from… working with her,” Ferguson said on “The Late Late Show.” He continued, “We were at a party together and I just introduced them. [I was like], ‘have you met Sofia?’ and of course Joe was like, ‘mmh’ and then when she broke up with her fiancé at the time, Joe like immediately, the moment it was out in the world, called me and was like, ‘I need her number.’ And then I called Sofia and was like, ‘can I give Joe your number?’ and she was like, ‘ay, no, ay, they’re coming out of the woods’ but like wanting me to give the number as well, like pretending.”
So of course, Ferguson ended up giving Manganiello Vergara’s number. This was 2014, and the “Magic Mike” actor didn’t waste any time, popping the question later that year. “Our first date was in June, and then I proposed to her on Christmas Eve; [we dated for] about six months,” Manganiello told Haute Living. “When you know, you know, and we knew right away — like, very quickly.” It’s safe to say this was another successful Hollywood matchmaking venture, as these days Vergara can be found posting sweet pics of herself and her husband on Instagram. Aw!
Hailee Steinfeld gave Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas the green light
Appearing on a radio show in 2018, Hailee Steinfeld told host Smallzy that she would like full credit for facilitating Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas’s relationship, please and thank you. “I will say, I did get that text from Sophie being like, ‘so tell me about Joe’ and I was like, ‘go for it!'” Steinfeld said.
But speaking to Jimmy Fallon in 2019, the actor and singer went back on her word slightly. When Fallon asked her if it was true she had “set up Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas,” Steinfeld quickly answered, “No! Are they saying that? I will totally take credit for that if they are saying it.” She did repeat what she’d said previously, though. “I definitely got the, ‘so tell me about Joe Jonas’ call,” Steinfeld conceded. “Sophie and I have been friends for years, she’s one of my favorite humans. And Joe, same. Joe and I worked together a couple years ago, and he is also a wonderful person, and it worked! So yeah, I’ll take credit for that, sure!”
The “Game of Thrones” star and Jonas brother got married twice — the first time in May 2019 in Vegas, and the second in June of that year in Paris, France, according to Brides. The pair welcomed a baby girl named Willa in July 2020. And that’s another celebrity matchmaking success story for the books.
Nicole Richie played a part in Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden's start
TV star and fashion designer Nicole Richie has been happily married to singer Joel Madden since 2010. Seeing that Joel’s twin brother, Benji Madden, was still single, Richie took it upon herself to introduce him to her good friend, superstar Cameron Diaz. “I approve of anything that’s going to make Benj happy,” Richie said on “Watch What Happens Live” in 2014. When Andy Cohen asked if she set the two up, Richie replied, “Yes, I’m going to take responsibility for just everything.” When she appeared on Cohen’s radio show in 2016, Diaz said she connected with Benji when Joel and Richie brought him over to an event at her home.
Diaz and Benji Madden were married in 2015 and welcomed their baby daughter Raddix Chloe Wildflower Madden on December 30, 2019, according to The Blast. A few days later, new mom Diaz posted a text image on Instagram. “Happy New Year from the Maddens!” she wrote. “We are so happy, blessed and grateful to begin this new decade by announcing the birth of our daughter, Raddix Madden. She has instantly captured our hearts and completed our family.”
As for sisters-in-law Diaz and Richie, they’re still close after all these years. “Despite their hectic schedules, Cameron and Nicole still manage to find the time to enjoy girls’ nights out!” an unnamed source told Life & Style in 2019. “You can tell their friendship is genuine and not just for show as they were talking about how they’d missed their weekly get-togethers!”
Kim Kardashian met Kanye West through not one, but two celebs
Once upon a time in what was basically a parallel universe, Kim Kardashian was singer Brandy Norwood’s assistant — and that’s when Kardashian and Kanye West’s paths first crossed. “I met him I think in 2002 or 2003,” Kardashian said in the “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” 10-year anniversary episode (via Insider). “He was recording a song with Brandy, and I was her friend. I vividly remember hanging out with him and then they did a video together, so I’d see him a few times. He was asking his friends: ‘Who is this Kim Kardajan?’ He didn’t know what my name was.”
The reality star was taken when they met, and it would be years before she and West actually got together. Specifically, it took one Jimmy Kimmel getting involved for sparks to start flying between the former Kardashian-Wests. “I think I should thank you right now,” Kardashian said on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” in 2012 (via Vibe). “I met him years before, but we really got to know each other on the show that you guys produced together.” According to Digital Spy, Kardashian was referring to “a 2008 Comedy Central show,” so she might have meant “Alligator Boots,” produced by West and Kimmel. She and West began dating in 2012, after Kardashian’s marriage with Kris Humphries broke down. They welcomed daughter North in 2013, married in 2014, had three more kids together, and filed for divorced in 2021.
Kristen Bell didn't know Jaime King when she connected her with Kyle Newman
When Kristen Bell got it in her head that actor Jaime King and filmmaker Kyle Newman would be perfect together, she wouldn’t *let it go* without a fight. “Kristen Bell I didn’t know at all, but she kept calling me in my hotel room and I was very confused because she was really friendly,” King once told E! News (via Female First). “She keeps inviting me to hang out… but she was trying to tell us we were supposed to be together.”
The “Hart of Dixie” star and “Fanboys” director began dating in 2005. “After one week, we were so close,” King told InStyle. The couple married in 2007, but unfortunately, things ended in an ugly separation in 2020. As People reported, she obtained a restraining order, made allegations of abuse, and filed for custody of their children; he denied the allegations and claimed she “emptied and closed all of our joint accounts.” King denied his allegations.
According to People, Newman sought custody of their two sons. “I have been the children’s primary caretaker since their birth and the children have spent the large majority of 2020 in my sole custody,” Newman alleged in court documents obtained by the outlet. In a statement given to People, a rep for King said, “Once again, Kyle’s lawyers have filed selectively redacted documents which perpetuate a false narrative about Jaime.” In February 2021, E! News reported they share custody.
If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.
Robert Downey Jr. introduced Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux
Robert Downey Jr. told Details magazine (via Us Weekly) that he had introduced his good friend Jennifer Aniston to ex Justin Theroux in 2007. “He and Jen fell in a real, legit fashion, and he was willing from the jump to make sacrifices,” Downey said. Aniston and Theroux began dating in 2011. The following year, he proposed with a massive diamond worth $500,000, according to Brides. “It’s a rock, I know,” Aniston told The New York Times in a 2015 interview. “He rocked it up. It took me a while to get used to it. I’m not a diamond girl. I’m more Indian jewelry and stuff.”
The couple got married in a secret, star-studded ceremony in their Bel Air residence in 2015. Among the famous guests were Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, Howard Stern, Emily Blunt, and John Krasinski.
Though the pair divorced in 2018, they remain on good terms. “In an effort to reduce any further speculation, we have decided to announce our separation,” they wrote in an official statement to the AP. “This decision was mutual and lovingly made at the end of last year. We are two best friends who have decided to part ways as a couple, but look forward to continuing our cherished friendship.” And it sounds like they’ve stuck to that plan. Theroux told Esquire in 2021, “We don’t talk every day, but we call each other. We FaceTime. We text.”
Emily Blunt set Stanley Tucci up with her sister
We all know that starring in a movie together is the best way for celebs to spark up a romance (see: Brangelina, Bennifer, etc.). But what about getting your co-stars to set you up with their nearest and dearest? Okay, this strategy may not be as widespread or relatable, but for Stanley Tucci, it sure did work in a big way when he and Emily Blunt became pals while making the hit flick “The Devil Wears Prada.”
Emily introduced her sister Felicity Blunt, who is a literary agent, to the “Supernova” star. “Emily loved Stanley on the set of ‘Devil,’ and just thought they would hit it off, so she set them up,” a source told Us Weekly. Felicity Blunt and Stanley Tucci were married in 2012, with the bride in a lacy, sleeveless dress by Nanette Lepore, per People. The couple share two children, while Tucci has three kids from his first marriage to the late Kate Spath-Tucci.
The Blunt sisters and their husbands now form one big happy family, and they have an expert mixologist in their midst. For Christmas 2020, Tucci posted a video of himself making them all some “Christmas cosmos” with pomegranate. The actor is famously a dab hand in the kitchen generally, with three cookbooks to his name — the ideal brother-in-law.
Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth's co-star acted as their go-between
Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth first met on the set of 2010 flick “The Last Song,” an adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ book of the same name. Cyrus developed a bit of a crush on Hemsworth, but instead of approaching him directly, she got her 12-year-old co-star Bobby Coleman to help her get things moving. “He is probably one of the most hysterical kids I’ve met in my life,” she said on “Good Morning America” in 2010. “This kid will do anything for five bucks … I paid him 10 bucks to go ask Liam if he liked me.”
We’re presuming the answer was “yes,” because Cyrus and Hemsworth promptly entered into a tumultuous on-and-off relationship. Shortly after they went public, they split in 2010, according to E! News — but that wouldn’t be their last song. They got back together a few times, broke up a few times, got engaged in 2012, then called it off once again in 2013. After reuniting several years later, they got engaged for a second time in 2016, but Cyrus told Ellen DeGeneres, “I fought so hard for LGBTQ rights [so] they’d be able to get married, but I don’t even really want to.”
Wedding bells rang in 2018, but less than a year later, Cyrus and Hemsworth ended their marriage.
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