I love to watch movies, read People magazine and keep up with what’s going on in Hollywood. This is, understandably, not a hobby that everyone enjoys. The entertainment industry and ‘who’s who’ aren’t all that important in the grand scheme of things. If you are a ‘star-gazer’ like me, though, it can be fun to learn what household names used to live together, before they became rich and famous. The Google search term ‘celebrity roommates’ nets a long list of notable examples of famous roommates: Brad Pitt and Jason Priestley, Holly Hunter and Frances McDormand, Owen Wilson and Wes Andersen, Judd Apatow and Adam Sandler, Connie Britton and Lauren Graham (just to name a few).
Celebrity roommates in the news
The acting/writing duo Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are longtime friends, collaborators, and also former roommates. When Affleck appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden last month to promote his and Damon’s newest movie, their previous living situation came up during the interview. It turns out that Matt Damon was a disgustingly messy roommate!
Affleck’s interview got picked up and reported by news outlets including Fox, People, Parade and Yahoo! News, and it’s easy to see why the headline gained traction. It appealed to me – and, I suspect, many others – because it is so relatable. A reminder that movie stars are normal, imperfect human beings who must put up with the same mundane, annoying, everyday stuff that the rest of us do, such as cleaning (or not cleaning) the house and navigating interpersonal relationships.
What makes a compatible home-mate?
Ben Affleck’s outing of Matt Damon as a messy roommate is also a good reminder that even a loving friend or family member does not necessarily make a compatible home-mate. If you are considering moving in with a close friend or family member, it would be wise to not jump hastily into cohabitation. Before making any commitments, go through some version of the home-mate selection process with them.
This could feel awkward or even difficult to bring up, but it is necessary. You may be afraid of offending someone by having a forthright conversation about, “what is important to you in a home? How clean do you keep your living spaces? What time do you go to bed? Do you like noise in the house, or silence?” However, these types of conversations will make for a stable, mutually satisfying home in the long run. You may get along well with another person if you have a personality type similar to theirs, perhaps, and you work together well in spaces outside the home. This does not mean, though, that it would be harmonious or enjoyable to share a full-time living space with them.
…are very specific relationships. When you live with others it requires you to ultimately, on some level, maintain a business relationship with them. Money, and paying rent and bills on time, is an essential part of any home share agreement.
And yet, a home share agreement is not purely business. It is personal, because what is more personal than creating a comfortable home?
This is why it’s always best to tread cautiously if moving in with someone you have an established relationship with. The worst case scenario would be that household disagreements over scrubbing the toilet, picking up the mail, or making noise at odd hours of the night could get in the way of, or even ruin, a perfectly good outside-the-home relationship.
I think that’s one of the other reasons that Ben Affleck’s talk show interview went viral–many of us know what it’s like to have a horrible roommate and be in a less-than-ideal housing situation. It’s heartening to see that Ben and Matt were able to maintain their loving, respectful friendship despite Damon’s terrible habits.
If you currently live with roommates, it can be fun to imagine one or the other of you becoming famous and appearing on a talk show. You never know, it could happen one day! Yet another reason to always wash your dishes.
Here are more posts on navigating household issues, for ordinary mortals or famous roommates! How to Deal with the #1 Roommate Hassle, Roommates: Remembering the Bad Ones, Forgetting the Good Ones.