Call the Leslie Knope in Your Life and Celebrate Galentine's Day With These Kickass Famous Friendships

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Galentine's Day, Empowering FriendshipsInstagram; Getty Images/E! Illustration

Whether you’re single, just starting to date a maybe-special someone (or someones, we don’t judge), decidedly off the market or have been married for years this Valentine’s Day weekend…

It doesn’t matter one bit, because everyone can celebrate Galentine’s Day!

Somehow all of history occurred before Parks and Recreation gave Feb. 13 its true purpose: Namely, a holiday by the gals, for the gals, to honor friendships between gals. Which, in case you hadn’t noticed, have been known to produce some of the most powerful bonds of all.

And even though this Galentine’s Day may be more about Zoom brunch and catching up over FaceTime than in-person revelry, the spirit remains the same.

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Stars Celebrate Valentine’s Day 2021

Talking to LAist in 2019, series co-creator Michael Schur, who wrote the 2010 episode “Galentine’s Day,” called it the “perfect Leslie Knope idea, because the idea was, the day beforehand, let’s eliminate the romantic aspect of it—because it’s exclusionary to people who aren’t in romances—and say, there isn’t a day set aside where we just celebrate friendships, especially female friendships. And so she just took it upon herself to do that.”

Amy Poehler, whose infectious enthusiasm playing Leslie, devoted public servant and ultra-supportive bestie to Rashida Jones‘ Ann, made us all want to be a little bit better on the job and in our relationships, explained, “I love that the show celebrated female friendship in such a pure way. Leslie and Ann were always on each other’s team. They shared a deep connection and never gave up on each other, even knowing how different they were.”

And while we can’t all have the exact equivalent of a Leslie Knope in our life, profusely praising our beauty and always picking out the perfect gift, we’ll still take our unscripted friendships straight to the bank.

Watch: 5 Celebrity Besties We Stan This Galentine’s Day

So whether romance is in the cards tomorrow or not, honoring our BFFs (today or any day) can also provide an incomparable dose of the warm fuzzies. 

To kick off your Galentine’s Day, here are some of the famous friendships that never fail to remind us that having gal pals is often all you need.

Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones

The only thing better than Leslie and Ann’s bond on Parks and Rec is knowing that these actresses adore each other in real life, too.

Poehler told LAist in 2019, “I think the real reason the relationship worked is because I am in love and obsessed with Rashida in the same way Leslie is. She is my wife for life.” Acknowledging how they reunited for Galentine’s Day that year, she added, “We see each other constantly because we are really close friends who love each other.”

Talking to Elle.com in 2011 when the show was still on, Jones indicated that she might actually be the Leslie in their relationship, recalling her first impression of Poehler: “I do remember, like, that semi–high school moment where I’m like, ‘Oh my God, she’s so cool. She shouldn’t be this cool for how talented she is and how pretty she is.'”

Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland

The former Destiny’s Child groupmates grew up in Houston together and remain the closest of friends, Beyoncé often referring to Rowland as her sister, or “sis.”

Better yet, their familial bond has transcended generations, Rowland telling E! News in 2017 that her then-2-year-old son Titian was “extremely close” to Blue Ivy Carter, 5 at the time. “It’s the sweetest thing,” the singer said. “It’s the greatest thing about friendship when you’re able to grow up together and your children are able to grow up together and it’s just years upon years of beautiful friendship and sisterhood.”

Jennifer Lopez and Leah Remini

The Second Act co-stars met in 2004 at the premiere of Man on Fire, featuring J.Lo’s future third husband Marc Anthony. Fast-forward to 2021 and Lopez is engaged to Alex Rodriguez but still best friends with Remini.

“We fell in love right there,” Lopez recalled fondly to Entertainment Tonight of her Brooklyn-bred BFF in 2018. “It was one of those instant chemistry things where you just feel like, ‘I love this person. I love being around this person. This person makes me laugh.’ She’s cool and we also have very similar upbringings. That’s why we work well together.”

Remini shared with E! News that, after Lopez performed at President Joe Biden‘s inauguration Jan. 20, “I wrote her and said, ‘You know, you’re a girl from the Bronx. ‘Like, what you did today was really inspiring, and it was just beautiful to watch. Just beautiful.'”

Michelle Williams and Busy Philipps

Even since meeting in the 1990s making Dawson’s Creek, neither member of our favorite mutual appreciation society has ever had to worry about being dateless at an award show or without a wingwoman any other night.

“When I met her, she was the coolest girl I had ever seen,” Williams told Entertainment Weekly about Philipps in 2018. “She had a nose ring. She wore her hair in braids. She wore overalls. And she had this attitude like, ‘I know who I am and don’t cross my line.’ I just thought, ‘I want to be this person when I grow up.’ She was my first real friend I ever had.”

Added Philipps, “It was like, you know, how people say love at first sight? We had that thing. We had that friend connection. It was just an immediate: ‘Of course we’re drinking wine and smoking cigarettes and getting in bar fights.’ We just had an immediate love for each other that’s continued over the years.”

Gayle King and Oprah Winfrey

Sure, everyone wishes Winfrey could be her best friend, but King has been living the dream since the 1970s.

But the current in their connection obviously runs both ways, Winfrey saying in O magazine in 2006, “There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for her, there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for me. There is a line of respect that is unspoken, on both our parts.”

And while their friendship is so enduring they’ve had plenty of time to laugh off speculation that they were actually romantically involved, Winfrey said, “In a way, our friendship is better than a marriage or a sexual relationship. You know, there’s no such thing as unconditional love in a marriage as far as I’m concerned, ’cause let me tell you, there are some conditions.”

Vanessa Bryant and Ciara

Bonded originally as super-busy moms and the wives of athletes, the friendship only deepened in 2020 as Ciara and her family rallied to Bryant’s side following the death of her husband Kobe Bryant and their daughter Gianna. In addition to just kickin’ it at home, they vacationed in Cabo with their kids in October and took off to snowy Montana with their families for Christmas.

Nina Dobrev and Julianne Hough

Describing their friendship in a joint interview with People in 2018, Dobrev said of Hough, “It feels like we met when we were 2 years old, because I feel like I have known you my entire life. We are goofy, we like to laugh, we like to play with our dogs and hang out and watch movies and get ready together and go places together. We just like to be around each other. I can only speak for myself, but Julianne is such a positive, awesome person. She has an infectious energy that you just want to be around, so selfishly I am just trying to get a little bit of her energy transferred to me.”

Added Hough of The Vampire Diaries star, “We’re like ying and yang—like same thing with Nina—you also have an infectious energy. You’re always the person that’s inclusive of everybody and always making sure everybody is having fun, and we’re like a spontaneous combustion of energy when we’re together, at least we think so.”

Eva Longoria and Victoria Beckham

When Victoria and David Beckham‘s daughter, Harper, was baptized in 2019, Longoria was picked to be the girl’s godmother, cementing the bond she’s enjoyed with the erstwhile Posh Spice for a decade.

“Victoria’s an amazing mom. She’s probably one of the first people I do turn to for advice for things,” Longoria shared with Metro U.K.

We should’ve known all along. When asked how she planned to celebrate being honored with the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 People’s Choice Awards, Beckham looked into the E! News camera and said, “I am going to go out with my friend Eva Longoria and we’re going to drink wine, and I am very excited about that. We’re probably going to drink a lot of wine—as we should, right?! We’re celebrating.”

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

We wouldn’t care if behind the scenes all they do together is watch Bergman films and talk about the meaninglessness of life, because their onscreen chemistry is just that delightful.

However, we have it on decent authority that these two, besties since meeting in the early 1990s doing improv in Chicago, actually have a ball behind the scenes, whether they’re coming up with comedic gold for their next award show gig—which is the 2021 Golden Globes, airing Sunday, Feb. 28, on NBC—or just hanging out. Needless to say, the Second City alums are always making each other laugh.

Fey got to Saturday Night Live first, as a writer, and when Poehler joined the cast in 2001, as Fey wrote in her book Bossypants, “I was so happy. Weirdly, I remember thinking, ‘My friend is here! My friend is here!’ Even though things had been going great for me at the show, with Amy there, I felt less alone.”

Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz

More than 20 years since they teamed up for Charlie’s Angels, the actresses-turned-entrepreneurs-and-beyond remain a friendship force to be reckoned with.

“We’re like more than best friends, she’s my sister,” Barrymore gushed to ET in 2018. “We have much more of that kind of relationship, we’re very honest with each other. We push each other. And we’ve had the majority of our lives spent side by side, really going through what real life is, which is an everyday high and low and we just have each other’s backs.”

And when Diaz became a first-time mom to daughter Raddix, Barrymore admitted to Extra last year that she’d been “lucky enough to snuggle” with her pal’s new baby.

Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington

The veteran actresses and moms were friends long before they joined forces to produce and star in Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere.

Wishing Washington happy birthday back in 2016, Witherspoon wrote, “My friend and one of my favorite actresses/producers/mothers/philanthropists, this woman is a champion for change in the world in so many ways… (Not to mention she’s smokin’ hot!)”

Now, of course, the little fire emojis she added could be seen as brilliant foresight.

“I think we are in a really exciting place in terms of opportunities for partnership with other women,” Washington told E! News last year, “but I also feel that this was a unique partnership, just because, I don’t know, sometimes you stumble upon magic, when you’re like, ‘Oh, this is somebody who I love to work with, who I trust, and I know that we’re making each other better.'”

Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow

What can we say, the leading ladies from Friends have just been there for each other all this time, ever since they spent every day together on the set eating the “Jennifer” salad—a Cobb but with turkey bacon, plus garbanzo beans—for lunch.

Salma Hayek and Penélope Cruz

The Bandidas co-stars bonded on the set of their 2006 film and, despite not living in the same country, have enjoyed an international friendship for the ages (or the non-aging, in their case).

“She’s one of my best friends,” Cruz said of Hayek, talking to Allure in 2014. “We call each other huevos [eggs]. It was because when we were working together, we didn’t have children yet, so we used to sleep much more than now. So it was a way to call each other lazy. We slept in the same bed so many times, and it was like she was always trying to wake me up and call me huevos.”

And Hayek told The Edit in 2015, “But then Penélope has always been my hero and my friend. We’ve known each other for at least 20 years.”

Naomi Watts and Nicole Kidman

The actresses met on the set of the 1991 Australian coming-of-age drama Flirting and have been dear friends ever since. When Watts celebrated her 50th birthday in 2018, Kidman was there for a ladies lunch, later sharing a photo of the group on Instagram and writing, “Happy Birthday to my gorgeous friend Nai – IT’S A BIG ONE! Friends for the last 35 years, here’s to another 35 together and celebrating with your girlfriends. Love you so much ?#birthdaywishes.”

Kate Hudson and Liv Tyler

Friends since high school at Crossroads in Santa Monica (to paraphrase Clueless, we’re guessing they both knew what it was like to have other people be jealous of them), the actresses and scions of showbiz royalty both became moms in 2004—and on a flight from Toronto to L.A. in 2016, Hudson coincidentally ended up seated next to her pal’s dad, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, or “Papa Steven” as the Almost Famous star calls him.

They live on opposite coasts these days, Tyler in New York and Hudson in L.A., but they reunite when they can and are happy to share the proof on Instagram.

America Ferrara, Amber Tamblyn, Blake Lively and Alexis Bledel

Carving out time for four geographically spread-out, married moms to get together can feel as unlikely as four friends being able to wear the same pair of magical pants, but this quartet manages to see each other when they can.

“I mean, I go out the most with America,” Tamblyn shared on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen in 2020. “She’s the love of my life. She’s my best friend. But, the other girls too, when we’re all together…That’s the great thing about really good friendships is you can go a whole year without seeing someone and it’s like you’re right back in that same moment.”

Asked about the possibility of a third Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants film, the idea of which has been pitched, Ferrara told E! News, “I think it would e amazing. The sisterhood is so well and alive. I love my girls. We’re very much a part of each other’s lives and, you know, if the movie happens, it would be a great thing. We would love to get paid to hang out with each other.”

And we’d pay to see it!

Watch “Galentine’s Day” and all the rest of Parks and Recreation, now streaming on Peacock

(E! and Peacock are both members of the NBCUniversal family)





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