We all know that growing up in the public eye is hard on the stars who have done it, but we still wonder what it was really like. They must have had these glamorous lives, full of crazy parties and famous friends, right? Well, one of the people who was around for it all has shared their photos from back in the day and honestly, it looks like it’s everything we wanted it to be.
Randall Slavin was a struggling actor at the time, carrying around a camera everywhere he went. He attended some of the parties that we all wished we could be at, but has released his images so we can all pretend like we were there too.
He said that “I would just go out at night and take pictures, and people were cool with it. They’d always want a copy. I would drop it off in some photo lab and pick it up the next day.”
“I think I was hyper-aware that I was around special people,” Slavin said. “When you’re young and you run around and all your friends are actors, they’re in their own bands or they’re wanting to be writers, and you’re all hungry and starving.”
He has shared some truly remarkable photos that will bring you back to a simpler time, before smartphones ruled our lives. Check them out!
Neil Patrick Harris
“This was at Guy’s on Beverly. We were all young actor boys running around together, but this was sort of Neil [Patrick Harris’] fallow period — post-Doogie Howser, pre-Harold & Kumar. You could actually smoke inside a club, which is shocking today,” Slavin said of the photo.
Scott Foley and Jennifer Garner
“This was taken at a Fourth of July party at director Steve Miner’s house; they were about to get married [in October],” Slavin said.
Those aren’t the only celebs that he managed to befriend and photograph…
Kate Hudson at the Playboy Mansion
Slavin explained that “this was my first time at the Playboy Mansion [Kate Hudson, pictured]. Hefner told this former Playmate, ‘I want to start having parties again.’ She knew all the L.A. hipster kids, so she was in charge of the guest list. I was lucky enough to be a friend.”
Reese Witherspoon and Eddie Mills
“We were backstage at the Wiltern after a Counting Crows concert when I took this picture of Reese Witherspoon and another young actor, Eddie Mills. They were hanging out a bit, and Eddie and I were friends. This was right after Fear came out — 1996 was sort of her breakout year,” Slavin explained.
Jude Law and Tracy Falco
“Samantha Mathis and her friend Tracy Falco [right, with Jude Law] rented this little house on Hillside, north of Franklin,” Slavin remembered. “We had this amazing summer there. When you’re in your 20s and you just all gather at this house — every day, every night.”
Jennifer Aniston and Adam Duritz
Slavin recalled the story behind this photo as well. “Adam [Duritz, with Jennifer Aniston] sort of immortalized it in the [Counting Crows] song ‘A Long December’ — ‘drove up to Hillside Manor sometime after 2 a.m.’ Jude was doing a show on Broadway. I was there with Tracy, Samantha and Jeremy Davies. All the girls were just all over Jude. He was the most beautiful thing you had ever seen.”
Paul Rudd and Jeremy Davies
Taken in 1996, Slavin says this is one of his favorite photos. “This one of Paul Rudd [bottom], Jeremy Davies [on Rudd’s shoulders] and Robin Tunney [left] is my favorite as a photo and as a moment. A friend of ours opened for Hole so we got hooked up. Jeremy and Paul had done a movie. I was good friends with Jeremy. I remember hanging out with Jeremy when he booked a small part on the Buffy movie that was two lines. Then he got cut and was crushed.”
Cameron Diaz, Mila Jovovich and Cedric Lemoyne
Slavin explained the man in the photo, Lemoyne, was in a band at the time. “After one of their shows, the guitarist invited us to his apartment on Crescent Heights for a party. I knew Cameron a bit because we both grew up in Long Beach.”
Scott Wolf, Jennider McComb, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Randall Slavin and Mario Lopez
Slavin got to hang out with many of the cast of Saved By The Bell, but what he remembers most is how people acted. “What I love about this is that nobody’s looking at their phones. We’re actually, you know, being present with each other.”
Charlize Theron and Lenoardo DiCaprio
“That was Charlize’s [Theron] 22nd birthday party,” Slavin recalled. “Leo [DiCaprio] was in the midst of Titanic mania. They were actually walking away, and I called them and they both turned. I don’t think either of them have ever looked better than they did that night.”
It wasn’t all parties though. This photo of Hilary Swank was snapped in her agent’s office. Slavin said that “this was just after her first big role in The Next Karate Kid. It was long before Boys Don’t Cry. Even though she had her hair cut short, it didn’t have anything to do with that film.”