'Six degrees of separation' is a theory that you can link any two people in the entire world in six steps. Well, I wonder how many Hollywood A-listers can you link if you delve deep enough into their family histories?
For most of us, all we know about our family beyond our grandparents is contained in fuzzy black and white photograph collections of people with vaguely familiar facial features. But researchers at Ancestry show it's probably a lot easier than you'd think to trace common roots.
Presumably linked to the release of the latest The Hunger Games movie, researchers investigated the family trees of co-stars Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, who both have strong ties to Kentucky (which evidently has a lot more going for it than fried chicken).
They didn't uncover any relation between Lawrence and Hutcherson, but what they discovered was even more interesting - Jennifer Lawrence is in fact the 5th cousin of Jeremy Renner, her American Hustle co-star.
A Shared Ancestor
After carrying out the original attempt to discover any link between the Hunger Games pair, they held on to the records they'd uncovered. Later on, when looking into Renner's background, they stumbled across the connection by "happenstance".
Family historian at Ancestry, Michelle Ercanbrack said:
"We were researching Jeremy Renner and noticed he had a Tague family line from Kentucky, which looked familiar. Once we realized Jennifer Lawrence had the same family in her tree, finding the relationship between the two was not only quick, it was really close."
The relative in question, Robert Tague, was a farmer from Kentucky. He's the fourth great-grandfather or Renner, and fifth great-grandfather of Lawrence. Using my uber-reliable and scientific means of calculating (see: guessing), five generations are roughly 100 - 115 years. Meaning Robert was farming away around 1915. Maybe.
Michelle (who is an expert so I value her opinion) was surprised at how close the link was. She added:
"With how closely Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner are related, we're surprised they haven't bumped into each other at a family reunion"
They also share some on screen likeness, both appearing as bow-and-arrow carrying badass's in the Hunger Games (Lawrence) and Avengers (Renner).
Although it may come as a surprise, J-Law and Renner aren't the first unexpected celebrity relations. Below are a some more you probably didn't know about:
1. Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci
What's the Link? Tucci is married to Emily's sister, Felicity
2. Josh Brolin and Barbara Streisand
Relation: Step Mother and Son
What's the Link? Josh's Dad, James Brolin, married Streisand
3. Janet Leigh and Jamie Lee Curtis
Relation: Mother and Daughter
Link: Jamie Lee Curtis is the daughter of Janet Leigh, star of that infamous Psycho scene. Her father is Tony Curtis (Some Like it Hot)
4. Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez
What's the Link? Both are son's of Martin Sheen, although Charlie (birth name Carlos Estevez) was the only one to take on his fathers showbiz name.
5. Justin Bieber and Ryan Gosling
Relation: Distant cousins
What's the Link? Another discovery by Ancestry, Bieber and Gosling are 11th cousins through a mutual ancestor who lived in the early 1600's. It was also discovered Bieber was a distant cousin of Avril Lavigne and Celine Dion, too. Good genes!