Many of the entertainment industry’s biggest stars, like Harrison Ford, would rather live a quiet life away from the bright lights and pressures that come from being in a big city.
“It’s peaceful, and it’s a relief,” Julia Roberts, who spends a lot of her time in New Mexico, told Oprah Winfrey in 2003.
“I always say you can’t be in a bad mood here. I don’t know if it’s New Mexico or just the mountains, but you can’t be silly in a negative way.”
Here’s a look at some Hollywood stars, including Roberts, who live in small towns.
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Seyfried bought a farm in 2014 and has been living there full time since the start of the pandemic. (Getty Images/Amanda Seyfried Instagram)
In 2014, “Mean Girls” actress Amanda Seyfried bought a farm in the Catskills, where she and her husband Thomas Sadoski relocated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
She and her husband continue to live on the farm with their two children, Nina and Thomas, and over 20 animals, including goats, chickens, ponies, horses and donkeys. Seyfried told John Molner on the “Molner’s Table” podcast in August 2020 she believes the move strengthened their marriage.
“I live on a farm. It’s what I’ve always wanted. Now, with this pandemic especially, we’ve been able to just stay [put],” she told Molner. “We don’t even get on the train and go to the city.”
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds
Lively and Reynolds have settled in a small town in upstate New York, choosing to raise their kids with some privacy. (Gotham/Getty Images)
After only six months of dating, Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively bought a home together in the quiet town of Pound Ridge, New York, where they continue to live today with their four children.
When speaking with Marie Claire UK in June 2016, Lively opened up about their decision to live primarily in Pound Ridge, revealing it had to do with raising their family.
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“My husband and I chose a profession, and a side effect of that is your personal life is public,” she explained. “Our child hasn’t had the opportunity to choose whether or not she wants her personal life to be public or not. So, in order to give her as much normality as possible, we want her to have a childhood like we had. … We can’t really throw her into the lion’s den that is LA, not that we really want to”.
At the time, Lively and Reynolds were parents to daughter James. They have since welcomed three more daughters.
Dave Chappelle moved back to his hometown of Yellow Springs, Ohio, in 2004. (Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)
Even after making it big as a comedian, Dave Chappelle chose to go back to his hometown of Yellow Springs, Ohio, in 2004.
During the pandemic, Chappelle couldn’t stand back and watch as local restaurants and other businesses were being forced to shut down. He recruited David Letterman, Jon Stewart, Tiffany Haddish, Common, Michael Che, Jon Hamm, Questlove and others to perform in outdoor comedy shows called “Dave Chappelle & Friends: An Intimate Socially Distanced Affair.”
“My town was dying,” he said during his monologue when hosting “Saturday Night Live” in 2020. “I did shows in my neighbor’s cornfield, and these shows were very successful and may have even helped save the town.”
Roberts moved to her New Mexico ranch shortly after she welcomed her twins in 2004. (Getty Images)
Julie Roberts first purchased her ranch in Taos, New Mexico, in the 1990s. The 32-acre ranch is where she and her husband Daniel Moder tied the knot in July 2002.
She and Moder use it as a secondary residence, splitting their time between New Mexico and their home in Malibu, California. According to Architectural Digest, the couple and their three kids — Hazel, Phinnaeus and Henry — spend a lot of time there, and locals often run into the actress while shopping at Target.
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“Around here, I come and go like it’s nothing. Los Angeles is such a town of show business, and I’m a terrible celebrity,” Roberts told Oprah Winfrey in 2003. “I find it difficult — it’s the beast that must be fed.”
Ford and his wife prefer to live in their mountain home in Jackson Hole, Wyo. (Getty Images)
Since the 1980s, Harrison Ford has been living in the mountains of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on an 800-acre ranch.
He told The Hollywood Reporter in February 2023 that once he felt established in the industry, he didn’t feel the need to “have to be at a roll call in Hollywood.” Nowadays, moving away is easier, because “the movie business is everywhere now,” with studios being built in Montana, Atlanta and New Orleans.
“The question is how do you want to spend your life? How much freedom do you have against how much freedom do you want? Do you care if you miss roles or not? Do you want to be there for everything? I lived in Los Angeles for a long time before I left. I wanted it for my kids,” he told the outlet.
Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel
Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel moved to Big Sky, Mont., during the pandemic and decided to stay there permanently. (Marc Piasecki/WireImage)
Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel own a property at the Yellowstone Club in Big Sky, Montana. According to Forbes, the membership fee to join the club is $300,000, and there is an annual fee of $30,000.
After moving to their Montana home with their son Silas during the pandemic lockdown, the couple decided to put their Hollywood Hills home on the market. A source close to the couple told People at the time the two are hardly in Los Angeles since welcoming their second son Phineas “and are happy to live in Montana.”
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“I had, like, a secret COVID baby,” Biel explained on Armchair Expert in June 2021. “It wasn’t like it was supposed to be a secret. It was just COVID happened, and then I went to Montana with my family and never left.”
A source told US Weekly in August 2021 they also have a home in Tennessee and have the best of both worlds with their two homes.
Meryl Streep and husband Don Gummer have lived in their Connecticut home since getting married in the 1980s. (Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Meryl Streep is a legendary award-winning actress, but she has chosen to stay out of the glitz and glam of Hollywood. She instead prefers to live in the quiet town of Salisbury, Connecticut. While she owns many homes throughout the United States, Salisbury has long been her home base, and where she raised her four children.
According to Architectural Digest, Streep purchased the home with husband Don Gummer in 1985. The property features a large lake, a sheep farm, the main house, a few barns and an art studio.
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“I’d much prefer not to have all the attention and adulation, people going berserk when they see me in public,” Streep told Ladies Home Journal in 1986 about her decision to move out of Hollywood. “Actually, I’m sort of boring, except for this incredibly fascinating career I have. Day to day, you know, I’m just like everybody else.”
In 2017, Streep purchased a home in Pasadena, California, where she has been spending more time.