Celebs Who Moved Out Of Hollywood For Their Kids

Many celebrities are not only based in either Los Angeles or New York, but raise their kids in one of the two metro areas. Los Angeles — and nearby cities like Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and Malibu — seems to be particularly challenging for celebrity parents, whose children might never get to experience a world outside of the spotlight. "There's nothing normal about our life," Mila Kunis once said on an episode of "Sunday Today with Willie Geist." "My kids' version of normal is incredibly different."

As such, it is not entirely surprising that many celebs have decided to move away from Hollywood. In 2021, three actors even made a pact to move to Austin, Texas, together. The stars — Haylie Duff, Becca Tobin, and Jamie-Lynn Sigler — all decided Los Angeles was not where they wanted to raise their families, per The New York Times.

Austin has become a hotbed for celebrity transplants — everyone from Joe Rogan to James Marsden — but it's not just Texas drawing people away from LA. Some are living in big cities like Chicago, like Jenny McCarthy and Donny Wahlberg, while others are completely off the grid in places like Montana, where Kelly Clarkson owns a ranch, per Life & Style. Celebrities are popping up all over the country, including in more rural areas where they can live more simply and away from the cameras. Here is a collection of celebrities who moved out of Hollywood to raise their kids out of the glare of the paparazzi.

Demi Moore and Bruce Willis took over an Idaho town

When former power couple Bruce Willis and Demi Moore were still married, they left Hollywood for a quieter life. According to the Independent, the two A-listers moved to Idaho in 1988, though not full time. They settled in the small town of Hailey, a former mining town in the center part of the state, and then purchased many properties there. Willis even employed a good number of locals through his real estate company, which built office buildings, a nightclub, and more. At some point, things got contentious, and there is even a podcast, "Haileywood," that traces how the family took over the blue-collar town with their Hollywood ways.

But we are not here to debate whether Moore and Willis revitalized or ruined Hailey. After all, they both quarantined together at Moore's Hailey ranch during the height of COVID-19, per Hello! magazine, so they cannot be that hated locally. The blended family stayed at the same ranch where Moore and Willis raised daughters Rumer, Scout, and Tallulah Willis. "When I realized I needed to be with my kids in one place for whatever amount of time, it didn't feel like a risk in terms of my career. It was just that my children were important to me," Moore explained in a 2007 interview with People. "They were little, aged from about five to 11. It wasn't about: am I giving up work? It was about: my children are important to me."

Julia Roberts has a ranch in New Mexico

Being as famous as she is, Julia Roberts' love life has always been widely featured in the tabloids. Per Closer Weekly, she's been linked to stars such as Kiefer Sutherland and Liam Neeson, was engaged to Dylan McDermott, and at one point had a short marriage to country crooner Lyle Lovett. She continued to date famous men after her divorce, but it was not until she started seeing a non-celebrity that Roberts found her happy ending. She met camera operator Danny Moder on the set of "The Mexican," and despite Moder being married, the couple began a romance, per Us Weekly.

Roberts and Moder have three children — Hazel, Phinnaeus, and Henry — and they have made a point to keep them out of the limelight and out of Hollywood. The family has multiple homes but spend much of their time on their ranch in Taos, New Mexico. According to Architectural Digest, Roberts owned the ranch prior to getting married, but she and Moder made it their main residence after the birth of their twins in 2004. At one point, the family appeared to have settled in Malibu, but as the star told Extra in 2022, they are now using their San Francisco home as their main base. "I think moving with three teenagers during a pandemic is not for the faint of heart, but we have pulled it off and everyone seems good and happy," Roberts said.

Mark Wahlberg moved his family to Nevada

When Boston native Mark Wahlberg moved his family out of California, it was not to flee to Massachusetts. Rather, he and his loved ones headed to nearby Nevada. "I moved to California many years ago to pursue acting, and I've only made a couple of movies in the entire time that I was there," Wahlberg said on "The Talk" in 2022. "So, to be able to give my kids a better life and follow and pursue their dreams whether it be my daughter as an equestrian, my son as a basketball player, my younger son as a golfer, this made a lot more sense for us."

On the aforementioned episode of "The Talk," Wahlberg also said he hoped to make Nevada a "Hollywood 2.0," and revealed plans to build a studio and a factory. He also said he spent much of his time at home, presumably with his four children with wife Rhea Durham. The couple's kids — Ella, Michael, Brendan, and Grace — may have been sad to leave their $90 million California mansion, but we are sure they are living just as well in their new home. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Wahlberg and his wife dropped $15.6 million on 2.5 acres of land in the exclusive Las Vegas community of Summerlin. If that is the cost of the land, you know the house is going to be spectacular.

Jeff Daniels raised his kids in Michigan

Jeff Daniels has been appearing on screens for more than four decades and, though many people know his name, he has never been the kind of celebrity you see splashed across magazine covers at the supermarket. This is exactly how the actor wants it, too, as he has ensured his private life remains private. Since 1986, Daniels has been living full-time in his home state of Michigan to, as he explained to People, "create as much a sense of normalcy as possible." It is in Michigan that Daniels and his wife Kathleen raised their now-grown children Ben, Lucas, and Nellie.

Daniels moving his brood to Chelsea, Michigan, while still maintaining a successful acting career was virtually unheard of in the 1980s, before we had the kind of technology that would make business meetings and auditions easy to do from afar. But he has said that he never really got into the general idea of fame, and that it was a no-brainer to move back to where both he and his wife grew up. He said on "Conan," "After 10 years in New York, we said, 'Why don't we just go home and live there, because the career is going to end.'" And while we are sure Daniels is somewhat joking, it is nice to hear about a celebrity who does not think their entire life is the work that they do. As he told People, "Careers are job to job, you're hot, you're not."

Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake headed to Montana

Montana is a surprising celebrity hotspot nowadays, with many famous folks choosing to spend time on their ranches out in nature. Amongst the many celebrities who have homes in Montana are Kelly Clarkson, Dennis Quaid, and Michael Keaton, who shared his whopping 1,000-acre property on an episode of "60 Minutes." Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel have also decided to set up camp in the sparsely populated state, no doubt in part because of the paparazzi attention the two attract wherever they go in Los Angeles. Plus, Montana's mountains are truly breathtaking. Per Forbes, their Montana neighbors include Bill Gates and Dan Quayle.

Timberlake and Biel's desire to raise their kids in Montana was first reported in 2015, after the birth of their son Silas. According to Us Weekly, of all the cities where they've owned property, the family is apparently most comfortable at their home in Big Sky. There, they live in the Yellowstone Club, a wealthy private community that also has a ski resort and golf club. "Their house is all set up for the baby. They want to raise him out of the spotlight," an insider told Us Weekly at the time. The couple has since welcomed another son, Phineas, which they were able to do in secret. "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," Biel told Dax Shepard on the "Armchair Expert" podcast. 

Matthew McConaughey moved back to his home state

Matthew McConaughey may have lived in Los Angeles for many years, but he's always been a Texan at heart. The Oscar winner moved back to his home state in 2012. According to E! News, family was the big reason for the relocation, as McConaughey was at the time engaged to his now-wife Camila Alves, and together they had two young kids. "I grew up here. We got children, family values, neighbors and common sense—and I can catch a greenlight in Texas," he said. Since then, he has somehow become even more Texan and he was even a potential candidate for governor at one point before he announced on Twitter that he'd pulled his name from contention.

McConaughey and Alves settled in Austin, which is a few hours outside of Uvalde, Texas, where McConaughey grew up. They now have three kids — Levi, Vida, and Livingston — and live in a 10,800 square foot mansion, per Hello! magazine. "We lived in Malibu for many years and having the paparazzi outside our door every day — every single day — when that becomes your normal, you don't realize how much that's actually affecting the things you do until you actually leave and get out of it," Alves said in a 2022 Fox News interview. "The kids get to have a private way of growing up. So from that perspective, it was very important."

James Denton fled to Minnesota

James Denton is not at the same level of fame as some of the other stars on our list, but he was certainly a recognizable face and name during the years that "Desperate Housewives" was seemingly everywhere. After the show wrapped at the end of Season 8, James made the choice to move away from the hoopla that is Los Angeles. He still works as an actor, appearing on TV series such as "The Good Witch" and "Devious Maids," but opted to put his family first by moving to Minnesota, where his wife grew up. "I know the value of growing up in a smaller town," James explained to Yahoo Life! In 2022.

James and his wife Erin O'Brien Denton settled in Chanhassen, a small city that is part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. In an October 2022 Fox News interview about his son, Sheppard Denton, with whom James appeared in a Hallmark movie, the actor further explained why the family made the location change. "We moved up here when 'Desperate Housewives' ended because that's where his mom grew up. So he had grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles. And he and his sister were able to go to really good schools here that didn't cost an arm and a leg like they do in LA," the "Desperate Housewives" alum told Fox News. In addition to Sheppard, the Dentons also share a daughter named Malin.

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively's quieter life

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively were famous before they got together, but when they became a couple, their celebrity level reached new heights. People are fascinated by their every move, no doubt in part because the pair purposefully live far away from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. And though they are close enough to New York City, their Upstate New York property is somewhat of a safe haven from their many fans. According to E! News, Reynolds and Lively have lived in a large mansion near Bedford, New York, since 2012, which is the year they wed. They have since welcomed three children — Inez, James, and Betty. Lively is pregnant with their fourth child, who is due sometime in early 2023.

According to Hello! magazine, their home (and barn, also on their 11+ acres) is located in Pound Ridge, which is roughly an hour north of Manhattan. "They moved to the suburbs, which has a pretty conservative lifestyle. They also picked a very traditional kind of house for people who work in Hollywood," an insider told People. "They wanted a house with character, not a trendy, modern house. Their place is very homey." Though their life is quieter up in the burbs, Lively has still had to call out the paparazzi on numerous occasions. For example, in September 2022, she posted a selection of photos of her pregnancy to Instagram, with the hopes that it would force the "11 guys waiting outside" to retreat.

Chris Hemsworth found Tinseltown to be 'suffocating'

With its never-ending traffic and abundance of people, we could see how one could find Los Angeles metaphorically suffocating. And with its persistent smog and air quality problems, we even understand how one might find it literally suffocating at times. For Chris Hemsworth, however, what is stifling about Tinseltown is not the traffic or the smog, but the inability to remove oneself from the show business life. "I love what I do as an actor, but when you are surrounded by it constantly, it becomes a bit suffocating," he told Modern Luxury magazine (via ABC News)."It's nice to have conversations with people and be a part of a community that doesn't live and breathe that world."

To find a bit of freedom from the Hollywood game, Hemsworth and his wife Elsa Pataky moved to Australia, where Hemsworth was born and raised, in 2014, per the Daily Mail. Hemsworth and Pataky have three children — Rose, Sasha, and Tristan — and they always wanted them to grow up Down Under. They first moved to Byron Bay, which Hemsworth referred to as a "quiet, coastal town" in an interview with the Daily Mail, but later relocated to Sydney for work, per The Sydney Morning Herald. It's a move they have never regretted. "We made the right decision in 2014 to leave LA and come to Australia – it's been great for the kids to be in nature, enjoy animals and go horse riding," Pataky told The Sydney Morning Herald in March 2021.

Mark Ruffalo lives on a farm in Upstate New York

Upstate New York is a popular location for celebrities who want to be close enough for a jaunt to New York City but far enough away from the hustle and bustle of The City That Never Sleeps. A surprising number of these famous folks live the farm life. Mark Ruffalo is one such celeb — something that tracks with his consistent environmental advocacy and promotion of climate justice. Ruffalo and his family have chosen to live a simple life on a dairy farm in Callicoon, New York, per The Guardian. Callicoon is nearly a two-and-a-half-hour drive from New York City, and about an hour away from Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Per Hollywood Life, Ruffalo and his wife Sunrise Coigney have three children: Keen, Bella, and Odette. The family has had homes in New York City and Los Angeles, per Dirt, but it is in Callicoon that they have made their biggest mark. According to Nowness, their property has a vegetable garden, a barn, and a guest house. "It's the best thing I could have done for the family as a whole and for the kids in particular," Ruffalo told the publication in 2011, referencing their move. "We live in a small space and we're really influenced by the natural world around us. Eventually that is reflected in one's behavior and how you get along with other people. There's a lot of quiet in the country and there's a lot of quietness in my children."

Amanda Seyfried also lives on a farm in New York

Look, we told you that both farms and Upstate New York were popular. Just like Mark Ruffalo and others, Amanda Seyfried has chosen to raise her family in a rural part of the state, just north of New York City. Per an interview she did with Molner's Table, a Katie Couric Media video series hosted by Couric's husband John Molner, Seyfried purchased her home back in 2014, well before she had a family. She has since married Thomas Sadoski and together they have two kids. It is at her farmhouse that they have decided to bring them up, and it is in Upstate New York that their daughter is enrolled in school, per Molner's Table. The family moved to the home full-time during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Us Weekly, the family loves living in the Catskills, far away from the hoopla. "They love being around nature and away from the hustle of city life," a source told the magazine in March 2022. "Amanda loves to hike. She and Thomas [are] huge fans of the outdoors and they've been taking the kids out locally, plus exploring more of the East Coast." For Seyfried, part of the appeal seems to be her huge menagerie of animals, which includes everything from goats to horses to turtles, per Molner's Table. Seyfried's farm and her animals — including her beloved dog Finn, who has his own Instagram with over 70,000 followers — are frequent features on her Instagram,

Kyle Chandler moved to Texas during Friday Night Lights

If you watched "Friday Night Lights" — and if you have not, what are you waiting for? — then you likely think about Texas when you see Kyle Chandler, who played coach Eric Taylor on the West Texas-set series. Though the show was set in the fictional town of Dillon, much of the series was filmed in Austin, per Curbed Austin. And Chandler liked the city so much that he and his wife Kathryn decided to make the move permanent. According to The Hollywood Reporter, they moved from Los Angeles to Austin in 2009, which would have been in the middle of the "Friday Night Lights'" run.

The Chandlers have two daughters who are now both of age but who would have been about 13 and seven when the family made the move, per People. According to Men's Journal, they settled on a ranch just outside of the city, in Dripping Springs, Texas, where Chandler quickly became a volunteer firefighter and the family adopted a slew of dogs and donkeys. And by all accounts, the animals have plenty of room to roam. As Chandler shared on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" in 2019, the ranch is on a whopping 33 acres of land. That is the kind of space you are not going to get in the middle of a city.

Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas are raising kids in Florida

The Jonas Brothers are still active, but none of them live anywhere close to each other nowadays. Kevin Jonas resides in a New Jersey suburb, relatively close to where both he and wife Danielle Jonas grew up, per New Jersey Monthly. And for a long time, both Nick and Joe Jonas were on the West Coast, but while Nick and Priyanka Chopra are still in their massive $20 million mansion in Encino, California, Joe and Sophie Turner have left the Los Angeles area for Miami, Florida.

Joe Jonas wed Turner in a surprise Las Vegas wedding in May 2019, and together they share two kids: Willa and a younger daughter whose name has not yet been shared with the public. The couple purchased an $11 million mansion in Miami in September 2021, as per E! News. "We're very lucky to live in Miami. We have good weather and live by the water," Turner told Elle in May 2022. "We try to keep it as chill as possible and just cherish those times, because we don't get them very often. We travel around so much." In the interview with Elle, Turner also expressed that she wanted her kids to grow up as normal as possible, which helps explain the move to a less paparazzi-filled city.

Katherine Heigl lives in Utah with her kids and many pets

Since "Grey's Anatomy," Katherine Heigl has continued to find work in television shows such as "Suits" and "Firefly Lane." That has to be tough, given that Heigl and her family are rooted in Utah. According to The New York Times, the TV star has had a home in Utah for over two decades, well before she married singer Josh Kelley. But Kelley was clearly on board, as the couple scooped up a place just under an hour away from Salt Lake City, on a ranch with 25 acres of land and a ridiculous amount of animals, per Good Housekeeping

Heigl and Kelly have three kids — Naleigh, Adelaide, and Joshua — and they are all about raising them away from Hollywood. "We had big dreams of expanding our family, moving to the mountains and having a quieter life," Heigl told Good Housekeeping in 2014. "Utah is spectacularly beautiful, the people are wonderful and kind, it's an easy commute from L.A. — and there's no traffic!" Not only that, but Park City, which is near where Heigl lives, is quite glamorous and elite. Other celebrities who have homes in Utah include Ty Burrell, Michael Jordan, and Robert Redford, per Deseret News.

James Van Der Beek moved his giant brood to Texas

We thought we would close the list with one more celebrity who made the move to Austin, just to prove the Texas city's immense popularity amongst famous people. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, James Van Der Beek and his family decided to leave Los Angeles in search of a simpler, quieter life. They took a big road trip and documented it on social media, landing in Austin in October 2020. We cannot imagine prolonging a road trip to see sights when you are traveling with young kids, but that's just us.

Per People, Van Der Beek and his wife Kimberly have six children: Olivia, Joshua, Annabel, Emilia, Gwendolyn, and Jeremiah. They settled on Austin after visiting there for an anniversary, and now live on 36 acres of land with their massive brood, per Austin Lifestyle. "We wanted to get the kids out of Los Angeles," the "Dawson's Creek" actor told the outlet after the move. "We wanted to give them space and we wanted them to live in nature." As his Instagram activity makes abundantly clear, Van Der Beek has taken to country life quite well. He has posted photos of himself fishing, boating, and building things like a chicken coop and cedar fence posts.