17 Celebs Who Opted For Peace And Privacy Over The Glitz And Glamour Of LA, NYC, Or London

Many aspiring performers move to film and theater hubs like Los Angeles, New York City, and London every year in hopes of making their dreams come true. However, once they've made it in the spotlight, they sometimes wish they could get out (even temporarily).

Here are 17 celebs who ditched the bright lights of LA, NYC, or London for a peaceful, private life:

1.Cillian Murphy lived in London for 14 years, but he and his wife, Yvonne McGuinness, decided to return home to Ireland because their kids, who were born in London, had developed "posh" English accents.

Cillian at an event wearing a suit and tie
Elyse Jankowski / WireImage / Via Getty

On the Armchair Expert podcast, Cillian said, "We wanted the kids to be Irish. They were sort of at that age where they were pre-teens and had very posh English accents, and I wasn't appreciating that too much. So we decided to come back."

2.Throughout her career, Rachel McAdams has taken multiple breaks from Hollywood. When she's not working, she lives a "quiet life" with her family in the American South.

Rachel standing with hands clasped, wearing a dark outfit with a keyhole neckline and ruched details
Taylor Hill / FilmMagic / Via Getty

Discussing the first two-year break she took after her career took off in the '00s, she told Bustle, "I felt guilty for not capitalizing on the opportunity that I was being given, because I knew I was in such a lucky spot. But I also knew it wasn't quite jiving with my personality and what I needed to stay sane. There were definitely some anxious moments of wondering if I was just throwing it all away, and why was I doing that? It’s taken years to understand what I intuitively was doing."

3.Jennifer Coolidge fell in love with New Orleans on a last-minute New Year's Eve trip with her friends. She "ended up buying a home there [because] you cannot have a plan and end up doing something really interesting and fun."

Jennifer in patterned gown at a media event with Emmy logos in the background
Robyn Beck / AFP via Getty Images

She told Condé Nast Traveler, "I've had nights where a wedding party took over the bar I was at during a rainstorm and we all ended up dancing, soaking wet and among strangers, into the night together. Or where a random man started playing the piano at a lounge and another lady started singing and it wound up being some of the best music I've ever heard. I mean, look — I don't know a lot of cities where I would rather be out on my bike on New Year's Eve than at a fabulous party."

4.Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds own several properties in New York, but their primary residence is a mansion in Pound Ridge, north of Manhattan. It's reportedly a Colonial-style house with a barn and private guest house.

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds smiling, standing close, Lively in a patterned dress and Reynolds in a suit
Emma Mcintyre / Getty Images for American Cinematheque

This house is where Taylor Swift filmed All Too Well: The Short Film.

5.When the pandemic hit, Jesse Eisenberg and his family relocated to Bloomington, Indiana, where his wife Anna Strout's family lives. He began volunteering at Middle Way House, a domestic violence shelter that his mother-in-law, Toby Strout, ran for 35 years.

Jesse at Sundance event, backdrop with logos, wearing glasses
Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images

He told Indianapolis Monthly, "[It] is not just a domestic violence shelter — it provides transitional housing and legal counseling, and they work with victims of sex trafficking. It’s an incredible place, but due to COVID-19, they lost a lot of student volunteers. So my wife and I came here in March, and I’ve been volunteering there about four days a week. I’m doing painting, cleaning, and maintenance. ... It’s been one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had. Being involved in something with a direct benefit to people who are vulnerable has been really fulfilling. So I go there as much as possible. I was there until 1 a.m. the other night, waxing a floor for somebody who was moving in. This has been a very unusual period of my life. I think for a lot of people, the pandemic has kind of thrown off whatever their routine was. For me, that has been a good thing."

6.Leeds native Matthew Lewis moved to London in 2015, but in January of the following year, he met his then-future wife, Angela Jones, at a Universal Studios Harry Potter event, where she worked as an event planner. They got married in 2018 and now live in Orlando, Florida.

Matthew Lewis in a striped shirt and trousers at Harry Potter event
Jun Sato / WireImage / Via Getty

Discussing spending the pandemic in Orlando, he told the Big Issue, "We didn’t really have much choice to be honest. I’m going through my green card application, and if you leave for a certain amount of time, they just take it off you. Yes, the weather’s nice and stuff, but Florida is a bit of a wild west. When the weather’s nice, people go out, and they do silly things, and we are in a pandemic. So, you know, pros and cons."

7.Four years after buying property in Austin, Adrian Grenier decided to move there permanently. He later relocated to a farm about 40 minutes away from the city in Bastrop. He decided to leave LA because he had "been doing environmental work for the last 20 years" but realized he "wasn't living that way." He also realized that it "was lackluster at the top."

Adrian in a patterned shirt posing at Hilarity for Charity event
Rick Kern / Getty Images for Hilarity for Charity

He told Austin Lifestyle, "When I decided I wanted to settle in Texas, I knew I wanted a partner to live that experience with me, that’s where Jordan [Roemmele, my wife] comes in. We have a long history, and I said, 'I’m in love, and if you are, too, I want to build something together.' Thankfully, she was interested. We negotiated terms of the heart, and decided we were going to get some land. She’s going to school for acupuncture, so trying to build a house while we lived in a camper indefinitely was not going to work for her, so we ended up looking for a home — and fell in love with this place which is just far enough out of Austin for us to have the nature we were looking for, but still close enough for her to have access to school. It had great infrastructure but it wasn’t so nice and neat that we couldn’t put our imprint on it and make it our own. We’re bringing it back to life."

8.During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jenny Slate moved in with her then-fiancé (and now husband), Ben Shattuck. They live in "a very old house" in a "beautiful tiny little seaside town" in Massachusetts.

Jenny in a sleeveless, high-neck dress poses at the Critics' Choice Awards
Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Critics Choice Association

On Late Night with Seth Meyers, Jenny said, "I moved in with my fiancé, and of course he lives in a very old house that is, I think, most certainly haunted and has an actual pet cemetery. It has been in my fiancé Ben's family since the '30s, I think, so it's, like, 90 years of pets."

9.Amanda Seyfried owns property in LA, and NYC, but her full-time residence is a farm in New York's Catskills Mountains. She and her family have chickens, goats, horses, and a donkey named Gus.

Amanda in a satin dress with lace details posing on the red carpet
Gerald Matzka / Getty Images

She told the New York Times, "[Living on the farm has] solidified my need to be out of the game when I’m not working, to be in nature and to refresh. Everybody needs a center of gravity. Somewhere to feel safe."

10.After winning his first Oscar for My Left Foot in 1990, Daniel Day-Lewis took a two-year break from Hollywood and moved to a small village in County Wicklow, Ireland. It's still the place that he and his family call home.

Daniel at a podium with a microphone, wearing a blazer and patterned shirt
Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for National Board of Review

In 2009, when he was awarded the Freedom of Wicklow honor, Daniel said, "That's one of the reasons why this place suits me so well because I'm allowed to go quietly about my business."

11.In 2021, Debby Ryan moved to Ohio. She and her husband, Josh Dun, decided to relocate to Columbus while spending Christmas with his family. The couple had been house hunting, and, coincidentally, he found a new listing on a real estate app. After rescheduling their flights for a showing, they decided it was the perfect home for them.

Josh and Debby smiling in their doorway, holding coffee mugs
Architectural Digest / Via

Debby told Architectural Digest, "To be among the trees was really inspiring. This treehouse theme informed a lot of the design sensibility. We wanted to soften the lines of the house with organic shapes, textures, and materials. We gravitated toward a lot of green — that’s how the tree house became a tree home."

12.In 2020, James Van Der Beek and his wife, Kimberly Van Der Beek, left LA for Texas in search of more space to raise their six kids and for "a better connection to nature."

James standing, smiling in a corduroy suit without a tie, hands in pockets, against a backdrop with text
Bruce Glikas / Bruce Glikas / FilmMagic / Via Getty

He told Good Morning America, "Living in Texas, I've been offered basically everything that I thought I really wanted before, and I just haven't had it in me to say yes, to leave where we're at. But I think it's time. My big thing is that my kids come with me, so we'll all go wherever we're going and figure it out. This break has been really, really good for me. I think I've probably figured out a lot more of who I am and what's important in these last couple of years."

13.Jensen Ackles reportedly sold both his LA houses in 2013. He moved to Austin, Texas in 2014. He, his wife Danneel Ackles, and his brother-in-law Gino Graul co-own Family Business Brewing Co. outside the city in Dripping Springs.

Jensen in velvet suit and turtleneck at event
Craig Barritt / Getty Images for ReedPop

Jensen told Forbes, "After my show was going for a while and we were living in LA, we had our first child. We had a heart to heart on where we wanted to raise our family, and we didn't have to be in California because I was shooting in Vancouver and I could commute pretty much anywhere. That opened up the idea of living in a different city, and then we started thinking about what cities would fit us and who we are, and Austin pretty much topped the list because it also brought our families closer to us."

14.In 2020, Rosario Dawson moved to Newark, New Jersey to be with her then-boyfriend, Senator Cory Booker. For the big move, she and her father (who relocated to NYC) took a cross-country RV trip.

Rosario in a strapless dress with a large rosette, holding a clutch, smiling at a celebrity event
Taylor Hill / FilmMagic / Via Getty

She told People, "It was an amazing adventure. My family are all in New York. It felt really beautiful and good to start a new chapter of my life in the driver's seat."

The couple split in 2022.

15.John Goodman "kind of had it with show business and [he] wanted to get away from Los Angeles." Initially, he and his wife, Anna Beth Goodman, bought land in St. Louis, but she "started designing a house that got to be the size of Buckingham Palace and [he] said, 'This ain’t gonna work out.'" So, they purchased a "haunted house" in New Orleans instead.

John in a suit with a patterned tie on a backdrop with leaf patterns
Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

He told Garden & Gun, "I’m a real skeptic, but I heard stuff that’s unexplainable and other people had experiences. My daughter used to play bells in the Isidore Newman School band, and she practiced this one song over and over. My brother was in the house alone and he heard the song, so he went down to see where Molly was, but there was nobody there."

16.Ian Somerhalder and Nikki Reed left LA for a farm in Santa Barbara because she "really did not want to be in the public eye anymore." They live as sustainably as they can, which includes composting, growing vegetables in a hydroponic garden, catching water in rain barrels, recycling their clothing, and requesting that their children receive hand-me-downs rather than brand-new birthday gifts.

the couple posing together, Nikki in a sleeveless dress with a carved clutch, Ian in a double breasted suit and fedora
Kayla Oaddams / Getty Images

Nikki told Santa Barbara Magazine, "If I could like tell you my dream, it would be to achieve total food autonomy, to have zero connection to a supermarket, to city water, to anything like that — to be able to live without relying on any system. So, you know, we're not too far off from that."

Their family has 18 pets.

17.And finally, Hilarie Burton Morgan and Jeffrey Dean Morgan lived between LA and NYC. However, they both always wanted to live on a farm — a shared dream they discussed on their second date. So, after the birth of their first child, they relocated to a working farm in Rhinebeck, New York.

Hilarie and Jeffrey pose together; her n a floral dress, him in a suit
Timothy Norris / Getty Images

Their menagerie includes alpacas, Highland cows, ducks, chickens, donkeys, and an internet famous emu named Diane who's in love with a donkey named Jack (who also lives there).

Hilarie wrote a memoir, The Rural Diaries, about her life on Mischief Farm.

They also ended up co-owning the local candy store, Samuel's Sweet Shop, with Paul Rudd and Julie Yaeger.