There are certain realities that come with making it big in the entertainment industry. The positives are innumerable. The mansions, luxury cars, maids, jewelry and humongous bank accounts are all part of the game. These are the positive aspects of living in the public eye. However, as with most things, there are other aspects of a stardom that are not as enjoyable. Imagine if you will that every time you step outdoors there was a throng of people waiting for you, or not being able to go about your everyday duties without being recognized and having your privacy constantly infringed upon. It would be enough to drive most people into hiding.
As luck would have it, many celebrities are capable of dealing with the attention. There are even some who strive to increase the attention given to them. These stars enjoy having paparazzi following their every move with the stealth of a spy. That is not to say that this scrutiny has not caused some monumental dust ups even among those welcoming their space violators. Apparently everyone has a breaking point and longs to have a moment of peace.
As social media increases the capacity for instantaneous reporting has grown exponentially. The lives of celebrities have become even more public. It is not very difficult to understand why an increasing number of stars have decided to leave the spotlight and seek refuge away from the bright lights. What is interesting however is the fact that many of the reclusive stars can be considered masters of their craft. Whether they be comedic, action or dramatic actors, it seems like if you are a talented artist, no distance from Hollywood will be too great to prohibit you from getting regular work. What follows is a list of some of the best known artists who have made a conscious decision to attempt to live outside the bright lights of the Hollywood scene and have not really suffered for it.
Dave Chappelle: Comedic Farmer – Net Worth $30 Million
Even though most would not consider Dave Chapelle to be an actor he became famous for his TV show. Chappelle’s show was somewhat of a phenomena. The comedian was a relatively well known comic having had a solid stand-up career and appearing various movies. Most of the roles he had were as secondary characters, but when he took matters into his own hands and began the Dave Chappelle Show. The show became wildly popular and the comedian quickly became a household name all while earning tons of money.
When the third season began Chappelle began to feel stifled by his own success and felt that his creativity was being suppressed. He abruptly quit the show and left for a retreat in South Africa, leaving millions of dollars on the table while doing so. Once refreshed, rather than go to one of the major US centers Chappelle chose to avoid the spotlight and settle on a 65 acre piece of land in Ohio. Although he is far away from the limelight he still manages to work. He performs standup and even goes out on group comedic tours. He still has a huge fan base, despite his reclusive lifestyle.
Joaquin Phoenix: Retirement – Net Worth $25 Million
Joaquin Phoenix was already known when he starred in Quills and Gladiator both of which garnered award nominations for the actor in 2000. This success propelled him onto larger leading roles. While his career and wealth rose, so did his issues with substance abuse. Not shying away from the Hollywood lifestyle, Phoenix eventually went into rehab to combat his alcoholism. Having lost his older brother River to drugs, the actor has first hand knowledge of the possible outcome to the path he was on.
After cleaning himself up Phoenix announced that he was retiring to become a rap singer. Although this did end up being a ploy to for his mockumentary I’m Still Here the star did leave the spotlight behind. Since his fictitious retirement the star has remained fiercely private and no longer partakes in the partying culture that used to be his lifestyle. He has returned to the top of the acting world with nominations for his performances in The Master and Her all done while avoiding the limelight that he once embraced.
Daniel Day Lewis: Woodworker and Cobbler- Net Worth $40 Million
Among the most successful and talented actors around today, Daniel Day Lewis remains the only person to win three Academy Awards in the leading actor category. He is known for his capacity to create realistic characters that allow the viewer to become totally engulfed in the story. These characters have ranged from a wrongly accused bomber, to a evil oil baron, even to who many consider the most important president in US history, all were portrayed with perfect accents and mannerism. The actor’s incredible talent might even have allowed him to remain possibly the most reclusive actors in the industry.
He does not live anywhere near California, spending his time between New York and Ireland. He does not accept many roles, thus avoiding the need to remain in the movie making areas. He had never been seen a the top Hollywood clubs mingling with other well known peers. The actor has even described his lifestyle as a “lifelong study of evasion.” He is such a recluse that even his hobbies are solitary, as a woodworker and cobbler. Luckily his talent ensures that he will always have the possibility of picking up an acting role for a blockbuster hit.
Harrison Ford: Wyoming Retreat- Net Worth $200 Million
It is hard to imagine Harrison Ford being able to attain any amount of privacy in the US. He has been the leading character in two of the most popular movie franchises in American film history. It seems the days of star-trooping as Han Solo and hunting for archeological artifacts as Indiana Jones have given Ford his fill of adventure. No longer wanting to be part of the ‘in crowd’ of Hollywood, Ford and celebrity wife Calista Flockhart moved to one of the only places in the US where they could live un-bothered.
Rather than flee to a foreign continent the actor went to the least populated State in the Union. Although the people in Jackson, Wyoming may recognize the star but there are no paparazzi and fanfare that goes with such recognition in California. With an estimated net worth of $200 million has not infringed on the actor’s wealth.
Johnny Depp: European Address – Net Worth $350 Million
Johnny Depp is one of the important leading men in Hollywood. He has shown his acting dexterity by portraying both serious characters, like George Jung in Blow and JM Barrie in Finding Neverland and off the wall characters like Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the mad hatter in Alice in Wonderland and Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
Despite his high demand Depp has led a rather private life. Rather than embrace the bright lights of California, Depp has lived a fair amount of his life in Europe.
Even though Depp split from his French partner, Vanessa Paradis in 2012, he still maintains residences in Europe and steers clear of the overbearing fame that can be found in Hollywood. Depp himself proved his distaste for fame when he gave the following quote: “I’m shy, paranoid, whatever word you want to use. I hate fame. I’ve done everything I can to avoid it.”
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