University of Texas Minister of Culture Matthew McConaughey attends the ribbon cutting ceremony for University of Texas at Austin's new multi purpose arena at Moody Center on April 19, 2022 in Austin, Texas.
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15 Celebrities Who Prefer To Live in Austin Over Hollywood

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in 2021. We're sharing it again as part of our month-long celebration of Texas. 

While the majority of Hollywood celebrities live in Los Angeles and New York City, Austin, Texas has become a new haven for celebs looking for a more low-key lifestyle. We've rounded up some of the most prominent names in entertainment who are currently based in the Lone Star State's beloved capital city. 

1. James Van Der Beek

James Van Der Beek attends event

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One of the latest celebs to relocate out to the relaxing state of Texas is Dawson's Creek alum, James Van Der Beek. The actor, his wife, and five children have settled down on a whopping 36 acres in the Texas hill country. 

2. Terrence Malick 

Terrence Malick


Renowned filmmaker Terrence Malick has long lived in Austin where he even went to high school as a young man. Known for iconic films like Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line and The Tree of Life, Malick has been known to be seen around town everywhere from live music venues to the Austin City Limits music festival.   

3. Robert Rodriguez

Robert Rodriguez

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Another acclaimed director to call Austin home is Robert Rodriguez who grew up in San Antonio and attended the University of Texas. Not only does he have a production company based in town but he does most of his filming in Texas. A frequent collaborator of Quentin Tarantino, Rodriguez is known for films like From Dusk till Dawn, Spy Kids, Sin City and Machete. 

4. Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey attends event

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Potentially one of the most prolific Austin locals is native Texan and University of Texas alum, Matthew McConaughey. Not only is the actor regularly seen at football games for his alma mater but he's actively involved in the new Austin FC soccer team.  

5. Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock poses at event

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While Sandra Bullock splits her time between LA and Austin, she still owns her own restaurant downtown, Waltons Fancy & Staple. She also owns multiple properties around town including a massive main house off of the water. The actress first visited Austin while filming Hope Floats in the 90s and loved the area so much she decided to put down some roots. 

6. Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson performs onstage


Another well-known celebrity in Austin is country music icon, Willie Nelson. The man even has his own statue downtown mostly due to his contribution in helping launch Austin's music scene decades ago. Nelson even owns his own golf course outside of town.

7. Chris Harrison

Chris Harrison attends event

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Another new face headed out to the Lone Star State is television presenter and former host of Bachelor nation, Chris Harrison. The news of his move has fueled rumors that he's leaving the franchise, but the host has maintained that he's not going anywhere despite updating his zip code.

8. Andy Roddick and Brooklyn Decker

Andy Roddick/ Brooklyn Decker

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Former tennis pro, Andy Roddick and his model/actress wife, Brooklyn Decker, have long been locals in Austin. Roddick started his own tennis charity in town and they have a seriously cool house in the hill country where they are raising their two adorable children. Decker commutes out to LA where she's been filming Netflix's Grace and Frankie.

9. Gary Clark Jr

Gary Clark Jr attends Grammys

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Grammy-winning rock artist Gary Clark Jr was born and raised in Austin and now he and his wife are raising their children on a massive horse farm outside of town in Kyle. 

10. Richard Linklater 

Richard Linklater attends "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" event

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Another incredible film director, Richard Linklater actually helped found the Austin Film Society. Known for Dazed and Confused, School of Rock, Boyhood, and Everybody Wants Some!!, Linklater loves Austin and regularly chooses to film his projects around town.     

11. Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki 

Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki attend CW event

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Supernatural co-stars and real-life friends, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki both moved with their families out to Austin after years in Hollywood and a decade filming their hit CW show in Canada. The duo owns a bar together in downtown Austin, and Ackles and his wife even started their own distillery outside of town. As for Padalecki, he's currently starring in the reboot of Walker Texas Ranger which is being filmed in Austin. 

12. Elijah Wood

Eljah Wood attends Sundance event

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Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood has long been an Austin hippie. He bought a house in the upscale Bouldin Creek neighborhood nearly a decade ago and can regularly be seen around town everywhere from the Whole Foods downtown to riding a scooter down South Congress. 

13. Kyle Chandler

Kyle Chandler attends Golden Globe awards

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The former Friday Night Lights star played a Texas football coach on TV, but he actually grew up in Illinois and Georgia. But these days the actor and his family have settled down in the Austin suburb of Dripping Springs outside of town, a relaxing area with tons of hill country charm. 

14. Dan Rather

Dan Rather attends Gotham Awards

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?Renowned journalist and former anchor Dan Rather is a native Texan. He prefers living in his beloved home state, where he first got his big start on the news. 

15. Chris Klein

Chris Klein attends event


About seven years ago, Sweet Magnolias star Chris Klein relocated to Austin with his family. He grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and definitely wanted to set down roots in a place that was more like where he grew up.

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