A bunch of A-list celebrities have fled from Hollywood to the land down under within the past year. But why? Is it simply to escape the pandemic as the rest of the world imposes varying degrees of restrictions?
Although Australia isn’t usually known as a celebrity capital, the low cases of COVID-19 in the island continent has attracted big names in the entertainment industry, from prominent actors to world-famous musicians. Because they’ve managed to keep the virus away in the past year, officials have been able to reduce restrictions to social gatherings and public events, giving their entertainment industry an opportunity to continue with business as usual.
Australia has caught the attention of film makers, as well as concert and event organisers, as an ideal location to continue doing their work. As a result, many Hollywood actors and international musicians have been making appearances all over the country in the past months — some sticking around for the duration of their projects, and some have even relocated permanently.
Aside from the almost non-existent effects of the pandemic, Australia’s $400-million Location Incentive has encouraged a handful of movie and TV production outfits to film their projects down under since last year.
Natalie Portman has been in Sydney since the end of 2020 for the filming of Marvel’s ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ alongside Christian Bale and the movie’s lead actor Chris Hemsworth, who actually moved back to Australia in 2017 after living in L.A. for a few years. Native Aussie actress Isla Fisher and husband Sacha Baron Cohen are also staying in Sydney while Isla films Netflix’s animated movie, ‘Back to the Outback’. Nicole Kidman, Melissa McCarthy and Luke Evans are among the star-studded cast of ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ — a TV miniseries based on the novel of the same name by author Liane Moriarty (‘Big Little Lies’) — filmed on location in Byron Bay, NSW.
Zac Efron put up his L.A. home for sale after moving to Australia last year and now “considers it his home”. After meeting Aussie model Vanessa Valladares last year, Zac has been rumoured to be looking into buying property and intends to lay down roots in the country. He recently finished filming in Adelaide for the upcoming Australian survival thriller, ‘Gold’.
More recent celebrity Oz arrivals include Julia Roberts, who flew into Sydney in March to film the new political thriller, ‘Gaslit’, alongside Sean Penn. SNL star Kate McKinnon has recently been spotted in Brisbane for the filming of upcoming TV series ‘Tiger King’, a spinoff of ‘Joe Exotic’. In the series, Kate will be playing the role of Joe Exotic’s rival, Carole Baskin. Last March, while in Sydney filming ‘Three Thousand Years of Longing’, Idris Elba took the stage with Aussie pop duo Lime Cordiale.
Along with the arrival of celebrity actors, a few world-famous musicians also dropped in for some live performances all across Australia.
Ed Sheeran came to Melbourne last March to headline the star-studded State Memorial service for the late Australian music mogul Michael Gudinski. Sheeran shared the stage at Rod Laver Arena with other big names in the industry such as Kylie Minogue, Bruce Springsteen, Olivia Newton-John and many more.
British singer Rita Ora arrived in Sydney February this year for the filming of ‘The Voice Australia’ as one of the show’s celebrity coaches. While in the country, Rita also managed to squeeze in a couple more live shows. She made a special appearance at the 43rd Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade. Shortly after, she also did a VIP performance at Nova’s Red Room as the venue’s first performer of the year.
After spending some time in the isolated island continent virtually out of the pandemic’s reach, it is quite understandable for the rich and famous to consider permanent residence in Australia. A few of them went even further and are now currently looking into buying property. But before making any property purchases in Australia, it is important to do a ppsr check to make better informed decisions about what you’re buying.