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Like Matthew McConaughey's Family, James Van Der Beek Opens Up About Why Leaving Hollywood Was The Right Decision

Hollywood may be the place to be if you’re trying to break into the industry or work as much as possible. However, increasingly a slew of celebrities have shifted away from the California Mecca to call another place their home. In fact, Varsity Blues, Dawson’s Creek and Don’t Trust The B—- star James Van Der Beek opened up about leaving Hollywood for Texas, similar to Matthew McConaughey, Camila Alves and their kids. He also shared why leaving Tinseltown was the right call for himself, his wife Kimberly and their six children. 

You can see his full Instagram post and beautiful family, below.

James Van Der Beek and his wife and kids were among the many, many people who shifted to new locales during the pandemic. Back in September of 2020, they announced they would be moving from Los Angeles to Texas. They previously owned a home in Beverly Hills and had traded that in for a large ranch outside of Austin,  Texas where they seem to enjoy a lot of time out of doors – even doing things like building chicken coops these days.

His posts about spending family time out in nature really do remind me of the McConaughey family, who also resides in Austin. Previously, Camila Alves opened up about why she and Matthew McConaughey decided to move to Texas, and the feeling of community and the “outdoors” were both reasons she mentioned for wanting to switch states. Since then McConaughey has gotten involved in the community and has even talked about politics, seemingly enjoying the Texas life. His wife has called it a "great transition" and seemingly the Van Der Beeks would agree.

Now that people are moving around a lot more, the family was grateful to take a trip to Los Angeles where they could spend time with the people they love in sunny California. But James Van Der Beek noted that in many ways, Los Angeles wasn’t his place anymore.

We spent the week in L.A. Was weird to be back. We reconnected with friends, took some meetings, planted some seeds. It didn’t feel like home anymore. Maybe it never was. Or maybe it was home for the time it needed to be.Or maybe… the key is to appreciate each place for what it is and drop any expectations it’ll ever be something it’s not.

I think a lot of people who have moved from someplace that didn’t quite fit to someplace that firmly feels like theirs can identify with the actor’s comments on the matter. Particularly these days, when virtual work has enabled more people to shift and try new places and locales on for size. 

Notably, he’s not alone on the list of celebrities defecting from Los Angeles either. As I mentioned, Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky are notable for exiting Hollywood and plenty of other celebrities have also left, from Zac Efron (who seemingly quit the U.S. altogether) to Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton and the aforementioned Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves. Intriguingly, one of James Van Der Beek’s most famous movies, Varsity Blues, was set in West Canaan, Texas – though the actor originally hails from Connecticut. 

Jessica Rawden
Jessica Rawden

Amazing Race & Top Chef superfan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.