Halle Berry, Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Kevin Spacey
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt‘s French estate isn’t for sale—yet—but Chateau Miraval, where they married in 2014, could be on the market soon.
But even if the future ex-spouses divest themselves of the 1,100-acre estate, we don’t expect Jolie to be without a place to hang her hat in Europe for long.
While she has also maintained multiple homes in the United States, she has been busy ensuring that her children—all of whom were born abroad—are citizens of the world. Maddox, Zahara, Shiloh, Pax and twins Knox and Vivienne are all home-schooled, so they can theoretically pick up and go at any time.
“We travel often to Asia, Africa, Europe, where they were born,” Jolie told Vogue last year. “The boys know they’re from Southeast Asia, and they have their food and their music and their friends, and they have a pride particular to them. But I want them to be just as interested in the history of their sisters’ countries and Mommy’s country so we don’t start dividing. Instead of taking Z on a special trip, we all go to Africa and we have a great time.”
Jolie, of course, has traveled all over the world as a Good Will Ambassador for the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees, and she bought a house in Maddox’s native Cambodia not long after she adopted him.
“All the kids are learning different languages,” she said on BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour in June. “I asked them what languages they wanted to learn and Shi is learning Khmai, which is a Cambodian language, Pax is focusing on Vietnamese, Mad has taken to German and Russian, Z is speaking French, Vivienne really wanted to learn Arabic, and Knox is learning sign language.”
Most recently Jolie’s rep has denied a report that the actress, who filed for divorce from Pitt on Sept. 19, has imminent plans to move to London, but she is looking for a new home in the Los Angeles area. Meanwhile, the Oscar winner would hardly be the only American A-lister who, if not exactly prefers… well, yes, prefers living outside the U.S., or has preferred to do so at one time. (Not counting whoever may be moving to Canada next year…)
Be it the hustle and bustle of Hollywood that gets tiresome, the always-hovering paparazzi escort, the privacy issues or showbiz attitudes in general, celebrities have had numerous reasons for wanting to utilize those passports (and bank accounts) and relocate. Some have indicated that American mores as a whole haven’t always agreed with them. And sometimes it’s as simple as having a spouse or significant other who hails from another continent—and setting up house in England, France, Australia or elsewhere sounds like a perfectly divine option.
Johnny Depp, who is currently trying to unload the 30-acre village in the south of France he shared with French singer Vanessa Paradis and their kids before they split up in 2012, always seemed to appreciate the European lifestyle. “When I wake up I go look at my garden. I go see if my vegetables are growing, if certain flowers have started to bloom,” he sang the praises of life far removed from La La Land to French magazine VSD back in 2010.
Johnny Depp, Tattoo
Of course, the Kentucky-born actor’s international ways (he also famously owns an island in the Bahamas) and some of his comments about life in America have won him plenty of critics over the years, too.
“In Los Angeles, the hoity toities, the beautiful people, will sit on Sunset Strip and have their meal at these kind of fancy restaurants where no one can smoke—but you can inhale car fumes all you like,” Depp told The Guardian in the U.K. in 2011. “I mean, that to me says it all.”
He also said that he felt the film he was making at the time—The Rum Diary, which he co-starred in with his future ex-wife Amber Heard“will be more appreciated over here, I think,” meaning in Europe. “Because it’s—well, I think it’s an intelligent film—and a lot of times, outside the big cities in the states, they don’t want that.”
That being said, he and his family never lived in France full-time (he’s owned a home in the Hollywood Hills for years and Paradis told the U.K.’s Telegraph Magazine once that she “loved” her kids’ schools in L.A.), because of the taxes.
“They wanted me to become a permanent resident,” Depp also told The Guardian. “Permanent residency status—which changes everything. They just want [he mimed handing out bills] dough. Money.”
Halle Berry, Olivier Martinez, Romance Rewind
He re-based himself in L.A. when he married Heard, but after their split he immediately headed abroad on tour with the Hollywood Vampires, and spent part of the summer hunkered down on his island. Understandably.
A few years ago Halle Berry wanted to move permanently to Olivier Martinez‘s native France to get away from the increasingly intrusive paparazzi that were constantly tailing her and daughter Nahla in L.A. Her ex Gabriel Aubry, Nahla’s dad, took her to court to prevent the move, but the Oscar winner said in 2013 that she’d leave the U.S. when Nahla turned 18.
“When Nahla turns 18, she’ll be legally able to make her own decisions about where she wants to be and I think that then, when she’s off on her own, we’ll move there,” Berry told Hello! “It’s where I want to end my days, that’s for sure.” She said that Martinez told her not to worry about learning French yet. “He thinks I’ll have an easier time when we’re living there and immersed in the culture—if we ever get to go that is.”
She filed for divorce from Martinez over a year ago, but as of September they were still married and spending time together with Nahla and their son Maceo, so… France could still be in Berry’s future.
But the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the ocean.
Count Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna among the stars who relocated to the U.K. because they were married to Englishmen, found it perfectly lovely and have since happily resettled back in the U.S. on their own.
“In England, people are cool,” Paltrow, who still split time with then-husband Chris Martinin L.A. and New York as well, told Harper’s Bazaar U.K. in 2011. “They’re really laid back and calm. Beyoncé did the school run with me once, and everyone was fine. They also have really good anti-paparazzi rules. If you’re driving in a car and they make you feel freaked out, that’s against the law. They can’t put you in a magazine unless they pixelate the kids’ faces. I miss America, but I love living in the U.K.”
But the U.K. also turned out to be a nice place to just visit, too.
“There’s a deep comfort about it because it’s so familiar,” Paltrow gushed to Harper’s Bazaar in 2015, a year after she and Martin uncoupled, from the comfort of her airy abode in L.A.’s Brentwood neighborhood. “The other day I was lying on the grass and the kids were playing and I was looking at the blue sky and the palm-trees—and there was something about the weather and the smell and I was, like, 8 years old again. I had such a strong memory of being a kid here—it’s a really nice place to be a little kid, and it’s great to watch my children have that experience.”
Madonna hightailed it back to splitting time primarily between New York and L.A. after she and Guy Ritchie divorced in 2008, though their 16-year-old son Rocco has opted to stay with his dad for now.
She went for it with the traces of an accent and everything, but the pop superstar revealed years later, after directing W.E., that she first really got into the story of Wallis Simpson and the Duke of Windsor because she “felt like an outsider” in the U.K. and wanted to immerse herself in its history.
“It’s like when you go to Rome and Italians don’t get how beautiful all the architecture is all around them because they wake up every day and see it,” she told reporters in 2012. “It’s kind of that same thing. I think I had the gift of objectivity in terms of being an outsider…But I did live in England for 10 years before I wrote the script and I did do a lot of research and I was married to a Brit and I feel like I did my homework and was speaking from a place of being informed.”
On the flip side, even though he’s the shady TV president of these United States, New Jersey native Kevin Spacey moved to London in 2003 to become artistic director of the Old Vic Theatre. He stepped down from the job last year, but said at the time he had no intention of giving up his adopted home.
“I’m proud to be an American and I love the US—it’s where I was raised, and it’s where I learned my craft as an actor,” the Emmy winner told the Daily Mail in 2009. “But moving to London has given me a whole new perspective, not only on America, but on the world itself, and for me, this has been an extraordinary thing.”
Spacey continued, “Everyone in the world knows that Brits are more reserved than Americans, and the first thing that an American actor will learn when he comes here, is that he won’t get a standing ovation as soon as he walks onto the stage, as he very possibly would back home. But on the other hand, we don’t have panto in the U.S.” (Panto is a certain kind of musical-comedy theater traditionally performed around the holidays in Britain.)
Tim Burton lived in London for a couple years while making 1988’s Batman and visited there frequently; but 15 years ago he ended up just staying to have two kids with British actress Helena Bonham Carterand despite their split in 2014, the Burbank, Calif.-born filmmaker has stayed local.
“I remember feeling like I’d lived here before, and I liked it. Then I made Sleepy Hollow and stayed for 18 months. Since then, I’ve tried to do everything here,” Burton explained to TimeOut London in 2012. (Sure enough, he just made Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children in London.)
As of this September, anyway, Angelina Jolie was still planning on taking on the role of visiting professor at the London School of Economics, starting next fall, so in that case there would be some sort of living situation going on in the U.K., even if she doesn’t buy real estate. But Jolie may be taking more queues from her kids in the future as they get older and start having more opinions about where they’d prefer to live.
“I don’t want this lifestyle to ever be something they don’t want,” the mother of six told The Guardian in November 2015. “I don’t want them to feel they don’t want to do that one more trip, or that they can’t handle one more film abroad. So we’ll have to gauge it, make some adjustments.”