Huge Stars Who Now Live as Total Recluses

For most people, the idea of living a life of total solitude isn’t exactly ideal (unless your significant other’s family members are coming to stay; then it sounds mighty fine indeed).

But with all the pressures and pitfalls of a life in the spotlight, we can certainly understand why some big stars prefer to seek out an escape from the public eye.

Check out which mega-celebs choose to avoid the glare of the camera, and instead have opted in for some major “me time.”

Lauryn Hill


At one point (okay, 1998), it seemed like Lauryn Hill was everywhere, and we couldn’t get “Doo-Wop (That Thing)” out of our heads because it was playing Every. Single. Minute. A former member of hip-hop group The Fugees, Hill’s first solo record, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, hit number one on the Billboard charts and earned her five awards at the 1999 Grammys, including Album of the Year.

And then, suddenly, she was nowhere to be found.

Alright, not exactly. As the years went on, Hill popped up very occasionally to perform and reunite with her former band members, but reports of erratic behavior abounded. She also did a three-month stint in jail in 2013 for tax evasion. For the most part though, her former high profile diminished to nearly nada.

More recently, Hill raised eyebrows again when she’d been scheduled to perform at the 2016 Grammy Awards, but mysteriously pulled out at the last minute. Although, according to the Los Angeles Times, “Numerous industry sources who were there have all confirmed that the singer showed up at dress rehearsal,” she ultimately didn’t make it to the show. She did put in a surprise performance at the 2017 Coachella Festival, and has a spate of concert dates lined up for the summer, so a full return to public life might be imminent yet.

Axl Rose


As the New York Times reported in 2008, due to his reclusive behavior, Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose earned himself the title of “The Howard Hughes of Rock” after he stepped out of the spotlight for years after the band’s massive success in the late-80s and early-90s. Reports suggested that Rose rarely left his Malibu house during those years, only venturing out to go to the studio. He did turn up on the internet a couple of times to chat with fans though.

Rose officially reemerged in 2008 with the release of the album Chinese Democracy, though as The Guardian reported in 2009, “Fed up with the album’s poor sales, the band’s frontman has locked himself in his home and is not coming out…” It’s one way to cope.

Fans were thrilled, however, when GnR got the old band back together for a massive reunion tour in 2016. In fact, it’s still ongoing, so if you want to see Axl in the flesh before he retreats again, here’s your chance.

Daniel Day Lewis


Undeniably one of our greatest living actors, Academy Award winner Daniel Day Lewis prefers his privacy, thankyouverymuch.

In 2008, the Daily Mail ran a profile describing Day Lewis’ preference for a life far away from Hollywood’s trappings, highlighting his “resolutely reclusive existence, locked away on a remote 50-acre estate in the mountains of County Wicklow” and describing that visitors to his home would see him practicing his hobbies of “shoe-making and woodwork.” Don’t threaten us with a good time. An associate told the Mail, “He hates all the razzmatazz and standing around on the red carpet… He can’t stand the attention.”

The London Times (via MNN) reported in 2011 that Day Lewis was taking a five-year hiatus from acting in order to focus on his family and quiet life in Ireland after shooting Lincoln. But, recent reports suggest that we’ll be seeing him back on the big screen any day now; he’s currently shooting a role in Paul Thomas Anderson’s forthcoming film set in 1950s London.

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