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From Cinecittà to Hollywood to Bollywood to Lisboa: are we 'celeb' enough for Portugal?

Portugal is upbeat. The buzzword and attraction for the city are accelerating in echoes from London to Istanbul, Tel Aviv to Manhattan, and now Hollywood counts one more actress in the city.

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for WarnerMedia via Parade


"Australian actress Nicole Kidman and her husband, New Zealand singer Keith Urban, have 'fallen in love' with Portugal, joining the A-list of artists Portugal lovers; John Malkovich, Alicia Vikander, Michael Fassbender, Christian Louboutin, Monica Belluci and more. All bought or have already bought homes in the capital or in the countryside. The Chinese artist activist Ai Wei Wei has opted for a quiet village of the Alentejo region."

Nicole Kidman has bought an apartment close to Parque das Nações (Expo). The news, first shared by Correio da Manhã, rippled on many media the 11th of April. The couple and their two daughters Sunday Rose, 14, and Faith Margaret, 13, have split their time between one of their many luxury properties in the US, including residences in New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, and their incredible family farmhouse in Sydney, Australia. Now they are on their way to Lisbon.


"John Malkovich pioneered the trend when he came to Portugal first in 2012 for the film The Convento with Paulo Branco and 'loved Lisbon immediately.' In the video below, filmed in 2014, he shares his love in his own words: "I love Lisbon, and I think the people are terrific. It’s such a feast for the eyes. I have always loved being in Lisbon." He speaks of his love of the geography, the architecture, the colors, the landscapes with all the hills, the Tejo… "There is great culture here and great people, great food. Since the time I came first in Portugal, I would believe the tourism is up. Some of the seniors, actors, etc., many of those, have never been here before. It’s pretty convenient to everywhere, which isn’t the case where we’re living in France.'" Those were his words in 2014 in John Malkovich: 7 reasons to retire in Portugal [video, 155,088 views 23 Sept 2014]

John Malkovich was playing this past Winter in Lisbon, in the context of the excellent live art and cinema Leffest Festival


Madonna followed in his footsteps in 2017, with, among her many properties worldwide, 'the Quinta do Relógio mansion in Sintra, a 7.5-million-euro, seven-bedroom, seven-bathroom estate that was falling into disrepair before Madge scooped it up that year.' Prior to that, the American singer stayed at Pestana Palace, a luxury hotel in Alcântara, and later rented the whole and mythical Palácio do Ramalhete Rua das Janelas Verdes in Lisbon for over a year. She called Portugal 'Paradise,' posted videos about 'the magic of Lisbon' on Twitter, and played incognito at her favorite: Tejo Bar in Alfama. The Queen of Pop is back in Lisbon on the 6th and 7th of November for music this time: 'The Celebration Tour 2023'.

“Há sempre uma surpresa no Tejo Bar em Alfama”, escreveu Madonna. [There is always a surprise at Tejo Bar in Alfama, wrote Madonna] via Instagram, 2018.


Actress Scarlett Johansson chose the upmarket Príncipe Real district in Lisbon, one of the most interesting and elegant areas of Lisbon, filled with lush gardens, including a Botanical Garden, colorful 19th-century mansions, super hip boutiques, breakfast places, grove bars, and fine dining restaurants with bohemia. With instinct, she bought a three-bedroom flat in a renovated period building in Principe Real. Local estate agents say the bolthole wouldn't have sold for less than €1.5m (£1.3m). [Source]

Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow. (Photo: marriagestory/Instagram)

ALICIA VIKANDER AND MICHAEL FASSBENDER Alicia Vikander was part of Leffest in Lisbon this past Winter. She and her husband had made the jump to Lisbon a few years ago. "The Oscar-winning actress Alicia Vikander reveals that she and her husband, Michael Fassbender, have decided to settle down in Lisbon. While both actors will inevitably spend months on the road, it seems a fitting middle ground, given Vikander grew up in Sweden and Fassbender in Ireland. Vikander also stated to Vogue magazine that the city is very 'Williamsburg-ish.' Of course, Lisbon has been around the block for a while, way longer than Williamsburg, so the type of history that the capital offers is incomparable.” [Source]

Alicia Vikander e Michael Fassbender (Foto: Manuela Scarpa/Brazil News)

CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN Christian Louboutin, the Parisian shoe designer world famous for his iconic red sole always had vision and attitude. And his love for Portugal isn't new. Once he was asked: “If you could wake up anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you be?” The short and assertive answer was “In my house in Portugal, in the summer”. Louboutin has an apartment in Alfama, Lisbon, and previously had one in Comporta. Here is the story of his Beach House in Melides acquired in 2017:

"One day, he was drawing when a deep paper cut sent him to the local hospital for a few stitches. 'On the way back, I popped by the road here, and I thought, That looks nice, let’s have a look.' He discovered a small cottage on the other side of a rice paddy, and as soon as it became available to buy, he acquired it and transformed it into an atelier. With the help of his former partner, celebrated landscape designer Louis Benech, the property’s landscaping was designed to be colorful but natural. Bougainvillea and trailing grapevines lead the way to the house from the road.”

Christian Louboutin in front of his home via Suitcasemag


In his trail, Louboutin inspired actress Monica Bellucci to join the trend. Who's next? From Cinecittà to Hollywood to Bollywood to Nollywood, cinema and visual arts in general always thrive best in sunshine and natural daylight. Will Lisbon be cinema's next stage?

According to Flash! magazine via Portugal News: "Some of the major Hollywood studios are prospecting the market in the area surrounding Lisbon in order to have a large studio in the region for their productions, something that is increasingly expensive in other countries.”

Friends Christian Louboutin and actress Monica Bellucci arrive at the premiere of La Traviata at Rome's Teatro dell'Opera on 22 May 2016. Photo: Paradisi Alessia/ABACA USA/PA Images via Classicfm

To be continued...

Read also: Why Americans are moving to Portugal

In Portugal: Live better. Live longer!

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