Hollywood stars in Australia will never not be a novelty for us. I mean, will we ever get over Zac Efron being Down Under? Probs not. But aside from the High School Musical alum, a slew of other actors are in town at the moment. Like Natalie Portman, who was recently snapped on a full-on Woolies run.

Why are they here, though? Well, a lot of them are filming new movies and TV shows. Others were simply trapped here ‘cos of COVID-19, and decided to make the most of it.

Zac Efron

Let us begin with the most obvious one: Zac Efron.

Efron’s been in Australia for a while now, first hiding out in Byron Bay for some time before the paparazzi found him.

Word around the block is Efron came to Australia to ride out the pandemic, which is fair enough. He will return to the States at some point to shoot a new Disney+ movie. But in the meantime, he’s filming locally.

George Clooney and Julia Roberts

George Clooney and Julia Roberts will fly to the Whitsundays to film a rom-com, originally set in Bali.

Close enough, I suppose.

Natalie Portman

Portman is currently in Sydney, and has been since at least mid-November.

She is part of the obnoxiously star-studded cast of Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder, fronted by Chris Hemsworth.

Portman was literally spotted doing her groceries at Woolies in Double Bay a while ago. Daily Mail has all the pics, of course.

This tweet just really sums up my feelings about all of this.

Idris Elba

Luther actor Idris Elba is in Sydney filming Three Thousand Years of Longing, which sounds… heavy.

According to DeadlineThree Thousand Years of Longing is a fantasy-romance costarring Tilda Swinton. The movie will also film in London and Istanbul.

Mad Max: Fury Road filmmaker George Miller is behind the film, but he said it’s anti-Mad Max.

Here’s a sentence I didn’t think I’d write: Idris Elba joined Lime Cordiale onstage during their gig in Sydney.

Kate Walsh

Kate Walsh is single-handedly transforming the arts scene in Perth.

She’s been in Perth since March of last year, I kid you not. The Grey’s Anatomy and Umbrella Academy star was holidaying in the city when lockdown hit. And then she just stayed, I guess.

“I was down in Margaret River and then there was a lockdown,” she told 9Honey Celebrity in October. “I got a little place up here in Perth and that’s where I am.”

“I have to say, I love it. I really love Perth. I love the city, I love the people and I feel very, very fortunate, obviously, to have quarantined there and be in WA during this kind of crazy time in the world.”

Nicole Kidman

Long story short: a bunch of Hollywood stars are/were in Byron Bay filming Nine Perfect Strangersbased on Liane Moriarty‘s novel of the same. She’s the author behind Big Little Lies. 

The cast is hefty, and includes Nicole KidmanMelissa McCarthy, and Luke Evans.

Kidman has shared a couple of snaps from Byron to her Instagram.

Locals, meanwhile, are pretty pissed at all the traffic production is causing in town.

“It’s a small town, but traffic is so bad due to roadworks AND Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy’s new series shutting off an alternative route to get into town,” an anonymous local told celebrity goss Instagram Deux Moi.

“Productions over the area have also taken over A LOT of rentals. People are mad about the celebrity takeover,” they said.

Back in August, Kidman shared a photo with Moriarty ahead of production.

Melissa McCarthy

Melissa McCarthy recently joined the cast of Thor, after she and her husband Ben Falcone auditioned for any role on Instagram last year.

Sacha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher

My guess is Borat and Isla Fisher are either relocating to Sydney from LA, or they’re just here while Isla films the Aussie animated flick Back To The Outback with Netflix.

Just imagine Sacha Baron Cohen spinning his magic on our pollies. Just imagine it.

Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran landed in the country on Friday to attend the funeral of Australian music titan Michael Gudinski AM, founder of Mushroom Group.

He is currently self-isolating ahead of the State memorial service on March 24.

Previously

And here are a bunch of Hollywood stars, who have probably headed home by now.

Paul Mescal

Paul Mescal recently wrapped filming on Carmen, a modern-day reimagining of the opera, directed by Natalie Portman’s husband Benjamin Millepied.

Luke Evans

If Luke Evans‘ Instagram is anything to go by, then it looks like the actor has returned to England. He had been in Sydney filming Nine Perfect Strangers. 

Liam Neeson

Liam Neeson was in Melbourne shooting his new film Blacklight, written and directed by Ozark co-creator Mark Williams.

I assume Blacklight is your typical Liam Neeson thriller, which I will absolutely watch with the family.

According to the Sydney Morning HeraldBlacklight is the first film to use the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre as a studio. Cool, cool.

Other locations include Mt Macedon. They tried to film in Docklands, but it was fully booked unfortunately.

Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg was in Australia to film a *checks notes* Ladbrokes ad, which seems so on brand.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Wahlberg coughed up an eye-watering $400,000 to isolate in a private property near Byron Bay. Classic.

Here is a little BTS shot of the ad.

Simu Liu

Kim’s Convenience star Simu Liu was in Sydney for almost a year because of the pandemic. He, and the team, had been filming Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

The film is slated for release July 8.

Tom Hanks

Remember when Tom Hanks had coronavirus last year? Man, that was a time. The veteran actor had been filming Baz Luhrmann‘s Elvis Presley biopic when the news broke, delaying the film.

A few months later, he returned to the country in September of last year to complete filming.

Image: Getty Images / Karwai Tang, Mike Marsland, Jeff Spicer