Minka Kelly on Her Nomadic Childhood: I Learned How to Grow a ‘Thick Skin’ and ‘Be Adaptable’


Minka Kelly (Photo: Getty Images)

Minka Kelly is currently starring in a real-life version of House Hunters.

The TV star (Hulu’s The Path, Friday Night Lights, Parenthood, Almost Human, and, for a hot minute there, the Charlie’s Angels reboot) is in the market for a new Hollywood home, she tells Yahoo Celebrity while promoting real estate site Trulia’s new Best Neighborhoods in America campaign. While she spent her childhood moving around the country with her single mom, she considers L.A. home, and that’s where she’s currently house shopping.

When you think about what would be on a celeb’s must-have list — whether it be views of the Pacific Ocean or that it be in a gated community — the 35-year-old brunette sounds like the most practical famous person on the planet.

“For me, it’s just smart home-buying to make sure you’re in a good school zone,” she says. “I don’t have any kids, but I know for resale value that’s very important, and Trulia makes that really easy to identify. I want to be walking distance to coffee shops and restaurants, but also in a quiet neighborhood. I like to be surrounded by families and get that family feeling. … Also, that it’s dog friendly. I have two dogs, so that’s very important. I’m looking for something near a dog park and a good enough backyard for them.”


Minka definitely wants her two dogs to like her new digs. (Photo: Splash News)

Elton John can keep his sunglasses room, nor does Minka need a moat like Tom and Gisele (now Dr. Dre’s moat) either. When we ask what amenities she hopes to have in her future home — and suggest a pool — she replies, “A pool would be very nice” and “fun,” but she’s thinking more with her stomach.

“What I’ll be putting in wherever I move is an outdoor pizza oven,” reveals Minka, who graduated from culinary school last year. “The kitchen is definitely the most important room for me in the house.” And it doesn’t have to be perfect. “I love putting my own touch on things, so if it’s a little bit of a fixer-upper, that’s no problem for me because that kind of stuff is my favorite thing to do. It’s also good to make it your own.”


Minka is helping to get the word out about Trulia’s new Best Neighborhoods in America campaign, which lists the most appealing neighborhoods across the country. (Photo: Carlos Delgado/AP Images for Trulia)

Minka was born in L.A., but spent her childhood moving around — including to Albuquerque, N.M. — with her mother, who was an exotic dancer. “We moved all over the place,” she shares. “It wasn’t easy going to so many schools, but you get a thick skin and you learn how to be adaptable. There are a lot of pros along with the cons, I guess, in anything.”

Needless to say, “I have an idea of what it’s like looking for new places and neighborhoods,” she notes.

While her work keeps her rooted in L.A. these days, there are many benefits to L.A. living, including what Mother Nature has to offer. “I think the weather is unbeatable,” she says. On a day off, she’s out there soaking it in. “I’ll probably spend some time at the farmers’ market, I’ll go for a hike with the dogs, I’ll definitely be cooking something, and reading a book,” says Minka, who also watches home-renovation shows.

After a quick pause she adds, “Probably not so different from everybody else.”