Folks around Lafayette (especially those of the “Nip/Tuck” fan variety) have been doing a double take for months now. I was one of them at Zoë’s Kitchen in River Ranch not long ago when I realized actor Dylan Walsh was sitting at the table behind me.
He looked content with two of his children and their mother enjoying lunch, so I refrained from approaching him for a selfie. And, no, he’s not just visiting our fair city. Dylan and his family have come to Lafayette to stay (at least for now) thanks to the roots of his partner, Leslie Bourque.
Walsh knew Lafayette before he met Bourque after filming “Secretariat” here more than six years ago. And when he approached her at an L.A. gym, the Lafayette woman transplanted to California realized not only did the actor know her hometown, he loved it.
Their romance was one that for a moment started slowly, Bourque not expecting her “one” to come in the form of a Hollywood actor, and then gained momentum like a runaway train. In five years the couple has moved five times and has two children — Amelie Belle and Hud Scott.
While it may sound like a fairy tale to move to Los Angeles and snag a well-known actor, the reality of living in L.A. is quite different. Bourque wasn’t star struck, and when you talk to her you see why. Bourque isn’t the type impressed by status or awed by the Hollywood scene (outside of maybe Robert De Niro or Gwyneth Paltrow). She is thoughtful, cares much about how she lives her life and the lessons they teach their children about how they treat others and the planet. She’s not into shopping, and the love for material things is clearly not a driving force in her life.
After moving back and forth from California to New York for the filming of Walsh’s most recent series — “Unforgettable” — the couple decided to find a new home base when his time on the series ended. It all boils down to the quality of life, Bourque says.
“We thought maybe we would move to Lafayette for a year, and we started looking at preschools,” she says.
During a visit for Thanksgiving they found an ideal spot to live, and by January they were moving south. And today they love life in River Ranch.
“I’ve always said Lafayette is up and coming, and I think it’s arrived,” she says. “It’s grounded us. I have family [here], and we can walk everywhere.”
They love City Club and walking to restaurants in River Ranch. They are fans of casual restaurants like Grub Burger, and one of their favorite go-to spots has become Dark Roux.
At present Walsh is traveling to and from Lafayette for his latest project — “When We Rise.” The limited ABC series will have seven episodes chronicling the gay rights movement and the personal and political battles of those who have pioneered the movement. Walsh’s role is Dr. Marcus Conant, an American dermatologist who pioneered the diagnosis and treatment of AIDS.