While Bill Pullman's characters on stage and behind the camera have earned him countless accolades and name recognition around the world, the 59-year-old actor has another more personal obsession that's not as well known: fruit
Pullman, who lives in Hollywood Hills with his family, has a terraced orchard featuring more than 100 different of fruit-bearing plants. “If I were born in the 1700s, I would look like a rounded man,” he recently told the NY Times. “Jefferson defined a home as being a house and a garden. I think I was born out of my time.”
Pullman's devotion to horticulture is included as part of a profile in the new documentary "The Fruit Hunters," based on the 2008 book by Adam Gollner and directed by Yung Chang. The film pulls back the curtain on our relationship with fruit and features "fanatics" involved in everything from growing rare varieties, searching out new species, and developing crops resistant to diseases.
“In the world of the fruit hunters, I found, there are different sects,” Change told NOW magazine back in November. “It’s often a world of cultivating, growing and creating. Some people, though, [have] kind of tipped over the edge of insanity — they covet their fruit and do not want to share it. But generally, my experience was with people who just wanted to give.”
Giving back was something that inspired Pullman to start the nonprofit Hollywood Orchard in 2011. The community-focused organization harvests unpicked fruits from neighborhood trees and donates them to local food charities or sponsored food "pop-up" shops on streets. It also serves as an education resource, teaching others how to sustainably grow food and collectively care for local orchards. The organization ultimately hopes to purchase land in the shadow of the iconic Hollywood sign to "serve as a beacon for the pursuit of sustainability" and feature an agriculture center and, naturally, orchards.
In an interview with Bon Appetit, Pullman explained why fruit trees — and not vegetables — are more appealing to him.
"For me, orchards are more forgiving," he writes. "I'm not a gardener. I don't have the consistency for gardening and I have barely enough for an orchard. I don't embarrass myself. You have to be there tending and weeding. With orchards you can go through negligent periods and recover."
A trailer for "The Fruit Hunters," which has its American premiere at the Palm Springs International Film Festival on Jan. 4, is below.