Josh Duhamel is at the point in his career when actors traditionally go full-bore Hollywood: He's got the hit, long running series under his belt ('Las Vegas'), the burgeoning movie resume (the 'Transformers' series, 'Safe Haven,' and 'Scenic Route'), and the megastar wife (the Black Eyed Peas' Fergie, who just gave birth to their first son, Axl). As many a star before him, the 41-year-old actor has also continued the Tinseltown tradition of opening up a restaurant where he can comfortably hobnob among his friends and peers. Only somewhere along the line he got the formula wrong. Duhamel's fine dining foray, 10 North Main, is located in the paparazzi-free hills of Minot, North Dakota.
Actually, the restaurant, which he co-owns with three of his closest friends, is very much in keeping with his low-key persona (it is his hometown, after all) and features a mix of uniquely North Dakotan dishes, such as elk loin, deep-fried pheasant strips, and a bison New York strip. The former Minot State University quarterback is quick to point out all the other attractions in the area, and is a veritable booster for western North Dakota.
"It's really beautiful in the western part of the state," he says, citing the old transcontinental rail line town of Medora, the badlands rock formations of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and Lake Sakakawea State Park as three destinations that can't be missed by intrepid mid-America road trippers. "If you're ever traveling or taking a road trip, make sure you go through there," he says. "It's Teddy Roosevelt's old stomping grounds!"
Duhamel's loyalty to his home state extends beyond just singing its praises and providing it with good eats, however. Charitable work has long been one of Duhamel's passions, so when record-breaking floods ravaged much of North Dakota, he was on the ground, raising money and pitching in with the recovery. He also pitched in in the wake of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, as well as for the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. "Ever since [the Haiti disaster], I just felt this duty to actually do something," Duhamel says. "Not just put on a suit and go to a charity event, but actually do something." His most recent project is working with Valspar Hearts and Hands for Habitat campaign, which benefits Habitat for Humanity's Disaster Response program."I love the work that Habitat for Humanity has done," he says. "So it was just sort of a natural thing, and I was honored when they asked me to do it."
Evidently Duhamel isn't so irredeemably Hollywood after all. He confirmed it for us when he confessed, "I feel very blessed right now. I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop!"
More information: Minot is an hour north of Bismarck on US-83, which cuts through scenic Fort Stevenson State Park.