Go Away With … Claire Forlani

Credit: ©2010 KA Television Productions Limited/T5 Camelot Productions Inc. An Ireland-Canada Co-Production

By Jae-Ha Kim
Tribune Media Services
April 19, 2011

Claire Forlani played Sean Connery’s daughter in “The Rock,” was Brad Pitt’s love interest in “Meet Joe Black” and starred opposite Gary Sinise in “CSI: New York.” On the new Starz series “Camelot,” the 38-year-old actress reigns supreme as the beautiful and complicated Queen Igraine. Starting May 10, Forlani will have a recurring role on the CBS crime procedural “NCIS: Los Angeles.” Married to actor Dougray Scott, the busy actress splits her time between Los Angeles and her native London.

Q. Tell me about one of your favorite vacations.

A. My husband and I flew to New York just for 24 hours. We walked from downtown to the Upper East Side and saw one of the best art exhibitions I’ve seen in my life by my favorite artist, Vasily Kandinsky. They had more than 300 works by him at the Guggenheim. I love that museum so much. Then we walked through Central Park and met friends for a late lunch in midtown. We met more friends for drinks at the Four Seasons Hotel and then went and saw the brilliantly written and performed David Mamet play “Race.” We stopped backstage after the show to gush about the performance. Then we went for a delicious dinner at Serafina and later met up with some friends at the Carlyle Hotel and talked into the wee hours of the morning overlooking Central Park with the city lights sparkling below us. Even though I did think my feet were going to drop off from all the glorious walking, it was truly one of the best 24 hours I ever had.

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

A. Paris, staying in the Hotel de Crillon and Somerset, United Kingdom, staying in the Babington House.

Q. What are your favorite restaurants?

A. The Wolseley, Michael Nadra and Indian Zing in London. Auberge des Maures in Saint Tropez and Shanahan’s in Dublin.

Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?

A. Running shoes because I love to go for a run in any city or place I am in. It gives me a different perspective of the place and is always a bit of an adventure. Also, Dr. Hauschka rose cream, Linda Meredith Amazon vitamin cream and my vitamins.

Q. What are your five favorite cities?

A. The classics: London, Paris, New York and Venice. And I just went to Madrid, which I loved.

Q. What kind of research do you do before you go away on a trip?

A. Well, God bless Google and Bing! It’s so easy now to find out about wherever you’re going. Also, asking friends who have been there before is always good.

Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?

A. India.

Q. What is your worst vacation memory?

A. I arrived in Naples to join my friend on what I thought was going to be a yacht to travel around the South of Italy. As I walked along the dock, I saw my friend waving from this beautiful boat. But it was a sailboat — not a yacht — and I got the worst seasickness ever, so I couldn’t appreciate any of the beauty that surrounded us. I ended up getting off the boat in Panarea in the middle of August, which is when the entire country of Italy seems to be on holiday. So it was impossible to find a hotel room.

I dragged my suitcase onto land and went to the first hotel I found and was informed that there were no rooms available. I burst into tears at the thought of having to return to the boat and the man working at the desk said there is a room, but it’s not really a room we put guests in. I didn’t care as long as there was a bed on firm ground. So this very sweet man walked me to an obscure part of the hotel and showed me what could only be called a rather large closet, which had a single bed in it and a toilet.

I was so happy I thanked him profusely and tipped him grandly and happily shoved my suitcase into the only space left in the room. That night, sleeping soundly in my wonderful closet, I was awoken by this thumping sound and a vibrating wall by my bed. My closet wall was the wall that also belonged to the hotel’s nightclub, which played techno till the sun appears in the early hours of the morning!


© 2011 JAE-HA KIM


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