Juliette Lewis has a reputation for being somewhat of a wild child. But the 36-year-old actress-singer says she is mellower that people would think. “I would rather be on the road with my band or traveling than out partying,” says Lewis. The actress, who co-stars with Drew Barrymore in “Whip It!” and stars opposite Jennifer Aniston in next year’s “The Baster,” opens for the Pretenders on a U.S. tour kicking off on Aug. 5 (www.myspace.com/juliettelewis). Her new album “Terra Incognita” will be in stores on Sept. 9.
“‘Terra Incognita’ means unknown territory and that was my whole mission with this record — to do something different,” Lewis says. “The songs stem from my travels. To me, this record is really diverse, haunting, beautiful and eclectic.”
Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?
I loved Istanbul, Turkey. The people are lovely. It’s a multicultural town and is really rich in art and music. There are all these really great coffee and teashops. I had seen “Midnight Express” and the scenes of the Turkish prisons — and I guess that shows you how much cinema can impact your views. I know it’s only a movie, but I had no idea about the real political structure and how they treat females and I was a little apprehensive before my trip. If you’re open to discovery, you can really learn a lot about the world. I found Istanbul to be in the realm of New York or Paris. It was beautiful.
Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?
As a native Californian, I find that as I get older I’m falling more and more in love with California and want to go to places I had taken for granted all my life. I want to go to Yosemite National Park. I had been there when I was little and it’s gorgeous. That’s an overnight trip I can do with my mom. Then, of course, there’s Big Sur. There are these places in California that are really magical and otherworldly but don’t really get talked about because Los Angeles is such a dominant force.
Q. What are your favorite hotels and restaurants?
I go to New York City a lot and it’s really hard to find a quiet hotel there because the city is so busy and noisy and hotels always have bars and nightclubs in them. What I want is a quiet little oasis. There’s this small new hotel called the Greenwich Hotel on Greenwich Street (www.thegreenwichhotel.com) that Robert De Niro opened last year. It’s so quiet and wonderful. It has this Zen spa (Shibui Spa) that’s so relaxing, and the gym is amazing. Its location is also key and all these great shops are within walking distance. A close second is the Bowery Hotel (www.theboweryhotel.com), but that’s more of a scene in the lobby hotel. But it’s got a cool vibe. There’s this place in New York called Organic Avenue (www.organicavenue.com) that has the best coconut milk smoothie I’ve ever tasted. I also really like Freemans (www.freemansrestaurant.com) in New York. It’s a quaint place with the coolest vibe in the East Village. The food is so good and rich and fattening, but they have these really nice salads, too.
Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?
I don’t want to sound like one of those people, but I have to have my BlackBerry ‘cause it’s my connection to home. I don’t even know what all the functions on there are. I just use it for the email and the phone. And my friends all laugh at me, but I travel with a CD player rather than a MP3 player, even though I do have two iPods. I always travel with my laptop because that always has my demos and songs that I’m working on. And then I also bring adapters so that I can use all my gadgets no matter what country I’m in. Oh, and all my weird clothes.
Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?
Fiji, Tahiti. … My idea of heaven is a tropical place. And for work, I’d like to tour in South Africa.
Q. What is your worst vacation memory?
I don’t recommend taking the train from Greece to Turkey. I was on the train for 14 hours once and it was like this train from the ’70s with starch prison sheets. It was kind of scary.
© 2009 JAE-HA KIM
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