Go Away With … Eddie Kaye Thomas

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By Jae-Ha Kim
Tribune Content Agency
April 7, 2015

Born in New York, actor Eddie Kaye Thomas has adjusted to living in Los Angeles where he moved to launch his acting career, though he admits it wasn’t easy. Thomas, who may always be remembered for his role in the “American Pie” films, is now one of the stars of the CBS drama, “Scorpion.” Thomas says he’s one of the few people he knows who is not on social media.

“I’m grateful for all of this,” says Thomas, 34. “Acting has given me a wonderful life. When I was young we didn’t have a lot of money, so we didn’t take fancy vacations, but we made little local trips that were so much fun. We used to drive to Philadelphia. I have fond memories of being a little kid who loved revolutionary history and getting to see battlefields and all that stuff. It was a really easy, inexpensive trip for our family and I remember it as being really, really fun!”

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?

A. Two that come to mind are Martha’s Vineyard and County Kerry in Ireland. I just went there for the second time in the past three years. It’s very untouched and beautiful. It’s the Ireland that you imagine it would be. I spent one night in Dublin, which was great. It was very much of a European city that I enjoyed, but Kerry was one of the more beautiful places on Earth I had been to. I spent a few days in Switzerland a few years ago and really loved it. It looked like a Ricola commercial. And I would love to explore Italy again.

Q. How easily do you fit in when you travel?

A. I’m Eastern European, so I can blend in a lot of different places. But, once I open my mouth, everyone knows I’m American.

Q. Where were you surprised to be recognized?

A. Jason Biggs and I were in Johannesburg and someone ran over to us and said, “Oh my God! You guys are huge in Botswana.” It’s so flattering and humbling that people around the world watch our movies. It’s always very shocking and surprising if and when I get recognized overseas. I’m certainly not a pop star. I don’t even feel like they’re necessarily fans of mine, but more like fans of the TV shows and movies I’ve been in. It’s a testament to American entertainment that we’re still watched around the world. People usually tell me that I look like me. When I say that I am me, they say that I’m not. (Laughs) It happens more overseas. And then I give up defending the fact that I am me. But I’ve yet to be chased down the street like the Beatles in “A Hard Day’s Night.”

Q. What is on your travel bucket list?

A. I’ve been trying to get to Southeast Asia for the past two years. I would love to visit Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. I love traveling to places that aren’t really familiar to me. Though I get homesick and I miss America when I’m away, I love the feeling of having no sense of where I am and feeling like I’m on Mars. And again, like when I was in that southwestern part of Ireland, I love finding untouched parts of the earth.

Q. Are you good at haggling?

A. No. I’m the worst haggler on earth. I was in Morocco once and everything is about haggling there and I have no sense of that. I will pay what they say they want and leave it at that.

Q. Are you an adventurous eater?

A. I’d like to be better than I am, but I think I am. I don’t want to eat at the first place recommended in a travel book. I’ve found some good local food just by wandering around and looking in at places. I know there’s no guarantee that I’ll find a good place to eat, but I’d rather take that risk than play it safe. I’m willing to try anything once and I haven’t ever been made really sick by eating anything overseas.

Q. Where have you eaten some really tasty food?

A. I had some amazing beef in South Africa. I remember some of the beef in Uruguay. And the seafood in Martha’s Vineyard — the local fish there is really good. If that’s all I ever ate, I could do that.

Q. A lot of people say they don’t like Los Angeles. What’s your take on the city?

A. If you come here expecting it to be New York or Chicago, you won’t like it. New York is my home and I adore Chicago. I was 17 when I moved out to Los Angeles and I had problems with it at first, because I couldn’t just stumble around and get good food like in New York and there wasn’t all those different cultures living next to each other like back home. But once I let it be L.A., I appreciated the beaches and mountains and weather. It’s 80 degrees now and is going to be sunny all weekend. I hope that I’m in Los Angeles working on “Scorpions” for a really long time. But I promise you that once it’s done, I will be moving back to New York.

Q. What are your five favorite cities?

A. New York, Madrid, Chicago, Martha’s Vineyard, Kauai in Hawaii.

Q. Do you like to lie low on vacation or do something every day?

A. I wouldn’t limit myself to either. I have trouble laying out and not doing anything, but sometimes that’s all I want to do. I like to see what’s going on in the part of the world I’m visiting, even in Kauai, where people go specifically to lie in the sun. But I’ve been guilty of traveling really far and not exploring the foreign land.

Q. Like where?

A. When I went to South Africa, we planned a trip to Cape Town and had a great time. But I kind of partied for a week and a half and didn’t see all the places I should’ve. I hate myself for not going on a safari. I wish I had done more and I will when I go back.

© 2015 JAE-HA KIM


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