Go Away With … Kelly Overton

Kelly Summer 2016-436-Edit

By Jae-Ha Kim
Tribune Content Agency
September 6, 2016

After playing a lycanthrope on “True Blood,” Kelly Overton gets to hunt vampires in the title role of the new Syfy series, “Van Helsing” (which premiers on September 23). Based out of Pasadena, Calif., the actress has also started a jewelry brand called Benevolence LA, where the proceeds go toward charitable causes worldwide. Fans may stay in touch with Overton via Twitter.

Q. Do you have any trips planned?

A. I plan on visiting Uganda and Kenya soon. I started Benevolence LA with the idea that each piece we design has a story and a charitable mission. There are 660 million people in the world without access to clean water — many in Africa, so we started there. We’re currently funding our third village with clean water and will continue to help in any way we can.

Q. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your travels?

A. To practice gratitude for the moment. I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel so much, and a lot of these places I might never experience again. When you’re away from home, it’s easier to be in the moment and practice gratitude, since everything is new, but it has helped me to do the same when I’m home.

Q. What was the first trip you took as a child?

A. The first big trip I took was to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. It was magical to me. The memories from that trip made such an impression on me that I always wanted to return. I got the chance in 2009.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?

A. I love Kauai, Hawaii. I first went to Kauai in 2007 and again in 2010 and I’m about to head back again (a week after this interview). It’s changing a lot as it gets more popular, but compared to the other islands, Kauai feels untouched. Kauai to me is the perfect-sized island. You can drive the whole island in under two hours.

Q. To someone who was going there, what would you recommend that they do during their visit?

A. I would tell them they had to find Maloa’a Bay, a secluded, perfect beach, and have a picnic there. Get coffee in Kapaa at Java Kai, and kayak up to the Wailua Falls or rent bikes and ride up and down the coast.

Q. Have you traveled to a place that stood out so much that you felt compelled to incorporate it into your work?

A. I did a TV show called “Legends” for TNT a year ago and we shot in London and Prague. The show actually took place in both places. I played Nina, a CIA liaison officer living there, and so naturally it was incorporated into my work. Shooting on the steps of Trafalgar Square or on the cobble streets of Prague added so much to the authenticity of the work.

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

A. One of my favorite weekend getaways is Santa Ynez Valley. It’s about a 2-1/2 hour drive from Pasadena, but it feels like you’re far away. I love riding my bike around town and through the vineyards, having dinner at Trattoria Grappolo, pancakes in Solvang and stopping at Cold Springs Tavern for dinner on the way in or out.

Q. Where have you traveled to that most reminded you of home?

A. I grew up in a very small town in Western Massachusetts called Wilbraham. It is idyllic and very Norman Rockwell. When I was living in NYC and starring on Broadway in “The Graduate,” I would take weekend trips to Bridgehampton, New York. It had the same quaint, Americana feel as Wilbraham.

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

A. My Dohm sound machine and my Tempur-Pedic pillow! Sleep is so important and can be tough when you’re sleeping in a bed that isn’t your own. Having these two things helps me get a good sleep so I can fully enjoy my days.

Q. What is your best vacation memory?

A. One of my best vacation memories is staying on a boathouse in Copenhagen and spending the days riding bikes around the city. Another would have to be staying at a 400-year-old farm in the Alps of Austria and waking up to the sound of cow bells and a basket of fresh yogurt, marmalade and eggs — all from the farm and homemade.

Q. What untapped destination should people know about?
A. Crete, Greece. I went there last summer and stayed at the Blue Palace Resort and Spa on the coast of Elounda and it was incredible!

Q. If you’ve ever gone away for the holidays, which was the best trip?
A.  One of the best Christmas trips I’ve taken is to Mammoth Mountain. Staying in a cabin where we could with ski in and ski out. It’s a winter wonderland up there and only around seven hours from Los Angeles.

Q. What are your favorite hotels?
A.  I’m a Starwood Preferred member and haven’t been disappointed once.

Q. What would be your dream trip?
A.  A month-long vacation in Australia! I’ve never been!

Q. What are your favorite restaurants?
A. Little Beast in Eagle Rock and The Shake Shack in New York City.

Q. What is your guilty pleasure when you’re on the road?
A. Sour patch kids or any kind of sour gummies.

Q. What kind of research do you do before you go away on a trip?
A. A lot, I am an avid researcher and love to be prepared before a trip so I can get the most out of it and won’t waste precious time while I’m there trying to figure out what to do…I love to have a solid plan but then I’m willing to abandon it when I get there and definitely leave room to be spontaneous.

Q. Where is the most romantic destination?
A. The most romantic destination I’ve ever been to is probably Paris, France.  The city is just dripping with romance and the promise of love, you can’t escape it. The other most romantic destination I’ve been to is Venice, Italy. It feels impossible that the city even exists. It’s truly a city of wonder and all the small secret streets and canals make for an intimate setting. Both cities have a history full of infamous love stories.

Q. What are your five favorite cities?
A. New York City, Copenhagen, Venice, Paris and Jerusalem.

© 2016 JAE-HA KIM

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  1. Kelly Overton says:

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