Go Away with … Noah Bean

Photo courtesy of Noah Bean

By Jae-Ha Kim
Tribune Media Services
June 30, 2009

Actor Noah Bean has portrayed a police officer, a shoe clerk and a doctor, but the role of cowboy is the one he most identifies with and indulges in when he leaves his apartment in New York City for his favorite vacation destination — Big Sky, Mont.

A graduate of Boston University, the 30-year-old Connecticut native has spent time backpacking through Europe. But while roles on shows such as “Lipstick Jungle,” “Medium” and “Damages” allow him to travel in luxury, Bean still prefers to travel light.

“If I can’t fit it in the plane overhead bin, I don’t bring it with me,” he says.

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?
I love going to places like the Hamptons in New York. Mystic, Conn., is also beautiful and I go back there a lot. The Berkshires in Massachusetts is another favorite. When I really want a relaxing time away from home, I want to go out to the deep country and not hear sirens or get on the subway.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?
Montana has some of the most beautiful land in North America. It’s unbelievably gorgeous. They shot “A River Runs Through It” there and the movie does a good job of capturing the beauty of the landscape. Big Sky actually is the perfect name and description for the area because the sky goes on forever and ever. The world there seems bigger, purer and cleaner. When I was 12, I got to stay with a friend of my uncle’s in Montana who was a real cowboy who lived in this shack by the river. It was not a four-star vacation, but that trip was the best thing ever for a kid. It was like something out of a cowboy movie. My dad bought me a cowboy hat and boots and I was in heaven. Ever since then, I’ve been in love with Montana.

Q. What are your favorite hotels and restaurants?
When I visit Montana now I stay at the 320 Ranch (www.320ranch.com). Guests get to stay in these cool log cabins, each with fireplaces and these little porches. It’s wonderful. The spirit of the locals is just as genuine as I remember from when I was a kid. They have a sense of self and independence, which I find really appealing. The food there is great, too. You can get your standard sandwich or eggs, but I like to eat some of the authentic stuff. A place called Buck’s T-4 Lodge (www.buckst4.com) is wonderful. They serve elk, deer and buffalo there and I can honestly say it’s all great. I’m not sure it’d be a good place for vegetarians though. The Rainbow Ranch Lodge (www.rainbowranchbigsky.com) also is high on my list. And I always try to go the Bugaboo Cafe (in Big Sky).

Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?
A pair of jeans, boots and a couple of shirts. I try not to bring a phone or BlackBerry on vacation. I don’t want to hear from anyone about work. I don’t fly with a lucky charm and I know I should take more pictures but I just don’t want to be bothered with a camera. The best thing I like to bring with me is a friend or family members. Pictures are great to look at, but the best way to remember a trip is to share great experiences with someone.

Q. What is your best vacation memory?
I actually have a lot of them, but one of them is of doing a lot of catch and release fly-fishing in the Gallatin River — easily one of the best fly-fishing rivers in North America. You’re more likely to see elk walking by than people. It’s great.

Q. How do you try to fit in when you’re a tourist?
I think it’s clear I’m not a real cowboy, but I just try not to be a smart aleck city person. And when I travel overseas, I just try to be respectful of whatever culture I’m in. That’s about it.


© 2009 JAE-HA KIM
DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.

Comments (1)

  1. Great interview! It expresses how I feel about the Big Sky country as well. It’s such a great place to unwind and go back to the real life again.

    I also added your article to my ePaper http://paper.li/T_W_O/1326445527.

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