Any time anybody says, “hey let’s get together for lunch,” this is my favorite place to go, period. They’re open 24 hours. The architecture is very old and has never been updated, nor have the wait staff—they’re a bunch of sassy servers that all say hi when you walk in. It’s my Cheers. I’ll go get pancakes at three in the morning. I love it love it love it.
I was introduced to Miceli’s by my lovely aunt Gail when I first moved to L.A. Italian cuisine is my favorite. There’s no pasta I wouldn’t eat. I love their food and love their musical element—they have amazing, Broadway-trained singers. They belt out these wonderful tunes and then bring you breadsticks. They sing a lot of Disney songs—any time they do Lion King they know they’re going to get a good tip.
Being that I am in the creature effects makeup world, anytime I need to put something in my own makeup kit I go to Nigel’s. If I’m ever doing a silly video for a series and I need to add some colors to my face or if I go to a red carpet event with photogs and flashbulbs I can go to the Nigel’s and get a little somethin’ somethin’ to run through the eyebrows and eyelashes to make my blue eyes pop.
It’s a famous rock formation, and tons of things were filmed there over the years. Something happened seismically that made all these plates of earth come up at a weird angle. They’re great for hiking and sitting on the top of the rocks and looking at the sunset. Any time I have people come to town I take them there.
You get to see such a cross section of culture—everyone from the potheads to the German tourists. You can get what, 17 t-shirts for a dollar? Any time I sit on my sunglasses or lose a pair I go there and get another $5 pair. Then you walk across the sand for a couple feet and there’s the Pacific Ocean.
Not only have I been to a couple of movie premieres there, but I have very happy memories professionally. It’s the coolest place to go watch a movie. I went to the opening day of Titanic there—I bought a ticket and waited in line. They have this sound system that is unmatched. The screen is huge. That’s old school Hollywood right there. I like to feel the history of all that have come before me.
If you’re a horticulturist, you’ll see every kind of plant life under the sun there. I also filmed a flashback scene from Adaptation in the jungle there, which was made to look like a rainforest. I was pelted by a stuntman over and over again. I also love the library and the art museum. The setting feels East Coasty, and the architecture is amazing.
I just love that place. It’s another piece of Hollywood history. The architecture sings to me. I love the lobby, and of course any time out-of-town visitors come, I want to show them that one ballroom where the first Academy Awards took place. I have a happy memory in one of the penthouse suites, where the after party for Pan’s Labyrinth took place after the Oscars in 2007.
They really struck a note with me recently with their Guillermo Del Toro exhibit. Artists from all over the place submitted work inspired by his films, which was up on the walls. And I am in half of them. Between five movies and The Strain, there were ample opportunities to show up in all theses pieces of art. The gallery even took some set pieces from the Crimson Peak haunted house—the archways in the gallery were done with woodwork from the movie.
Photographs courtesy (in order): (5) flickr/La Citta Vita; (9) nineteeneightyeight.com. All other photographs courtesy facebook.com