What was your favourite James Bond movie location?
Oh, there were so many! Chamonix in France is a particularly beautiful part of the world. And I actually enjoyed filming in London.
What have been some of the best hotels in which you’ve stayed?
Ritz Paris is my favourite, closely followed by The Hassler in Rome. They are hotels full of history, with so much romance. They’ve come to represent their cities, as well as be a part of them.
What was your best James Bond driving experience and in which car?
Anytime I was driving the Aston Martin Vanquish. They gave it to me after I finished, which was very good of them. I still have it. It is a beautiful car.
Where do you like to holiday and what’s the first thing you do when you arrive?
I love being in our house in Kauai in Hawaii. It’s a form of paradise on earth. We have a very beautiful cottage by the sea, fairly isolated, and very peaceful. I like to describe it as Ireland except the heating is turned on! I get up at six o’clock, I make myself a cup of coffee, sit on the terrace and watch the waves roll onto the beach. Then I’ll have breakfast with Keely and the boys and spend the rest of the morning painting. Then it’s lunchtime, maybe a few hours of surfing, reading, relaxing in the sun, and then before you know it, you go, “What’s for dinner?” It’s a very simple and peaceful life. There are very few things that can trouble you, not even my occasionally dour Irish soul.
In the quest for ever more authentic travel, these days connecting with the locals is a highly desirable travel experience. Do you enjoy doing that? Have you had any interesting local encounters?
I love connecting with the locals. People know me in Hawaii, and I treat people the way they treat me, which is always with courtesy and good fun. I take the same attitude wherever I go – I pack a suitcase and go and share experiences with whatever great new people I meet.
Have you ever been anywhere in the world where you weren’t recognised? Where and when? How did that feel? Was it good or disconcerting?
I tend to get recognised everywhere, but that is fine. I get to meet so many interesting people that way. And similarly, I hope I put the fame thing to one side and people come away feeling good about our meeting. As long as there is no weirdness, I appreciate all the well-wishers. I wouldn’t want to be isolated from the world.
What do you wear when flying?
A linen or white cotton shirt to stay cool and comfortable.
Is there something you never travel without?
Sunglasses are essential. I always take several pairs. I’d be lost without my iPhone and a pair of Bose headphones. And pads and pencils so I can draw.
What’s your favourite city?
New York, just ahead of Paris and London. I love everything about it – the food, the people, the theatre, the whole energy of the city.