What don't people know about the city? There's a real artistic community in Vancouver, and the city is really connected to the outdoors. It's not a town where you're stuck inside for two-thirds of the year. There's a lot of rain, but it's not a freezing-cold, snowed-in winter town, so what a lot of the local artists are painting is the beauty that they've grown up around. Another thing that people are into, but I don't do it much, is the skiing. There are several mountains - Whistler being the most popular for skiing. There's tremendous life outside the city. But when I'm there, I'm usually there for such a short time that I live downtown, I live in Kitsilano, I live in Granville Island.
Where are you at cocktail hour? There's a brewery right on Granville Island called Granville Island Brewing, and they make a lager and a pale ale that are both great. But my favorite drink in town is very specific - the mojito - at a bar in Yaletown called George. It's fresh mint. It's beautiful; I've never had such a good mojito as the one at George. I don't know what their secret is. And by the fourth mojito I usually forget to ask. I'm usually under the table. George's is a really hip little bar that doesn't feel so dark and smoky. It's a really great little social place.
You spent five years at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and performed in regional theaters across Canada. Where did you get your start in Vancouver theater? I played Dracula at the Arts Club Theatre in 1996. It's beautiful. The Arts Club actually has two different theaters. There's one on Granville called the Stanley, and the other one is actually on Granville Island. That was always the fun of doing the show: Every night, I'd have to take a little trip down to Granville Island. The Arts Club bar is right next door - it's a great place to have a beer after the show.
How about dinner? Cru is pretty new. A buddy of mine was a waiter there for a while. Great little meals, like macaroni and cheese, and an amazing shortbread. Quattro is great Italian, and we always have great service there. Glowbal is in Yaletown, which is sort of the hip, up-and-coming neighborhood. Vij's is sort of what they call "new Indian," not all the traditional curries and stuff. It's more family recipes. And there are no reservations at Vij's. You just have to line up and wait for it. You always see Vij. He's a young, handsome guy. I think he's proud to bring some recipes to some people who wouldn't traditionally get Indian takeout.
Do you have a secret place? Certainly tourists wouldn't know about this place - it's called Bin 941. It's on Davie Street, and when my friend Peter and I come from L.A., we always have to go to the Bin, as we call it. Tiny, tiny little place; the bar has enough room for about four people, and eating, you can seat maybe 20. But the food is great - it's prepared in a little kitchen that everybody can see. Go there for a glass of wine and some tapas, if you can sneak in.
What's one spectacular memory of the city? My wife and I got married on a boat with about 70 people on it. We sailed from Granville Island out into English Bay, in between downtown and Kitsilano, and right into the Pacific Ocean. As we were coming back in, there were hundreds and hundreds of people on the beach cheering and there were balloons. And we thought, This is amazing, and on our wedding day. What is this? And my brother turned to me and said, "You know, only you would choose to get married on Gay Pride Day."