Billy Crystal is in his Beverly Hills office, a Western-themed space packed with movie memorabilia and sports paraphernalia. It's not long before the Oscars, which he will famously return to hosting this year (tune in February 29 on ABC). But his mind isn't on Hollywood right now, it's on Hawaii, specifically the Big Island, where he'll soon venture with his family for their annual 10-day vacation. Crystal's seven-month-old granddaughter will join the family on the trip for the first time this year. But in addition to being captured in what will surely be an onslaught of Hawaiian holiday photos, Crystal has already immortalized the toddler in his first children's book, I Already Know I Love You.
"I swear, I wrote the first draft in an hour, when my daughter, Jenny, was eight months pregnant," he says. "I'd look at her stomach and I'd say, 'I'm waiting for you,' to this unknown little person. I went home and wrote all the things I was waiting to do with the baby, and that's how the book happened. So it's a grandfather anticipating this new time in his life, this new life in his life."
Sitting back in an Adirondack chair, the 55-year-old actor/comedian turns his attention back to the Aloha State. "You can't go wrong with Hawaii," he says. "The music is a little scary, but the weather's always fantastic and the people are great. The whales are in the ocean and the sunsets are spectacular and it's just, I don't know, I just always feel very comfortable there." Enough said. Here's where you'll find Crystal, family in tow, in Hawaii.
When did you discover Hawaii?