Seattle holds a special place in the heart of Tim Robbins, the 43-year-old actor/director/writer/producer who fell in love with the city years ago when he began regularly visiting friends there. When he became a parent with his partner, actress Susan Sarandon, they began taking their two sons and her daughter from their Manhattan home to the capital of the Pacific Northwest, whose great outdoors and urban attractions became something of a Valhalla. "The only place we've been where there hasn't been a need for video games," Robbins says. Born in California and raised in Greenwich Village, Robbins joined the Theater for New York City at age 12. After a stint at UCLA, he did small TV and film roles before starring in Bull Durham, The Player, The Shawshank Redemption, and others. But it was his directorial work on Dead Man Walking that brought him the most acclaim. He was nominated for a Best Director Oscar for the film, in which Sarandon won an Oscar for Best Actress. This month, Robbins is back on the big screen in Human Nature, the story of a weird and wild four-way romance by the writer of Being John Malkovich. Here's a weekend in Seattle with Tim Robbins, where, between takes, he's found a home away from home. Photograph by Jesse Frohman
"I would recommend the Ace Hotel. It's small, comfortable, and low-key. I'm a little tired of the kind of sameness of corporate hotels. You can't tell which city you're in. This is nice and unique. You just feel more a part of the city than you would if you're in a big tower. It's a cross between futurism and the European kind of classic hotel. It's in one of those historic buildings, and it has loft ceilings and hardwood floors in the lobby. It's near the Pike Place Market, so you're a short walk away from getting involved. I also like the new Elliott Hotel. It's well-appointed and interesting."