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My best things in life...
Red Magazine, UK
April 2011
by Niki Browes

CREME DE LA MER, CHILLI CHOCOLATE AND SUNDAY NIGHTS IN WITH A BOX SET ARE A FEW OF THIS ACTRESS' FAVOURITE THINGS

BEST CITY: London. I love everything about it - the weather, the architecture, the theatres, its international film community, its multiculturalism, its green spaces, its attitude and its proximity to the rest of the world.

BEST CO-STAR: It's terrible to have to narrow it down, but I'll say Donald Sutherland, my co-star in Moby Dick. We had only one scene together, where he gave a long sermon to a crowd and my character interrupts him. It was enough for him to win my heart between every take with his charm, his intimate accounts of experience in the business and his undying love for his wife.

BEST GADGET: My BlackBerry, although I hate to say it. I make out that I don't like it as much as I do, but everything I need to know is stored on it, from which antibiotics the kids last had to all our passport numbers.

BEST INDULGENCE: Chilli chocolate from a particular chilli farm in Devon. It has the perfect blend of dark and milk, and the perfect amount of chilli that sneaks up on you full force, well after the shallow.

BEST FILM: This is a cruel question and I couldn't possibly say just one. So here's a selection: It's A Wonderful Life, The 400 Blows, 1900, The Deer Hunter, The Godfather I and II, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, I could go on...

BEST TV SHOW: I used to love Jonathan Ross on a Friday night. When he was on a roll he far surpassed the likes of Letterman and Leno. It's a crying shame he decided to leave.

BEST BOOK: The Elegance Of The Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. It follows the lives of a female concierge of an apartment building in Paris, who is also a closet intellectual, and that of a 12-year-old prodigy who is a tenant in the building and is counting down the days to her planned suicide. I finished it on a plane and wept under my blanket for a good hour.

BEST DOWNLOAD: I must be cheating with these multi-answers, but it would be a toss up among Carole King's Tapestry, Jane Siberry's When I Was A Boy, Emmylou Harris' Wrecking Ball, Radiohead's OK Computer or Amnesiac, The Red Hot Chili Peppers' Californication, and Bon Iver's For Emma Forever Ago. And all of Coldplay's albums.

BEST WAY TO SPEND A SUNDAY: Early breakfast at one of two child-friendly local restaurants, then, weather depending, on to a park or indoor Jungle Gym. Then naps and Sunday papers, roast chicken in the afternoon and, after bath and stories, either early to bed with a book or pop in one of the DVDs I've been meaning to watch for the last five years. Perfect.

BEST BEAUTY PRODUCT: Creme de La Mer. I notice a big difference when I don't use it.

BEST HOLIDAY: Someone else's holiday home. The only time I can relax is when I'm not the host and not anywhere near things to be done. Sitting around someone else's pool equals magazine time.

BEST EXERCISE: I go through bursts of alternate yoga and running and then nothing at all.

BEST FRIEND: Most of my best friends are in California, and I see them about as much as my one best friend in London. With all of them we pick up exactly where we left off.

BEST WAY TO SPEND 100: At Kiva (kiva.org), where you can provide a micro-loan to an individual or group of your choosing. On the website, you can see the borrowers' faces and learn about their aspirations. Within a year of loaning the money, it will be repaid and you can choose to collect it in full or re-loan it to the same or another individual or community. How cool is that?

BEST THING IN LIFE: The laugh that comes when one of my kids has said something hysterically funny. My two-year-old once walked over to my mother and stuck a stick into one of the holes of her sandal and began twisting it around. My mother asked him what he was doing. He said, 'Making fire.'





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