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The Places I Go: Ben Kingsley

Photography Davis Factor/Corbis Outline

“I’M NOT GOOD AT SIMPLY GOING ON HOLIDAY. I don’t enjoy being told what I’m looking at by a guide, however well-intentioned, and I can’t just stand and look at the beach. I have to be part of the landscape. I have to be engaged. I’ve done three films in Prague, and I find it very sustaining. It’s not like New York or L.A.—there’s so much history. The first time I went, it was to visit a friend who was working on a movie. I went for a long weekend and stayed right on the Vltava River. We were pretty high up, and I remember looking out over all those copper roofs that have turned green. A few years later, I went back to do a miniseries about Anne Frank. It was really something to come off the set and find myself still surrounded by all that history. My most recent holiday there was with my darling wife for New Year’s Eve, which is also my birthday, and we watched the fireworks over the Vltava.

“There’s a restaurant called the Alchymist that I always go to. Even if it’s been three or four years since my last visit, they’re very welcoming. I love Czech food, and the service is lovely. It’s a beautiful place in a wizardy way. I also really like U Patrona, near the Charles Bridge. You must go in the fall so you can walk across the Charles very slowly; in summer, it’s too crowded.”

BEN KINGSLEY stars in Martin Scorsese’s upcoming thriller, Shutter Island.

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