It was only ever going to be an upward trajectory for Minnie Driver. Even before her Oscar-nominated role in Good Will Hunting, she had proved herself as a Bond girl in GoldenEye and looked at ease next to Brad Pitt, Robert De Niro, and Dustin Hoffman in Sleepers. Today, with more than 40 film credits to her name, Driver has navigated the near impossible in Hollywood, achieving both longevity and versatility. Add to that a sense of humor, confirmed via her cleverly named production company, Huge Fan, a nod to the well-greased words of Hollywood phonies. Now she is swapping the camera for a microphone with her podcast, Minnie Questions, a Proust questionnaire of sorts, where she asks her impressive little black book of friends, including Stephen Fry, Cindy Crawford, Dave Grohl, Ronan Farrow, and Alan Cumming, the same seven existential questions. Next up: her heartfelt memoir, Managing Expectations, is set for release this May. Here, Driver shares her key components to the good life. —Bridget Arsenault
Airline: The one without the chatty person who gets up to pee a lot and tells you about their adventures in crypto-currency.
Airport: There is no such place. They are all monstrous silos of everyone’s worst behavior, body odor, and fugue state.
Alibi: “I was stuck at the airport.”
Bag: An ancient Prada carryall.
Bedtime: Deborah Levy book, clear night, open window, full moon.
Bike: An AroundTheBlock 250 electric beach cruiser.
Birthday: A surf trip with girlfriends, boyfriend, and child. A big cake and a lot of presents and a bonfire on the beach, and everyone dances and wakes up with sand in their hair.
Boyfriend/girlfriend: The one I have.
Breakfast, weekday: Coffee.
Breakfast, weekend: Coffee in bed.
Car: A light-blue metallic 1992 Porsche 928 GTS.
Child: Henry Story Driver.
Cocktail: Reposado tequila, on the rocks with lime oil.
Cocktail appetizer: A beer.
Couple: Any two Labradors.
Date: Swim around the cove to the restaurant Lo Scoglio, in Marina del Cantone, Italy, eat Nerano spaghetti with zucchini, then swim out to the rocks post-lunch and bask like sea lions until it’s time for Negronis.
Diet: All food in moderation, but no moderation on Saturdays.
Dinner, weekday: Boiled egg and soldiers.
Dinner, weekend: Any restaurant that sits by the ocean or a river.
Disguise: N95 mask.
Dress: The evening dress your mother left you, that fits you like it fit her, and never went out of style.
Drive: The one where you round the corner and exit the tunnel, or come over the hill and see the sea.
Enemy: One whose awfulness makes you wiser, stronger, and kinder.
Escape: For me, it’s always involved a window and a tree.
Excuse: Bald truth.
Family: My own—the recognizable perfection comes from how much we tolerate each other’s imperfections.
Fit: My son, my boyfriend, and me on the sofa.
Flaw: The one you can own.
Foil: My sister, Kate.
Friend: One who knows when to hold your hand and when to yell at you to snap out of it.
Good-bye: A note and flowers before anyone else is awake.
Hideaway: A grass-roofed cabin, set into a cliff overlooking the ocean in Big Sur, California.
Hotel: The Post Ranch Inn, in Big Sur.
“It feels unfair to have a battle of wits with somebody who is unarmed.”
Jacket: The extra one my boyfriend brought along for the evening because he knew I’d be cold later.
Kiss-off: The one that turns out to be a bullet dodged.
Last Meal: One with everyone I love.
Lunch, weekday: A cracker sheet of matzo with butter and Marmite.
Lunch, weekend: A picnic on the beach.
Match: One with whom your insanity dovetails.
Movies: The ones that Hal Ashby made.
Neighbor: A field on both sides.
Nonfiction book: A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn.
Notebook: Pangaia, a tree-free notebook.
Novel: Monsignor Quixote, by Graham Greene.
Pants: The ones that make your bum look like it’s having a good year.
Pair of shoes: No, thank you.
Pencil: The only place I can embrace impermanence.
Pet: Every dog.
Piece of advice: “It’s worth remembering that the solution to a problem is never commensurate in size to the problem itself.”
President: The one who didn’t want the job—George Washington.
Ride: Fast, and with the top down.
Saying: “Things are not as they are; they are as we are.”
Second Spouse: Someone who knows that the second act, while less glamorous than the first and less dramatic than the third, is usually the bit where everyone feels safe.
Singer: Donny Hathaway.
Spouse: My boyfriend, who is my husband in everything but state law. (“I love you and only you. Why would I want us to be in a throuple with the state of California?”)
Storm: The one in Japan that creates a south swell and four-to-six-foot waves where I live, a week later.
Television series: The Riches, on Hulu.
Theme song to your life: “I Believe in Music,” by Donny Hathaway.
Time of day: Dusk.
Toast: Buttered, with Seville marmalade.
Vacation: A perfect right point break, a house on the beach, someone else who likes doing the cooking, all my friends in houses down the beach, playing music outside till late, and no mosquitoes.
View: Sky, ocean, and trees.
Wake-up time: Whatever time it is when there’s nowhere I need to be.
Weekend bag: A black Prada Saffiano leather travel bag.
Work of art: A series of six botanical drawings by Ellsworth Kelly.