He’s done Bond and The Batman, Westworld, and Angels in America. He was Basquiat in Basquiat, and he’s equally beloved by Hollywood and Broadway. Jeffrey Wright has been working steadily since the late 80s, and after making his Wes Anderson debut, as New Yorker-y food writer Roebuck Wright in The French Dispatch, he’s returning to the director’s fold, in Asteroid City. Set in an American desert town in 1955, the film stars Wright alongside Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, and almost every actor in Hollywood. Herewith, Wright shares his key components to the good life. —Ashley Baker
Airport: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but La Guardia. Only because the new renovations are such an incredible improvement, and I still, to this day, can’t figure out how they engineered the renovations without having to shut it down.
App: Chess.com, 100 percent. You can play people from around the world at any time and anywhere. It’s so detailed and packed with stats and data relative to your game. It’s a reasonably healthy addiction, and a distraction away from the stupidity of social media and life in general.
Bike: My Specialized Vado SL 5.0. It’s an e-assist. Brilliant machine. In New York, it’s faster than a car.
Birthday: Celebrating at Peter Luger.
Car: I’m partial to my Toyota Tacoma pickup truck.
Child: My two!
Cocktail: Anything with Uncle Nearest whiskey.
Cocktail appetizer: I’m good with an oyster shooter, to combine the two.
Date: Springtime at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, when the cherry blossoms or the rose garden are in bloom.
Dress: Whatever is simplest, a bit vintage, and understated.
Drive: Hard to beat the P.C.H. [Pacific Coast Highway].
Enemy: The perfect enemy is none at all, but any enemies that I’ve ever had have always been stupid people, which is in and of itself advantageous.
Escape: Back to the water, like the whale and the dolphin.
Excuse: “I was in the water. Couldn’t be reached.”
Family: My own loving, crazy family is the perfect one for me.
Friend: Loving, smart, loyal, and enjoys a good taste every now and then.
Good-bye: “Saudade.” I learned it in Brazil. It loosely translates into “Good-bye, and I miss you already.”
Hideaway: Back home, somewhere near the Chesapeake Bay.
Hotel: I once stayed in Sonoma, California, with my kids at the Carneros. It was absolutely insane. I think it’s the finest hotel I’ve ever experienced.
Indulgence: New Orleans–style chargrilled oysters.
Last meal: Chargrilled oysters and a Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Movie: Apocalypse Now.
Name: “Jeffrey” has worked pretty well for me.
Nonfiction book: I’m reading books now about the buffalo soldiers. The history is astounding and timely. What I knew prior was only scratching the surface of who these men were, what they did, and how ironically central they were to the birth of modern America around the late-19th century and early-20th century.
Pants: Comfy, stretchy, low-key, and cuffed.
Pet: Every dog I’ve ever had in my life.
Piece of advice: “Success will not drop out of the sky like a ripe apple. You must work!”Academy Award nominee Lilia Skala once said this to me during rehearsal of a Lorraine Hansberry play we did together back in 1989.
President: I think a president is imperfect by definition, given the ongoing and difficult journey toward the perfectibility of our country. We’re an imperfect people. Like all people, I guess. That said, given the dangerously ridiculous and extremist political climate that has emerged over the last 20 or so years, I’d be open to letting Obama have a third term. Extremists might say that he was the problem. Whatever.
SHOES: My slip-on, custom-designed, old-school Chuck Taylors. Keep it simple, keep it movin’.