My Hols

18 September 2016

My Hols

I went to Sardinia once and hated it. It was too hot, too crowded and too moneyed. The I ran into Harrison Ford and had two or three nights on the vino, and it turned into a great trip. We got noisy. He’s excellent company, which for me, is one of the prerequisites of a good holiday.

I love going to Europe. A girlfriend and I drove around there for eight months in 1975. I bought an old VW Kombi van for £400 and we went down to Spain and Portugal, then as far east as Greece. In Florence, we camped near Piazzale Michelangelo, which has a commanding view over the city. You recognized fellow travellers wherever you were – generally, they had long hair and were driving similar vehicles. When we got back to London, I took the van back to the same place and sold it for £420.

My favourite holidays have been in Turkey. The people are wonderful. I like the coast and if you’re interested in antiquity, which I am, Gallipoli has lots to offer. Having said that, I’m disturbed by what’s been happening there politically. I’m not sure if I’ll be going back for a while.

My family had a house at Tyrella beach, in Co Down, where we’d go for what passes as a summer in those parts. Me, my brother, Michael, and my sister, Juliet, would plunge screaming into the Irish Sea. There are pictures of us covered in goose bumps, clutching our vitals. We’d catch crabs and lobsters off the rocks, and build sandcastles.

We move to New Zealand when I was seven, I remember our ship stopped to refuel in Curaçao, in the West Indies, and we had a couple of days there. My parents both wore dark glasses and father wore a Panama hat – it all seemed very glamourous.

We lived in Dunedin, but I was sent off to boarding school in Christchurch. That normally involved sitting on a train for five hours, but one time I flew back to school on my own. It was extremely exciting. Air New Zealand had bought a job lot of surplus Douglas DC-3 aircraft after the war and converted them into passenger planes. They were tail-draggers, with one wheel at the rear and two under the wings, so when you boarded at the back, you had walk uphill to get to your seat. The plane flew so low, I don’t even think the cabin was pressurised. I’m sure it still took about 4½ hours, but I did get a window seat.

I love skiing, particularly in North America. Whistler is great. I go too fast for my age, but touch wood, I’ve never had any mishaps.

A couple of years ago, I was in Transylvania. That was a bit of a surprise. It sounds dark and full of vampires, but it’s beautiful, all these different cultures among mountains and castles. I was making a film I haven’t seen yet. I don’t quite know what happened to it.

The one place on the planet where I’m most content is at my vineyard. That’s a real holiday for me. It’s about as obscure and tucked-away a place you can imagine. I have a little balcony I like to sit on and enjoy a glass of my own pinot noir. Acting colleagues have come to visit, but as soon as they drive through the gate they become entirely anonymous.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople is released 16 September 2016

Link to the article online.