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There’s something very special about Whistler. Not everybody makes it up there because it’s a bit of a trek and also in a different country, and I just love that feeling.
I’m from the East Coast, and you know, skiing there is ice. It’s brutal, brutal cold. Not fun at all. I didn’t know skiing could be enjoyable. But one year at the Aspen Comedy Festival, David Alan Grier suggested we go skiing, and I was like, “What? I don’t have any clothes.” It was 55 degrees out. He said, “Just put on some jeans and a coat and let’s go.” So I did and we went, and I could not believe it. I was like, “Wait a second, you can be comfortable and not freeze your ass off?!” I’d rediscovered skiing.
I went to Whistler for the first time for my 38th birthday with girlfriends, and I’ve been going there every year for Christmas with my family and for my birthday in February. Then I went to Switzerland and tore my ACL and had to get medi-vac’d off the mountain by a helicopter. When I went back to Whistler, my ski guide was like, “Oh wow, you’re really tender now. You used to be fearless and now you’re timid because of your injury.” It struck me. I thought, ‘No, no one’s ever going to call me timid again.” And that’s when I started getting serious about skiing. Five years ago I stayed in Whistler for two months — I just didn’t want to leave because the skiing was getting great and I was getting great at skiing.
It’s been my goal for a really long time to be successful enough to pay somebody to teach me how to be an incredible skier, so once I started getting good, I couldn’t stop.
I bought my house in Whistler on FaceTime before the 2020 election because I was so worried Donald Trump was going to win again, and there was no chance I could suffer through another four years in this country if that were to happen.
My little ski chalet is super cozy. The fireplace heats it up to a nice, breezy 100 degrees — if you put the fire on, you have to open all the doors. It’s quite a situation. It serves all my purposes and my three main passions in life: reading books, cannabis and skiing.
In Whistler, I wake up and meditate, then I do a Peloton abs class, then I do my butt and hips and bridges to make sure my butt and legs are turned on. I’m up and out the door by 9 a.m. at the latest. My house is ski-in/ski-out, so my friends in Whistler always come park at mine and I’m always sitting outside with my helmet and skis before they pull up. My parents were never on time in picking me up from school, or anything else, for that matter, so I have been scarred for life, and am inveterately early for everything in my life, which leaves me sitting by myself a lot.
We’ll stop for a mid-morning drink around 11:30 — I’ve been having a Baileys and hot water lately. We’ll ski more, drink and eat, do a few more runs and have margaritas for après-ski. I’m usually home by 7 p.m., and then I hop in a bath with Epsom salts and read. It’s my dream life. If I had my druthers, I’d go up in December and come back in March.
Whistler isn’t really a scene like Aspen. There are not a ton of celebrities, and I love that. I love that I’m in this little village and I get to go buy my own groceries — I don’t do that stuff in L.A.
There are a ton of great places to eat and drink, too. I go to Steeps Grill on Whistler Mountain and Christine’s on Blackcomb Peak, and then there’s Umbrella Bar, a fun outdoor bar. I go to one of those for lunch pretty much every day, and I always get truffled French fries, that’s a staple, with either a burger or some albacore tuna. My friend said to me the other day, “We have to start eating healthier.” And I said, “Speak for yourself! I need my sustenance.” I eat healthy in L.A. Whistler is my happy place.
We go to après down at the base of the mountain, anywhere from Garibaldi Lift Co. and Merlin’s Bar & Grill to Dusty’s Bar & BBQ and The Raven Room. Sushi Village is pretty much my favorite restaurant for dinner.
Every winter, we have to plan and coordinate my birthday skiing video: topless videos where I have little flags covering my nipples and I wear a bikini bottom and have a margarita in one hand and a joint in the other. It’s become an annual thing. One year, I posted my birthday video, and they thought it was in real time, so ski patrol was skiing all around the resort trying to look for me because they thought I was skiing around naked. I was like, “Guys, I filmed this three days ago! You’re late to the party!”
I love speed and the wind and being outside — it’s just so invigorating. The great thing about skiing is that you’re never focused on anything but skiing. You’re trying to stay alive and not fall down and also watch where you’re going, so you have to be completely present. That’s why it’s such an adrenaline rush.
For the last three years I’ve been skiing with Kelly Jackson, my coach. She used to be a ski racer and she’s really turned me into a good skier. I like all the technical stuff, I like to improve and challenge myself all the time. When we go heli-skiing, I’m always really intimidated and nervous, especially during that 45-minute avalanche talk. They give you a homing device and a transceiver and I’m sitting there thinking, If there’s an avalanche I will not be of any use to anybody so please just count me out of the equation.
One time we got up the mountain and Kelly was like, “OK, you all have parachutes on. If there’s an avalanche, pull this. But do not pull this otherwise.” I immediately pulled it and my whole balloon lit up. The guys were looking at me like, ‘Are you a moron?’ My skis started to lift up and I waved to everybody like, “Bye!” I thought I was going up to the heavens. Kelly did not respect me in that moment, but she is one of my best buds. She has two 15-year-old daughters who sleep over all the time at my house and both call me “Dad.” It’s my one shot at parenting.
At Whistler, trees are my favorite. I do like moguls, but my knee doesn’t tolerate them that well. My favorite run is called Arthur’s Choice. It’s a big mogul tree run and it’s so much fun. To get down that run on your own, it means you’re a good skier.
Maybe the best part of Whistler is I have friendships with all these capable, strong Canadian women, and they’re not in the business so we never talk about that stuff. We read books together, we drink together, we do mushrooms together. They can build anything, scale anything, and if I wipe out in a tree, my girlfriends are going to dig me out of it. It’s a total break from my professional life. I always wanted to become a great skier, and I wanted to have a separate life outside of all this noise. I finally found my spot.
3 New Hotels and Experiences in Snow Destinations
Fairmont Gold, Whistler, BC
This boutique hotel within the Fairmont Chateau Whistler offers a private concierge, exclusive lounge and accommodations with gas fireplaces; rooms from about $750 a night, fairmont.com
Four Seasons Wolf Trip, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
The resort’s new daylong itinerary takes up to six guests via private plane inside Yellowstone to seek out the park’s wolves; $16,000 (including meals), fourseasons.com
Sierra Nevada Resort, Mammoth, California
Opened in 1967 and once a favorite of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, this property with 179 rooms, suites and chalets was recently fully renovated; from $199, thesierranevadaresort.com
This story first appeared in the Feb. 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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