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Five Miles Up with … Jason Schwartzman

January 15, 2013

Jason Schwartzman’s fans have come to know and love him for his quirky roles in such movies as "Rushmore," "Marie Antoinette" and "I Heart Huckabees." Recently, he’s collaborated with Roman Coppola on several films including "A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III" (opens February 8), "Four Stories"  and, the Oscar-nominated "Moonrise Kingdom." We asked Schwartzman about his travel repertoire, and what we discovered? Among other things, a whopping dose of sentimentality.

Window or aisle?

Carry-on or check-in?
A little of both.

What do you always pack in your suitcase?
A mini keyboard.

What’s your idea of the perfect vacation?
One that entails being surrounded by family and loved ones. Very low pressure. You can do whatever you want. Ideally, a perfect vacation is one where you go with a bunch of people who all know each other well enough to leave each other alone.

Have you been on one that’s come close recently?
I like to go to my wife’s family home in Fair Oaks, Alabama, just outside of Mobile, for the holidays. That’s the perfect example of family and friends, plus it’s super casual and everyone can be together, or not be together, and have space to go read a book and relax. There’s also so much to do and so much family to see. For me that’s pretty great.

Worst vacation you’ve ever been on?
There have been a couple of long-distance breakups during travel. They’re never fun. You go away together on a trip, break up during the trip and have to fly together back home… it’s very bad. Then you’re really talking aisle or window.

Any regrets from your travels?
I wish I had accrued more trips. I do the best I can with my frequent flier miles, but I admire those who are incredible about it.

Any unusual or decadent souvenirs you’ve come back with?
I made a movie in Rajasthan, India, over six months and the amount of unusual things I came back with was decadent. Mostly inexpensive things; some really bizarre, beautiful objects. A tin chest I kept all my things in during my stay that now reminds me of the time I spent there. A guitar I bought for $30. Not a very good guitar, but I had it hand-painted with strange cobras and sunsets by some locals. It just goes to show you an instrument doesn’t have to be expensive to be incredible. It’s my favorite guitar.

Any food you tried you wished you hadn’t?
No, I’m happy I’ve tried it all.

What’s on your travel playlist?
When I travel, I tend to get a little homesick, so I always bring something by my little brother, Robert Schwartzman, just to hear his voice. He’s in a band called Rooney and also has his own album, Double Capricorn. One audio book. Right now I’m listening to John Taylor from Duran Duran’s In the Pleasure Groove. He reads it and I feel like when the author reads an audio book, you really get a sense of how they talk. Musically, I’d bring the Beach Boys’ The Smile Sessions that was supposed to be destroyed. They just put it out in a beautiful box set with hours and hours of demos.

You get one final trip in your lifetime. Where will it be?