How often do you travel?
I’m on a plane at least twice a week at the moment, commuting for work while filming the second series of Jamestown in Budapest, and I’m in the States at least twice a year for work. I fly so much that I have “gold” status on all my airline membership cards even though I fly coach. I recently bought a £78 British Airways ticket and still got to sit in the lounge and use the fast track service.
What do you need for a perfect holiday?
I’m a keen diver, so that’s a priority for me, and my five-year-old twin sons are great swimmers. My family tends to go on all-inclusive holidays, but then they end up not using all the facilities, so I question whether it’s worth it. But they loved it when I took them to Disneyland two years ago while I was working in Los Angeles. I can’t wait for us to rent out a fisherman’s cottage on one of the lesser-known Greek islands, like Alonissos, and then graduate to exploring the Far East and India. They need to be old enough to appreciate these magical places. There was a time when I’d rather do a bad film in India than a good film anywhere else, but now that I’ve got kids, things have changed.
Your earliest memory of travelling abroad?
Fancy ski trips were never on our radar, but my dad used to take us on holiday once a year to posh places in the Algarve.
The most remote place you’ve been?
The northernmost point in India, right along the Pakistan/China border, where the Himalayas start. I was shooting a film called The Man-Eating Leopard of Rudraprayag. I was above the clouds and could see all the great mountain ranges.
The most unusual place you’ve been?
The cenotes (hidden natural swimming holes) in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. It’s the most magical experience, diving through the crystal blue water and exploring the caves. Or diving the Blue Hole in Sinai, Egypt, a submarine sinkhole. Also, Kota Kinabalu in Borneo, a coastal city surrounded by rainforests. It was a mission getting there, but worth the three flights. On that trip we went to the luxury Pangkor Laut Resort in Malaysia, with toucans sitting on the edge of the pool.
Weirdest travel experience?
I was filming in Jordan in May 2011 when Osama bin Laden was killed. Every single tourist in the Middle East had left the region – the atmosphere was surreal. I went to Petra and there were about 50 people there. Back at our base in the mountains, we kept hearing gunfire and were never sure if it was celebrations or commiserations.
Most relaxing destination?
The Maldives. If you can’t relax there, you’re in
Most overrated destination?
Los Angeles initially, but I changed my mind when I discovered Silver Lake – the antithesis to the bling of Beverly Hills. It’s got great coffee shops and eateries and you see more normal people there.
Most underrated destination?
Obscure Greek islands like Skyros. In my teens I used to save money to go to Skyros for six or seven weeks each summer. I’ve never found anywhere I’ve liked as much, plus I love Greek food.
The fish restaurant at the Hotel Ta’ Cenc and Spa in Gozo, Malta – simple, brilliant food and great views across the water.
On a dive trip to Cuba, the divemaster’s wife cooked up a fresh lobster (which she’d just caught in front of me) with chilli and rice.
Funniest travel experience?
I tell my kids the scars across my back are from when I was attacked by a shark. The truth is I was paralytic after a night out drinking with Johnny Depp while filming From Hell in Prague. I woke up to something like the bloody severed horse head scene in The Godfather. I’d collapsed through the glass table and passed out. There was so much blood I’d to pay for a new mattress. And that’s why you shouldn’t drink, boys and girls.
Air New Zealand. Its level of service without being po-faced about it is incredible.
Best travel advice?
Take something to remind you of home. I take lots of wallet-sized photos of my wife and kids and put them up around my hotel room.
Anything you hate about travelling?
I hate the journey to airports. The longer it takes, the more stressed I get.
I’ve yet to visit South America. Eat Locals, the film directed by Jason Flemyng, will be available on VOD and DVD from October 30.
Jason Flemyng Actor
A ‘cenote’ – natural swimming hole – in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, above; and the Corinthia Hotel Budapest, above right