Billy Zane’s Art Career Began on the Set of ‘Titanic’—and It’s Still Going Strong

Billy Zane: Pasadena, California.

Describe the style of your home in one sentence.

Midcentury modern conceived and realized by ArtCenter Pasadena students in the 1950s.

What is one kitchen item you use every single day?

A small steel saucepan of boiling water.

What is your favorite gadget or appliance?

I still marvel at the mechanics of an electric can opener the same way I did as a child.

What is your bedtime ritual?

Stretching, watching A Closer Look with Seth Meyers on YouTube, and random reading from six books I grab without looking from my bedside table before lights out. If my daughter cannot sleep, we watch David Attenborough documentaries and voice the animals until she laughs herself into exhaustion.

What is your ideal bedding setup?

Frette sheets upon a firm bed with a throw or duvet cover.

Which room in your house is your favorite and why?

The terrace. I like the changing light and year-round tree coverage. I keep imagining hiring production designers from my films to build out the stern of a boat within it. I vacillate between the Orca from Jaws, complete with Quint’s chair, and a Riva-inspired yacht like Marc Newson’s design for Lure Fishbar. The space just feels nautical for some reason. It’s simply the place I imagine most boldly. It’s also where I paint when not in my studio.

Describe one item in your home that you brought back from a trip.

A very large portion of a B17 Flying Fortress fuselage.

What object in your house has extra sentimental value?

My parents’ art.

What is the oldest thing in your house?

An axe head from the time of Christ gifted to me during a live Bulgarian talk show. The next oldest is a Berber wedding headdress from the 1800s I bought near the Algerian border. Also likely the Greek yogurt in my fridge if I don’t get back home soon.

What is the newest thing in your house?

Hopefully the new dairy products awaiting me if my housekeeper timed grocery shopping well. That and ceramic knives, a treacherous marvel. If I had fingers left, I could count the times I’ve cut myself on both hands.

What would you change about your home if you could only choose one thing?

The address, naturally.

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