By LILY TINOCO | Assistant Editor
The Pacific Palisades Library Association continued its Writers, Artists and Musicians Series on Thursday evening, March 9, with a conversation with Eugene Levy, Emmy- and Grammy-winning actor, producer, writer and honorary mayor of the Palisades.
The program was open to the public, and tickets for the in-person component were claimed within hours. Due to limited seating, individuals were invited to watch the program virtually.
At the start of the program, PPLA President Laura Schneider shared that she had asked those with tickets to let her know ahead of time if they were no longer able to attend, to open the opportunity to individuals on the waitlist.
“Not only did no one give up their ticket, but people who had previously RSVPed, RSVPed again,” she said with a laugh.
After kicking off the “much-anticipated” event, Laura passed the microphone to Tim Schneider, who moderated the evening’s discussion.
Tim began by asking Levy about one of his most recent projects, Apple TV+’s “The Reluctant Traveler,” and people who doubt that Levy is “really a reluctant traveler.”
“I could not have said ‘no’ more times to the show,” Levy revealed. “It was pitched to me as a travel show with me as a host, and there are certain aspects about traveling that I’m just not excited about … But the more I talked about it with them and explained why I’m not the person, the more amused they got.
“That’s when they connected with the Apple+ TV exec and the producer of the program, and said, ‘Wait a minute, that’s the show … It’s a travel show but the guy doesn’t like to travel. We need to put that in the show.’”
Schneider pointed out “The Reluctant Traveler” marks the first time in Levy’s career that he is not portraying a character: “How different is that for you?” he asked
“It’s much more frightening,” Levy said.
Levy explained that the show has surprised him in different ways. He revealed it has helped him become a better conversationalist, allowing him to spark up conversations at Porta Via in Palisades Village and other spots in town.
“The show has brought out a better side of me, in terms of talking and listening,” he said, “and carrying on a conversation that is actually interesting and quite fascinating at times.”
Of living in the Palisades, Schneider asked Levy how he originally came across the area. Levy said he had an apartment in Brentwood that he would visit during the winter from Toronto, Canada. He eventually began to search for something bigger and fell in love with a home in Temescal Canyon.
“It was like, ‘Wow, this is wow. This is beautiful,’” Levy said. “And then we started to get into the town and the vibe of it … and it really is incredible.
“Families are out and they’re moving around, and it’s just active and … you don’t have to leave the Palisades to go somewhere to get a good bite to eat, you don’t have to leave the Palisades if you want to pick up a little article of clothing … That’s what I love.”
When it comes to his role as honorary mayor, Tim asked Levy if any of his predecessors offered him words of advice before taking on the position.
“I remember Billy and Janice Crystal said, ‘Just embrace it,’” Levy said. “‘And just get into everything that they ask you to do, and you’ll find that you’re actually going to have a great time, and it’s going to be fun.’”
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