Jewel Staite: Why watching Serenity makes me cry like a baby

If you like Jewel Staite as Kaylee from Firefly and Serenity and Dr. Jennifer Keller from Stargate: Atlantis, you'll love the REAL Jewel Staite! That's why we're so pleased she's agreed to join us regularly here at Blastr to answer your questions and share whatever happens to be on her mind.

HAPPY 2011!

I feel like I've been around the world and back since my last blog, living out of suitcases and switching climates more than I switch my Manolos! It's been a ca-razy holiday season, and before my tan fades away completely, let me tell you all about it.

We (that's me, husband aka Matty, and Teddy the cocker spaniel) left LA at the end of November for Sonoma valley wine country, which—wait for this newsflash—is one of my most favorite places in the world. We were there for the annual Sonoma Valley Holiday Open House, two wine-soaked fabulous days of visiting the local wineries and sampling their culinary treats. We laughed, we indulged, and we made some new friends, which ended with me playing a game of pool in a dive bar with a man dressed in a floor-length raccoon fur coat. If you're reading this, nice to meet you Jim! Or John. Or Sam.

Once we slept that off, we headed further north to home sweet home: Vancouver, British Columbia. We spent two jam-packed weeks seeing our family and friends, as well as taking care of Boring Life Stuff we enjoy putting off for most of the year, i.e. dentist and doctor check-ups, sorting through boxes in our storage locker of stuff we forget we own, the occasional humiliating meeting with our accountant where he tells me just how much I spend on retail, then back to the doctor ... But accomplish it all we did! Just in time for our trip to Maui.

Heavenly, beautiful Maui, where all the world's problems are solved. Or at least mine. I love this place more than I love shoes, more than I love tasting menus, more than I love most wines! When I was a baby, my grandparents managed a resort in Napili on Maui's west side, and we lived there for the first few years of my life. That little stretch of beach on Napili Bay saw a lot of my life's milestones: my christening, my first steps, and twenty years later, my wedding. Maui is imbedded in my being in every way. It's my one-stop shop for recharging my batteries at the end of the year, it's my kokomo, my end of the rainbow, and my happy thought.

Guys, I kinda like Maui.

Every day was spent doing yoga while watching the waves, snorkeling with sea turtles, barbequing lunch, having an afternoon swim, watching the humpback whales frolic on the horizon, having a nap, then heading out to watch the sunset. Oh yeah, and mai tais. Lots of mai tais. Or at least enough to partake in an inane conversation with your equally-mai-tai-loving friend about how to spell the word cutip. Or Q-tip. Or kewtip. In short, I had the very best time of my life. And, batteries charged, headed back to LA to take on the monster that is pilot season, so I can pay for all of these damn trips.

On to your questions, dear reader!

1. Do you prefer projects in sci-fi, or are you open to other projects i.e. drama, etc.? Awesome actress!

I swear that last sentence was part of the question. And to answer, I don't have a particular preference to any genre. The first thing I consider is the role: is it interesting? Have I done something like this before? Would this be a fun thing for me to do? Is Matthew Fox in it? I guess the reason why I tend to choose so many sci-fi-related projects is because they're fun to do, the roles are great, and I know I'm going to have a good time. But a lot of the work I've done in my career hasn't been sci-fi based, believe it or not. I've always chosen to do a job based on so many other reasons other than genre. Like who the caterers are, for instance.

2. What's one thing you've always wanted to do, but haven't had a chance?

Go to Bali. Write a book. Enter a room on horseback.

3. Best meal you've had in the past week?

The past week has been spent in a car with a dog and a husband en route via the I-5 highway to LA, so the most you're going to get out of that would be the pasta salad I had at Granzella's Inn off exit #5,874. But if we could stretch that to the last two weeks? I'd say the incredible chef's tasting that was prepared for us at Campagnolo in Vancouver. Crispy fried chickpeas with chili and mint, pork ragu with tagliatelle and pecorino, BC mussel risotto with saffron, Bianca pizza with mozzarella, potato and sage, red wine braised beef, fried cauliflower florets with bacon, and olive oil cake with roasted bosc pear. Go to Campagnolo. Run! Now!

4. Why do you "cry like a baby" (you tweeted that) when you watch Serenity? Regrets? Memories? Good tears or sad tears?

I don't really know why. Have you ever enjoyed something or someone so much that you just feel like bursting into tears? No? Just me? Great. I think it's a combination of being really proud, really grateful, and really frustrated at not being able to play that character or see those people all together on a regular basis anymore. I experienced so much joy and fulfillment and happiness while working on that show, and the movie was such a bittersweet experience, because it was like a final and proper good-bye. It makes me happy to watch it, and at the same time it sorta breaks my heart. Also: it's kind of a sad movie, guys. People die and stuff. Are you made of stone?!

5. What words of wisdom do you have for up and coming actors/actresses?

First thing I'm going to say is don't quit. Unless you're going out for my parts, in which case, this business is too hard and you'll never make it so you should quit now and go back to school. Seriously, though, quitting is the easiest option. And the suckiest. If acting is what you love and what makes you truly happy, then don't let anybody get in your way. Study with coaches, work hard, be on time, don't get discouraged, be humble enough to keep learning every day. And thank me in your Oscar speech.

Alright, seriously, I have stuff to do. This stack of Glamour magazines aren't going to read themselves.

Till next time,

XO Jewel

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