Vanessa Angel reflects on her time in LA

Model-actress mom extraordinaire Vanessa Angel has lived in L.A. for nearly 30 years. If you are a bit older, you may know her from the classic Farrelly brothers comedic film Kingpin. If you are my mom, she calls from the east coast to tell me she saw Vanessa on the Hallmark Channel.

After gracing the covers of every well-known fashion magazine in her early modeling years, Vanessa made her way from England as a teen to the US then bravely moved from NYC to LA catapulting her career with comedies like the 1985 film Spies Like Us.

You may have spotted her in an old school episode of Baywatch or Melrose Place, in Entourage playing herself, or even Californication – where she brought me on set about ten years ago to meet her old friend David Duchovney.

Our own friendship began with her daughter in my third-grade classroom and evolved as she guided me with a kid’s T-shirt line called Wear2Learn after designing her own silk dress line (once sold at Ron Robinson).

From supporting each other at funerals, my own wedding, and life’s bumps in the road, LA gave me Vanessa who is quite simply a real angel. She is one of the kindest people I know. Often known by the public as a sex symbol or the girl next door goddess, to me Vanessa is one of my dearest friends over the last ten years. We figured it was about time to get the LaLaScooop from Vanessa Angel about her Los Angeles history and her favorite L.A. spots.

Question and Answer with Vanessa Angel

Q: How long have you lived in LA? Why do you like LA?

A: I’ve lived in LA since 1992! Hard to believe it’s been that long, and more time than I’ve lived anywhere! I like LA because of it’s geography, abundant natural beauty, and proximity to a diverse landscape, beaches, mountains, and desert all within reach. I like the diversity in culture and the artistic community I’ve been fortunate to be around. I’ve met and known many wonderful and interesting people living here. Many come here with dreams, passion, and grit. It can be a hard path to navigate but its rewards are great if you stay the course! Things feel different in LA since the pandemic sadly. Like most major cities it’s feeling the effects more acutely.

Q: What are you most proud of in your career?

A: The longevity probably. I did my first film in 1985, so that’s 35 years. It’s hard especially for actresses to navigate through the different age transitions, but I feel like if you love it enough and can stay the course, it’s a rewarding career. I think Kingpin is probably the movie I’m most proud to be in, especially since it became a cult classic and I’ll always have fond memories of the 4 years on Weird Science, I grew a lot as an actress from that experience.

Q: What are you most proud of in your life?

A: Raising an amazing daughter. So proud of the wonderful and accomplished young women she became, now at USC as a sophomore basketball player and at the Annenberg School of Journalism there. Also, having the determination and stamina to overcome obstacles, including difficult trauma as a teen, finding the courage to move from the UK at 16 to start a new life for myself in the US.

Q: What is one of your favorite movies?

A: So many but Lost in Translation is coming to mind for some reason!

Q: What shows have you made appearances in over the years?

A: Baywatch, Stargate SG1, Entourage, Californication, Reasonable Doubts, Being Mary Jane, many more but those are probably the most recognized.

Q: What are some of your favorite LA restaurants?

A: Nobu in Malibu is my absolute favorite! I like The Ivy, Katsuya in Studio City, Spago, Republique, and Soho House, which are probably my frequent go-to but some are closed now unless they have outdoor dining areas.

Q: What has been your favorite live music show in LA?

A: Coldplay at the Rose Bowl and Palladium and U2 in various venues!

Q: What is your favorite place to hike in LA?

A: Runyon Canyon; Topanga Canyon; La Tuna Canyon; and Puerco Canyon in Malibu.

Q: What is your favorite workout out in LA?

A: PilatesPlus.

Q: What are some of your favorite ways to unwind and destress in LA?

A: Anything in nature! Hiking, going to the beach, especially Malibu, taking day trips to different areas. Yoga and pilates and spending time with my daughter and friends help me destress too.

Q: If you could pick 3 places to visit in LA, what would they be?

A: Malibu, Griffith Observatory, and looking out to Downtown LA from Mulholland is always magical to me.

Q: Beauty secrets? Anyone you recommend in LA for beauty treatments?

A: I use mostly Dermalogica products, especially the daily resurfacer pads and I’ve been using Neo Strata bio hydrating cream for 25 years. I love Lipikar body balm by La Roche-Posay and Infinity Sun Glo on the Glow (which you turned me onto!). Once in a while, I like to get a body scrub at Beverly Hot Springs and the occasional facial with Raina at Facehaus (before the pandemic).

Q: Where do you love to travel? Where do you dream to travel after the pandemic?

A: I love traveling! I feel very fortunate during my modeling years and movie making I’ve been to 44 countries. Growing up in the UK I always loved visiting European countries as a kid, especially Italy. I even went to Iran as a kid and stayed with family friends. I love absorbing different cultures. Moving to New York at 16 was a big change and I love NYC. I’m partial to nature destinations and have a passion for Hawaii, particularly the east side of Maui. So many places I still want to visit but would love to visit Iceland, India, and South America!

Q: What is your favorite LA memory?

A: I don’t think I could bring it to one favorite memory, there’s so many. I would say that it’s more a general feeling of love for what LA brought to my life, even with the various challenges. I remember the first night at the house I bought in 1996, that felt like a real accomplishment and sanctuary to eventually raise my daughter there.

Q: If there is something you could have changed in the last 30 years, what might that be?

A: My own mindset! Not worrying as much about things that were ultimately out of my control and trusting my own voice to make decisions.

Q: Are there any future projects you can divulge that you are working on?

A: I recently completed, ‘39 Weeks’, the story of the filmmaker’s real-life pregnancy through the pandemic, and ‘Courting Mom and Dad’ a movie for Pureflix. There’s a 2nd season of ‘Sons of Thunder’ hopefully starting later this year and I’m trying to develop a documentary/reality type show too.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share that you wish people knew about you?

A: That there’s more to me than a woman on a beach! As fortunate as I’ve been for the opportunities I’ve had in my life, I’ve struggled with anxiety and periods of depression since a young teen. It’s made me more understanding and compassionate of people and overcoming life’s obstacles, so I can see it now as a great teacher of the inner self!


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