Celebrity Interview: Jeanne Tripplehorn

Jeanne Tripplehorn
Photo by Bryan Bantry

Known for her breakout role in Basic Instinct, Jeanne Tripplehorn went on to star in such films as The Firm and Waterworld. She was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2009 for her role in Grey Gardens, and drew critical acclaim for the HBO drama series Big Love.

With feline eyes and a statuesque frame, Jeanne Tripplehorn exudes Old Hollywood glamour. The actress, 49, who grew up in Oklahoma, has built a 25-year career gracing the big and small screens. Known for her breakout role in Basic Instinct, Tripplehorn went on to star in such films as The Firm and Waterworld. She was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2009 for her role in Grey Gardens, and drew critical acclaim for the HBO drama series Big Love. Now, the Hollywood Hills resident is starring on CBS’ Criminal Minds, and getting ready to release a film, Morning, written and directed by her husband, Leland Orser. (“It’s the single piece of work I’m most proud of,” she says.) Tripplehorn sat down with Where to talk co-stars, her favorite holiday shopping spots and the happiest place on Earth. —Jessica Radloff

Did you have the acting bug from a young age?

From a very, very early age, I had a vivid imagination, which evolved into acting in community theater and having my own television and radio show in Tulsa, Okla. My mother and grandmother were incredibly supportive…. If it wasn’t for their unwavering belief in me, I would not be where I am today.

What do you remember about your early days in L.A.?

Basic Instinct was moving production from San Francisco to L.A. They rented a convertible for me to drive myself down Highway 1. It was a glorious drive that ended at the Chateau Marmont, where I checked in [and] ordered room service, and Singing in the Rain was on TV. I knew I had arrived!

You were part of such an amazing ensemble on Big Love. How often do you see the cast?

I see Chloë [Sevigny] all the time. When she’s in L.A., she’s always at my house. Ginny [Goodwin] is my neighbor, so we see each other often. We also share an intense love of Disneyland and go with my son, August, at least once a year. Bill [Pullman] is always traveling with work, but we email all the time. I think “big love” is an apt description for the feelings we all have for each other.

Were you a fan of Criminal Minds before joining the show?

I don’t watch a great deal of television and had actually never heard of Criminal Minds, but I really wanted to play a character that was completely different from Barb on Big Love. Alex Blake is certainly a complete 180. It’s been very fulfilling.

Let’s talk L.A. What are your go-to spots for gift shopping?

I love books and music, so I’ll be going to Book Soup and Amoeba Music. For the home, my favorite is Nickey Kehoe. And for all things fashion, it’s Opening Ceremony and Satine.

Where do you go to indulge in your favorite foods?

I like Lucy’s El Adobe for Mexican, La Scala for their chopped salads, Matsuhisa for sushi and the Beverly Hills Hotel Polo Lounge as well as their coffee shop. Musso and Frank [is] like stepping back in time—Old Hollywood at its best.

Finally, what’s the most “L.A.” thing you do, and the least L.A. thing you do?

The most L.A. thing I do is earn a living as an actor. The least L.A. thing I do is [not] frequent a plastic surgeon’s office.


Amoeba Music 6400 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, 323.245.6400 Book Soup 8818 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A., 310.659.3110 Chateau Marmont 8221 Sunset Blvd., L.A., 323.656.1010 Disneyland 1313 S. Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, 714.781.4636 La Scala 434 N. Cañon Drive, Beverly Hills, 310.275.0579 Lucy’s El Adobe 5536 Melrose Ave., L.A., 323.462.9421 Matsuhisa 129 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.659.9639 Musso & Frank Grill 6667 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323.467.7788 Nickey Kehoe/NK Shop 7221 Beverly Blvd., L.A., 323.954.9300 Opening Ceremony 451 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, 310.652.1120 The Polo Lounge The Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows, 9641 Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.887.2777 Satine 8134 W. 3rd St., L.A., 323.655.2142; 1508 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, 310.450.6218

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