La vida local

Baseling with ‘Titanic’ actor Billy Zane

 
 
Zane
Zane
Jason Merritt / Getty Images for Nespresso

Post Titanic, Billy Zane (who played Kate Winslet’s egomaniacal, jilted fiance) spends his days painting. He started in Mexico while filming the James Cameron 1997 blockbuster. He hasn’t stopped since, having recently finished an exhibition in London. We caught up with the 47-year-old actor during his invitation-only Art Basel exhibition, NOWNESS, at Hotel Victor in Miami Beach Saturday night.

Describe your artwork process. Do you have any preconceived ideas about what you work on?

The paintings are very spontaneous, and they are derived from limitation in that I do most of them on film sets. And I don’t bring materials with me, and I use what I find in hardware stores, marine supply, garden centers. And I paint usually just off-set or convert part of the house I’m staying in into a studio…even the pH of the water informs the piece, if I’m on an island or in South Beach, I might use salt water.

What is the strangest material that you’ve taken from a movie location to use for painting?

When I can’t find canvas, I’ll use potato sacks or pieces of a sail. I’ve used an umbrella, a canvas umbrella off of its wire. I’ve used dirt, I’ve used wine, I’ve used a lot of house paint, boat paint, you know, various fluids.

Explain the concept behind NOWNESS.

It deals with the immediacy and improvisation of ‘nowness’ of the creation as happening as much more of a physical act than a conceptual offering. I guess it harkens back to the school of action painting.

Do you ever get tired of being the actor from ‘Titanic’ as opposed to an artist?

Not at all. Titanic was an incredible calling card and a means to an end, really. It’s extraordinary. It’s brought fabulous international access. I’m enjoying this particular expression at present.

What are your future plans regarding your artwork?

I’m actually working on curating the next show called ‘Art Department,’ which will be a celebration of the artisans on film sets, who are wonderful artists in their own right: Set designers, graphic designers, scenic painters, production designers: They’re all phenomenally talented. They’re meant to be kind of seamless. I wanted to curate a show about six of these people next to examples of their work on set.

Given how close we are to the Atlantic Ocean, I have to ask, are you a swimmer?

Yeah, I was in “the juice” today. I pined for it. It’s in my DNA. I’m Greek. I find that whether I’m drinking olive oil or swimming in the sea or getting some sunshine, I’m in trouble.

Anthony Cave

Read more People stories from the Miami Herald

  • The television scene

    ‘Game of Thrones’ stars visit Miami to talk fantasy

    When Game of Thrones hit HBO in 2011, readers of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice series were easy converts. The violence, nudity and dragons quickly hooked the non-readers, too, helping the series pull in a record 6.6 million viewers for the Season 4 premiere last week.

  • Radar

    Hot stuff celebrities love

    Thin is in — always. Need a snack that isn't salt- or fat-filled? Nonni's ThinAddictives are a must for any health minded snacker's pantry or desk drawer. These wholesomely delish biscotti-like crunchers are way convenient, tidily wrapped in pre-portioned, 100-calorie freshness packs. Two new flavors, Banana Dark Chocolate and Blueberry Oat Almond, just got celebrity trainer/“Naked Fitness” author Andrea Metcalf’s A-OK. At Publix, Costco and www.nonnisfoods.com

  • Celebrity birthdays on April 20

    Actor George Takei is 77. Actor Ryan O’Neal is 73. Keyboardist Craig Frost of Grand Funk Railroad is 66. Actress Jessica Lange is 65. Actor Clint Howard is 55. Actor Crispin Glover is 50. Actor Andy Serkis is 50. Actress Carmen Electra is 42. Actor Joey Lawrence is 38. Multi-instrumentalist Clay Cook of the Zac Brown Band is 36.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category