In Tony Hale’s Disney+ show The Mysterious Benedict Society, the second season of which wraps up this week, a group of brilliant children set off on adventure across the globe in search of the titular mentor. Of course, as is often the case, Vancouver stands in for these fantastical landscapes, and it’s a happy place for Hale. “It’s so unbelievably beautiful,” says the actor, who spent most of season one filming there amid pandemic restrictions. “It really forced me to do a deep dive. I was doing a lot of hiking, past the Capilano Bridge, or I’d walk around Gastown and Milltown.” More recently, with things opened back up, he’s found new favorite spots. “I went to these great restaurants, Fable and The Greek [by Anatoli], and there’s a whole outdoor shopping area, Granville,” he says. “It’s not just the industry—it’s much more a melting pot of people.”
His work has brought him around the world, but it’s actually trips to his hometown that he can’t get enough of, while his most beloved vacation of all time may have involved Mickey Mouse. Tony Hale chatted with Condé Nast Traveler about hotel pillows, in-flight sleep (or lack thereof), and why grocery stores in other cities are so soothing.
Why planes make for the best work environments:
I always come with a book that I never read—one or two books that never get touched. But I just produced this movie called Sketch in Nashville, so anytime I was flying, I loved giving notes on scripts. I’m super focused on planes when it comes to scripts and notes! [Flying] feels like a constant hug, a white noise hug, almost. It fully narrows me in, and I’m much more focused on a plane than I am at home. It’s like a coffee shop, where you have people around you, but they’re not with you, so it’s noise and chaos around you, but I can focus within that.
And the one thing you won’t catch him doing:
I cannot fall asleep, because I’m the person that’s like, does anyone recognize that we are in the sky in a metal container? This is very odd! My body is constantly like, “Ah, I’ve got questions. How does this work?” My body just cannot relax. I wish I could.
His first time in first or business class:
I think it was 1999, and I was shooting a commercial for Volkswagen. They brought me out to Los Angeles to do this Mr. Roboto commercial. I had always walked by business and first class, you know? It was just, “Wow, they’ve got a lot of room there.” It’s almost the wizard behind the curtain, and so I couldn’t believe I was there. I still can’t believe it when I’m flown business. I’m that kid who’s like, Did somebody make a mistake? Are you sure you didn’t mean 25-B? I’m in awe that I get to sit there and get the warm nuts.
His priorities when planning a vacation: