By Bill Keith | June 19, 2010 | People
ON KYLE: Shawl sweater ($185) and flat-front fine chino ($98), Polo Ralph Lauren. 31–33 Main St., East Hampton; ralphlauren.com. ON CALLUM: His own clothing
Crew-neck sweater, Vilebrequin ($450). Americana Manhasset; vilebrequin.com. Flat-front fine chino, Polo Ralph Lauren ($98). 31–33 Main St., East Hampton; ralphlauren.com. Calibre de Cartier watch, Cartier ($9,100). Americana Manhasset; cartier.com
Who would expect Kyle MacLachlan to be a no-show? From Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks to Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives, the actor has always played punctual and meticulous effortlessly. Then again, when we make plans to meet at the Soho House, it didn’t occur to me that the consummate New Yorker might be at the club’s LA outpost. It’s not until I receive a last-minute request to switch locations to West Hollywood hot spot Cecconi’s that I realize we’re on opposite coasts. At least his taste is still spot-on.
As much as he regrets the missed opportunity to sample the much lauded frittatas, it’s for the best: The Washington State native’s parents are visiting and he has already given up the previous day for a photo shoot in Malibu with his nearly two-year-old son, Callum. “It’s hard with a child like that in the frame to take a bad picture. He’s just too darn cute!” the first-time dad says.
For MacLachlan, coming into fatherhood later in life was ideal. “I wasn’t opposed to being a parent, I just didn’t feel as strong a pull toward it. But I was a pretty easy sell,” he says. “Once we began planning and my wife became pregnant, immediately it was the greatest thing in the world. For whatever reason, this is the best time for me. There’s an ease that comes with age, and I have security in my life now that allows for a greater appreciation.”
Though Callum is now entering his terrible twos, MacLachlan has no regrets that he didn’t start sooner—but he does allow that he’s being kept on his toes. “I plan on being very active with him as he grows up, so it keeps me motivated to hit the gym, certainly!” he says. “It’s an incentive for me to stay fit and healthy.”
Even with all the effort it requires, MacLachlan says parenthood hasn’t kept him and his wife, publicist and Project Runway executive producer Desiree Gruber, away from their favorite haunts. “It’s really about timing these days. With Callum’s nap in the middle of the day, it’s usually brunch for us,” he explains, adding that after finishing yesterday’s photo shoot early, they headed straight for Nobu—“We pulled him right up to the table for a quick dinner of chicken skewers!”
It seems Callum’s refined palate is predestined. When in the Big Apple, the family favors meals at Soho’s Lure Fishbar, where friend and owner John McDonald serves Pursued By Bear, a wine MacLachlan launched with Walla Walla-based vintner Eric Dunham in 2005. (The two met when MacLachlan was searching for the perfect Washington red to serve at his 2002 wedding to Gruber.) The oenophile is modest about his achievements—“It continues to evolve and change as I continue to learn, which is the whole point, ultimately”— but both his ’05 and ’06 Cabernet Sauvignons earned a 91 rating from Wine Spectator, and they’re currently on wines lists at Manhattan’s Strip House, The Red Cat and The Little Owl.
If fatherhood hasn’t taken a toll on his gourmand leanings, it’s his golf game that may have taken a hit. “I’ll take a golfing trip to Scotland that I try to do every year for a week, but really I tend to just go to the driving range,” he says. “I have a tough time justifying being away for four, sometimes six hours, and that was true before Callum came along. I really don’t want to be away from him for that long.”
That also goes for his shooting schedule on ABC’s Desperate Housewives, which he has been a part of since 2006. Though the show films 23 episodes during 10 months of production in Los Angeles, he’s never away from his family more than four days in a row. Fortunately, Desperate Housewives’ ensemble nature offers him many extended windows of downtime, and he and Gruber make sure Callum stays in one city for no less than one month at a time—though they realize they won’t soon have even that much flexibility. “That, of course, will diminish when he starts to go to school, and right now the plan is New York,” he says. “We’d love to have another child. That’s definitely in the plan. We’ll make it work as we go.”
Working on a show whose actresses are breathlessly tailed by tabloids is old hat for the former Sex and the City star. But while many New Yorkers are stampeding to this summer’s sequel, MacLachlan is glad he’s not part of the media circus anymore. “I’m happy to have moved on. I enjoyed my time with everybody, but the character of Trey had run his course,” he says. Instead, he’s pleased to spend part of his summer hiatus relaxing with his family in East Hampton. “I really like to run, and there’s nowhere to run in LA, so there are a few runs I’m really looking forward to. I like playing a little golf out there at the National, and I’m sure we’ll go into town once or twice. We need to see some of that madness to remind us why we like to stay in.”
Photographs by Brian Bowen Smith
Styling by Wendi and Nicole for The Wall Group
Grooming by Kim Verbeck for The Wall Group