My London: Jessica Henwick

·3-min read

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I still have my place in west London, in the Hammersmith area. I’ve been there 14 years now — since before Westfield, which is a big deal! It’s really convenient for flying into Heathrow, to get central, to visit my parents in Surrey.

Where would you recommend for a first date?

I love Chinatown, and dim sum is great for a first date. I’d go to Gerrard’s Corner if you want the real thing and Dumplings’ Legend if you want fancy stuff.

Chinatown (Alamy Stock Photo)
Chinatown (Alamy Stock Photo)

Where do you go to let your hair down?

I like the Opium bar in Chinatown. All of my time is there, it’s so convenient for all my friends, some nightlife, good cheap food.

Where do you stay in London?

I’m always at the apartment so I don’t ever get to stay, but I’ve been to the Royal Lancaster and those are some amazing views of Hyde Park.

Best meal you’ve had?

There’s a tiny place in Shepherd’s Bush called Lychee Bay. I’ve been going there since I came to London. It’s Malaysian street food. It brings me back to Malaysia and Singapore and my childhood.

If you could buy any building in London and live there, which would it be?

The Natural History Museum so I could see all the exhibits that are off limits. They have a whole section which you can’t go into. There’s a giant squid that you can’t see any more.

What makes someone a Londoner?

I think you have to have a taste for curry and beer — these are the giveaways that you’ve been in London too long.

Which shops do you rely on?

I did go to the House of MinaLima in Soho recently and that was so cute. It’s two graphic designers primarily known for their designs in the Harry Potter films. It’s almost a museum. I heard about it on the Harry Potter grapevine, I had to buy some merch. And Daunt Books in Holland Park is a cute little book store.

House of MinaLima (MinaLima)
House of MinaLima (MinaLima)

What’s the best thing a cabbie has ever said to you?

Scotland invented money. He was Scottish and that’s how he opened the conversation.

What’s your favourite work of art in London?

There’s an Anicka Yi piece in Tate Modern, it’s like a robotic squid, very Matrix. I’d highly recommend it.

Who do you call when you want to have fun?

I hang out with Priyanka [Chopra] when she’s in town but she’s hardly ever here. My go-to friends are all actors and I call them the Feasters Five — myself, Lourdes Faberes, Kevin Shen, Chris Chung, and Chris’ imaginary wife . And of course we go to eat Asian food, sing karaoke.

Biggest extravagance?

Sleep and massages. When you’re working in the industry you just don’t sleep. A lot of night shoots on your feet.

What are you up to at the moment for work?

I’m just press seven days a week for The Matrix. I’m in LA, I’m about to go to New York and then we’re having the premiere in San Fran. I’m really excited. There’s pressure, what if you pick the wrong outfit?

Who is your hero?

Benedict Wong was my first-ever screen dad and he took me under his wing. He’s been a bit of a mentor to me. We still talk all the time. I love him.

Where would you most like to be buried in London?

I’m not tryin’ a die! Nowhere! I refuse the question!

‘The Matrix Resurrections’ opens in cinemas on 22 Dec

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