The Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills’ service is impeccable. The hotel offers award-winning seafood at Culina and world-class treatments at the spa, too. Simply put, the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel is an all-around hospitality gem. But, truthfully, none of that matters to Jill Scott right now. The only things she cares about today are a blanket and a comfortable chair in her room. The Grammy Award-winning singer and seasoned actress isn’t feeling well. You know that radiant smile we’ve grown used to seeing since the Philadelphia native burst onto the scene in 2000? It’s hushed today.
Being the multi-talented professional that she is, though, Jill’s soldiering on with her responsibilities — and right now, it’s promoting Baggage Claim, a romantic comedy based on the 2003 David E. Talbert best seller. In the charming flick, which comes out today, Scott plays Gail, a frisky flight attendant helping her unlucky-at-love coworker Montana (Paula Patton) find a mate before her sister’s wedding in a month. The always-moving Scott is a great fit for the role and an even better one to dish about travel tips and put together a list of can’t-miss things to do in Philly.
Jill, one day you’re in Atlanta. The next you’re in Philly. The next you’re in L.A. How do you keep up the energy to put on a pretty face wherever you go?
Well, luckily there’s makeup, because it helps. It really helps. I don’t eat meat. I drink a lot of water. I sleep whenever I can. If you give me a half-hour [for a nap], it will change my life. I tend to do that. I disappear for spurts. I have to. I disappear for myself, and I’m alone for at least a week, with no one around. The only person I talk to is my son (four-year-old Jett). And then I have some time where it is just him and me, and I’ll try to have that for at least a month, where he’s not going anywhere and I’m not going anywhere. And that has been really, really helpful in maintaining all of this. Just having the balance.
The diversity has been the best part so far — whether I’ve been a poet or singer or actor or writer. Just the diversity of it all. Being able to be a renaissance woman is probably the best part, because in the beginning you only knew me as a singer. And now I’ve directed videos and I’m into philanthropy. I think that’s the best part. I’ve really been blossoming. And I think it is so cool.
In Baggage Claim, your best friend flies all over the country in failed attempts to meet Mr. Right. If you had a real friend in that situation, what would you say to her?
You know, I would help where I could, but I would let them know that I think this is nuts. You know, to go out and actively search for a life partner? In 30 days? That just seems really, really crazy. I mean, you haven’t even stopped holding your stomach in yet [on dates]. You haven’t let them see you at your worst yet. They don’t know you. You don’t know them. But I get it.
In all of your global travels, where have you fallen in love with the people and food the most?
Oh, man, Istanbul.
Oh my God. I love the food. You find street food, like these little restaurants near the bazaar. It’s the best food! Like home-cooked food. Like somebody loves you. I had some awesome cabbage and rice. I don’t eat meat, but I had some kind of beans. It was delicious. The bread was amazing. The wines were amazing. The shopping was incredible. Just the ceiling of the bazaar was gorgeous. Just everything about the people and that energy and hearing the prayers during the course of the day [was good]. That was wonderful. It’s so spiritual to feel that around you. The weather was divine. The people were very generous and I just loved every second of being there.
Is there any place that’s close to your heart here in the U.S.?
I go to the Four Seasons in Dallas and I chill so hard. It’s not the rooms that blow my mind. It is literally the gym and the pool. I just love it so. It’s a vacation. I don’t need anything else. Nothing. I thought the food was fantastic. The pool was the right temperature. It was Jill temperature. There was no tensing getting in that water. I just love it there. [I like] New York, of course. It’s so exciting. There’s so much to do. There’s so much and so little all at the same time. I just love it. I like to find a bench. I like to walk through Central Park and find a bench.
But isn’t somebody going to walk up to you?
Eventually, but it comes with the territory.
If you were telling someone how to spend the perfect day in Philadelphia, what would you say?
You should go to Old City. It’s the historical area in Philadelphia. There are a lot of great tourist attractions. There’s the Philip Syng Physick House. [The doctor] was taking people, putting them in the basement and doing all kinds of experiments on them. And it’s a landmark [today]. Old City is one of my favorite areas, because you’ve got the horse-drawn carriages. The food is amazing. Buddakan is in that area. Fantastic Asian cuisine. It’s not really Asian. It’s fusion. It’s amazing. One of the best restaurants in Philadelphia. It’s consistent. I’ve been going there for years, every time I get home.