Turn on your TV, and you’ll see Travis Van Winkle. He is currently a series regular on one of TNT’s most ambitious series The Last Ship from executive producer Michael Bay. The show, which was the #1 new cable series of 2014, has the full cooperation of The US Navy, which is a major coup, and also stars Eric Dane and Adam Baldwin. Season 3 is currently in production. This project has re-teamed Van Winkle and Michael Bay for third time, as the two have previously worked on the blockbuster hits Transformers and Friday the 13th.
Born in Victorville, California,Van Winkle moved as child to Michigan before settling into Peachtree City, Georgia just outside of Atlanta. In 2003 he made the move back to California and on his second day in Los Angeles, he decided to become an actor, booking guest roles on shoes like Shortly thereafter he quickly booked guest roles on television shows like The O.C. before joining the cast of Hart of Dixie and starring in films like Meet the Spartans and Accepted.
In addition to acting, Van Winkle makes time for several charity endeavors including the Big Brother Program, Young Storyteller’s Foundation—which guides children in writing and acting out their first screenplay with the help of some famous faces—Playground of Dreams, a Los Angeles non-profit mentoring program that teams entertainment industry influencers with children to help foster their creativity, confidence, leadership skills and unique purpose in the world and Art of Elysium, which supports visits to children living in hospitals. He was also just appointed Global Ambassador of buildOn, a charity that takes US inner city youth to foreign countries to build schools in global communities that desperately need them and is the founder of “LoveLife,” an event that brings together some of Hollywood’s best and brightest to raise awareness and dollars for the organization. Earlier this month he partnered with Tiltify to present “Lovelife: Livestream” a globally live streamed fundraising event that raised over $100,000 to build three schools in Senegal, Africa and established a new partnership between BigBrothers/BigSisters Los Angeles and buildOn. A documentary about his work and the work of buildOn, that VanWinkle is executive producing, called GROUNDWORK, is currently underway and is expected to make the festival circuit in 2016. He has also played with the Hollywood Knights International basketball league which raises money for various causes and the E League (formerly the NBA E League).
Here, this rising star and athlete (he placed first in the Malibu triathlon!) shares his haute secrets to Los Angeles.
Where were you born: Victorville, CA
How long in LA: Almost 13 years
Neighborhood: Sunset Heights
Best Sushi: Sugar Fish
Best Italian: Osteria Mozza
Best dessert: The Alcove
Best place for a romantic date: Malibu Cafe
Best Sunday brunch: Blue Jam
Best place for a power business meeting: Restoration Hardware Rooftop on Melrose Ave.
If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend? PaliHotel
Favorite shopping venue/boutique: John Varvatos
Best Spa: Burke Williams
Best Steakhouse: BOA
Best Pizza: Fat Tomato Pizza
Best Lunch: Republique
Best Gym/Athletic Facility: Easton Gym Co.
Best Museum/Exhibit: LACMA
Describe your city in three words: Active. Spiritual. Creative.
Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore: Griffith Park
Best Aspect of Los Angeles: My Friends