Acting Up

The Prime Suspect star on his real-life Truman Show and why Studio City is home for the holidays.

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    Elyse Glickman

Tim Griffin has been going places for two decades. As a true “working actor,” Griffin’s roles have taken him around the world in The Bourne Supremacy and back in time for the George Clooney-anchored Leatherheads. Those, plus memorable turns on TV’s Grey’s Anatomy and 24, ultimately steered him into Prime Suspect, playing the wisecracking foil to Maria Bellow’s dead-serious detective.

Given the intensity of Griffin’s work schedule, it’s no surprise that the Chicago-bred actor rooted himself and his family in the tranquil, familial Studio City enclave of Colfax Meadows. When he’s not taking down the bad guys on TV, he and wife Alicia construct and remodel homes.

“When my wife got pregnant, we realized we needed to live somewhere where we could have a yard with flat land,” recalls Griffin. “Though we loved Laurel Canyon, Studio City is one of those rare places within LA that has roots dating back past the 1920s, including mature growth trees. You can really know your neighbors and do things like go on family bike rides. When we landed here in 2000 and started building our houses, we initially felt like we were in The Truman Show because people just came up and started conversations.”

Tim’s family home is based on the work of early 20th-century architect George Washington Smith, whose simple Andalusian farmhouse style defined 1930s Santa Barbara elegance. However, Tim stresses that the family’s lifestyle echoes more of a grounded midwestern mindset that the couple wants their children to experience, right down to the brick buildings and parkland of The Wesley School attended by their 11-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter. 

“Living here enables us to be centrally plugged in to everything exciting that’s going on in town, but we’ve also got access to a relaxed family vibe,” Griffin details.  “Last year, we spent New Year’s at Spark Woodfire Grill, whose lamb stands as one of my mother’s favorite dishes. This year, we’re planning a large family Christmas gathering at our home. We’re looking forward to a very local holiday!”