CSI’s Wallace Langham on Hot Towels, Traveling First Class and Dressing Up for Your Flight


Photo by Richard Cartwright - © 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Image: Richard Cartwright – © 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc.

Wallace Langham is an American actor known for his role as the lab technician David Hodges on the television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. He has also made appearances in Little Miss Sunshine, The Social Network and recently joined the cast of the TV drama LBJ (Lester B. Johnson) playing John F. Kennedy’s special assistant.


Image: Melissa Voyagis Langham

Wallace Langham
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Location: LAX
The future of flight will be: Supersonic
Favorite airport: LHR
Favorite aircraft: A380
Passport stamp you wish you had: Nepal

First travel memory?
I vividly remember flying from LAX to DFW in 1975 to see my father. I was 10 years old and it was the days when folks used to dress up to fly. Flying back then was an event, a shared experience that people seemed to think was worthy of a special outfit much like going to a theater performance. I made my mother buy me a three-piece brown suit with a peach shirt, unbuttoned, no tie. This was the 1970s after all! The only things missing for me were a gold chain and some chest hair. I was the darling of the flight attendants. They doted over me and made me feel so special.

“Flying back then was an event, a shared experience that people seemed to think was worthy of a special outfit.”

Craziest travel experience?
I was on a six-hour train ride from Haridwar, India, to catch a flight in Delhi. While stopped in a station, there was a loud crash. I turned around to see that a window behind me was shattered, as if from a bullet, and shards covered the woman who was sitting there. Luckily, she wasn’t hurt, but it prompted me to move to the next car. I found a seat next to a gorgeous woman with the most beautiful big brown eyes I’d ever seen. We spent the rest of the train ride having a lovely, in-depth conversation. Once we reached Delhi we exchanged information and kept in touch. I’m happy to say that she later became my wife!

Most comfortable flight you’ve ever had?
My wife and I were lucky enough to be invited to the Monte Carlo Television Festival a while back. They were kind enough to fly us on British Airways first class from Los Angeles to London-Heathrow, then onto Nice. The cabin updates are superb with individual lie-flat pods; the in-flight entertainment had a great selection (I love catching up on anything BBC); the food was terrific and our flight attendant, James, made us feel like royalty.

“Our flight attendant, James, made us feel like royalty.”

Travel advice or tips on how to relax?
I started meditating a few years ago. It has definitely changed my life. It was a welcome bonus to be told by my teacher that when flying, I (or anyone) could meditate for as long as I like. I would suggest that. Even if you don’t have a meditation practice, just sitting still and following your breath in and out can have a calming effect. You are in your seat for a few hours anyway, why not?

Regular meal or specialty?
It’s funny, I try and stick to a fairly healthy eating regime while at home. Generally a balance of proteins, fruits, vegetables. I’m not perfect, but I do the best that I can. When I fly, especially international, I always think that I want to maintain, or even “correct” my eating choices. So, I’m often tempted to order a specialty meal, but at the last minute, I always go with what’s offered. I love the surprise of it!

“At the last minute, I always go with what’s offered. I love the surprise of it!”

How hot do you like your hand towels?
I like them hot! Aside from my favorite sushi restaurant, the only other place I get hot towels are on board. After waiting in lines, checking bags and boarding, having a hot towel refreshes me. My ritual goes something like this: After being offered the hot towel, I pinch the corner and shake it open to the side, waving it around to let it “breathe” a bit. Then, I’ll wash my hands. The warmth seeping into my hands instantly relaxes me. Once all of the heat is gone, I flip the towel over and wash my face. Now, here comes the odd part: I try and re-fold the towel back to its original shape, so that when the flight attendant returns, it looks as though it was never used.

Digital or print?
It’s really a toss-up. I am leaning more towards digital for the ease of it. I believe that most of the world travels with some sort of smartphone, so it’s quite easy to just present one at check-in, have it scanned and go on your merry way. However, there is something satisfying to me about having a piece of paper in my hand with my name on it. Admittedly, the paper ones tend to slip out of my back pocket while I’m walking to the gate.

If you weren’t doing your current job, what would you love to be doing?
I’d like be a woodworker of some kind. My father built houses for a living before becoming an elevator repairman. He always had tools lying around the house and gave me his scraps to saw, hammer and nail. I’ve always admired woodworkers. It’s an instant transformation to take a piece of wood and change its shape and have an immediate result. There’s something very powerful about that to me.