Editor's note: This week's Ecollywood was so long, we decided to split it into two parts. Read the other half, about David James Elliott and the stars of Betty White's new sitcom.
Pierce Brosnan, who recently narrated the Disneynature documentary "Oceans", is continuing to speak out for sea creatures. He’s currently appearing in a PSA for savethewhalesnow.org imploring President Obama not to support an International Whaling Commission proposal to lift the ban on commercial whaling, which would add another threat to the dangers whales already face from pollution, entanglement, loss of habitat and ship strikes. Brosnan and his wife, Keely Shaye Smith, were guests at environmental advocacy group Global Green’s 14th Annual Millennium Awards.
"I received one of these awards many years ago and I’m deeply proud of it, and deeply proud of the work that they do,” said Brosnan. About to shoot "Salvation Boulevard", a comedy with Greg Kinnear, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connolly and Marisa Tomei, he’s gratified to see the film industry become eco-friendlier. “There’s more awareness in the movie business now,” he noted. “The young people that are coming through the ranks are very aware of it.”
Not surprisingly, the Gulf oil spill was on the minds of attendees like Rhona Mitra (pictured right), who has been shooting ABC’s summer series "The Gates" in Shreveport and has been frustrated by her inability to help — she wanted to volunteer, but didn’t know how to go about it until Global Green put her in touch with people on the front lines. “I’m going to go down and offer my services every weekend until August. Every time I have a couple days off I’m going to go down and clean the beach, clean the birds, clean the turtles,” declared the London-born actress, a vegan who is looking into buying a biodiesel car.
Playing a vampire for the second time (after "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans") in "The Gates", premiering June 20 on ABC — “apparently, I have a thing for it,” she mused — Mitra analyzed the popular fascination with bloodsuckers. “They’re strong, delectable, immortal creatures and we live vicariously through them. There’s a superhero element to them, and plausibility that we could actually live amongst them. I think people are fascinated by that.”
James Kyson Lee was similarly planning a visit to the Gulf Coast. “I’m in talks with documentarians and we’re going to see if we can get out there and work with people in Congress in some ways,” he said. In L.A., he gets around by bike and in a loaned Chevrolet prototype fuel cell car, a hydrogen-electric hybrid. “I’ve had it quite a while now and it’s great,” he raved. “It’s very functional, zero emissions.”
Up next in the romantic comedy "How to Make Love to a Woman", he’s hoping NBC follows through on a proposed movie that would wrap up the storyline of "Heroes", which was canceled. “It’s too early to talk about the details, but I’m excited about the potential of it,” he said
Michael O’Keefe also weighed in on the Gulf debacle, applauding Kevin Costner and James Cameron for offering their help, but noting, “It says something that they’re relying on an actor and a director to straighten it out. BP has to step up to the plate. But in the larger picture we have to see this crisis as an opportunity and refocus to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and domestic oil. This disaster should be a wake-up call and hopefully will be.”
The actor, who’ll be seen next in a movie about the Russian invasion of Georgia, hopes the proposed California law imposing a 5 cent charge for plastic grocery bags will pass. “Whenever I go shopping I have bags in the car so I don’t have to take plastic bags,” he said.
Judy Greer (pictured left with Allison Brie), who’s currently in "Marmaduke" and will play Jake Gyllenhaal’s love interest in "Love and Other Drugs" this November, does the same. “Sometimes you get into the store and realize, ‘My bags are in the car. Oh well …’ Just go and get them!” she said, noting that she’s looking into installing solar panels at home. “I try to do my part like everyone else, with my driving, with my bags, with my water usage, and supporting organizations like Global Green.”
“I love Global Green and I’m always excited to support them in stopping global warming, saving the environment. It’s great to be here to honor the people and businesses that really embody the idea of creating a sustainable world,” said Allison Brie ("Community"), who sported a Deborah Lindquist dress and sweater ensemble made from hemp silk and recycled materials like vintage leather and cashmere and woven cassette tape. A vintage boutique enthusiast, she also shops her friends’ closets and trades with them. “One person’s trash is another one’s treasure,” she laughed.
The owner of a Nissan Ultima, “a sexy hybrid,” she also buys organic food, carries a refillable water bottle, and turns off idle appliances. “There are all these little ways you can get involved and live a greener life,” pointed out Brie, who will again recur as Trudy on "Mad Men", which has its season premiere on AMC July 25.
Longtime Global Green supporter Cheryl Tiegs (pictured right) told us she’s slowly greening her home. “You don’t have to tear your house down. You start by changing the light bulbs, recycle everything. I have solar, I have salt water in my pool so I don’t have chlorine. I have organic sheets and towels, organic food, of course. I have a room that I just added on that has bamboo on the walls. I’m working with a company called Cambria that does natural quartz countertops — no toxins,” said the former supermodel, who is not a big fan of modeling competition TV reality shows. “They make the girls cry and I don’t think that’s necessary.”
Eco-activist and actress Amy Smart was eager to attend the event for the second time. “I was inspired by all the nominees, all the people that are being awarded here because I love to hear what other people are doing in environmental ways. I’m always thinking, ‘How can I better my life in a more eco-friendly way?’ I think when we have passion it fuels our thinking and taking action.”
Additional photo credits: Rhona Mitra by Michael Caulfield/WireImage; Judy Greer and Allison Brie by Charley Gallay/WireImage; Cheryl Tiegs by FayesVision/WENN.com.