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Inception's Marion Cotillard Has A Passion To Protect The Earth

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From Ellen Page to Leonardo DiCaprio, and now Marion Cotillard — the cast of Inception continues to surprise me with their commitment to environmental issues.

In the latest edition of Interview Magazine, Cotillard — interviewed by none other than Nicole Kidman — talks about her work with Greenpeace in the Congo, as well as the upbringing that inspired her to work in green circles. Here are some highlights:

On the Congo:

I was in the Congo for a week because I’ve been working with Greenpeace for a while and I’ve been wanting to do a documentary about the forest there. It’s one of the most ancient forests in the world and I met all of these amazing people who are trying to fight against the timber industry cutting down the trees there. People were telling me all about their lives and how they are trying to survive in a country where there is so much corruption. I even slept in one of the forest villages. I really connected to the people there—their hopes and despair and struggles. It was an intense and beautiful trip.

On her upbringing:

Respect the place you live, be aware of the impact that you have on things. I was lucky to have this education growing up. I was born in Paris and raised in the suburbs and then lived in the countryside. We had a beautiful house with a huge garden. When I moved to the country, I was really connected to nature and the seasons. So when I finally went back to Paris, I had a very hard time connecting with the city again and the way we waste so much. I started to read and teach myself about the environment—and why it was not organic and natural to be living in the city.

On today’s environmental awareness:

I’m very happy with what’s happening now and how the awareness is spreading. Because 10 years ago my mind-set wasn’t really normal for most people. I sounded like a crazy person talking about the environment. People saw me as a hippie who wanted to make my own cheese and live with animals in a house without electricity.

On human nature — and the ability of society to change for the better:

I believe in human beings absolutely. Sometimes I’m just a little disturbed by how we rule the world. When I was a teenager I was so angry. I was asking questions like, “Why am I here? Why are we alive? What am I doing?” Now I’ve stopped searching for those answers—which I might never get. I think it’s more important to feel connected. When I was in the Congo I couldn’t speak the language. But I could understand what was happening by looking in someone else’s eyes.

Check out the full interview over at Interview Magazine.

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