In an earlier post on Ellen Page, I mentioned how important it is for environmental non-profits to align themselves with a celebrity that actually has a passion for the campaigns they’re involved in.
There are lots of examples of this — but the most recent I noticed happened between Leonardo DiCaprio and the Philippine Daily Inquirer. When pressed to discuss his involvement with the World Wildlife Fund’s tiger conservation campaign, the actor said, “How much do you want to know? I could go on. I could bore the hell out of you.”
And then he proceeded to break down their entire campaign for the reporter. It’s brilliant press for an org looking to raise awareness on a such a huge issue. Here’s his answer:
“There are only 3,200 remaining wild tigers in the world,” he began. “The objective is a very interesting one because there’s a lot of species on the brink of extinction. But this is a very compelling one because the tiger is a nearly mythical creature that everyone knows and can immediately identify with. The tigers are being poached and used for medicinal purposes all over Asia. If you put a lot of attention on this animal, like they did with the panda, you can then save their entire habitat and the animals that they hunt and the other animals that live in those jungles.”
He continued: “So in a sense, it’s not just a ‘save the tiger’ campaign—it’s a ‘save the jungles’ campaign. The Indonesian rain forests and jungles throughout all of Asia are being decimated, cut down and not protected. The animals are being poached so the idea is to take this one species, bring a lot of funding behind it, get the local communities involved to protect the animal, get more anti-poachers in place and you can save their habitat.”
Like I said, when DiCaprio gets involved in something, he really does his homework. Not every actor or actress may have the same zeal to deliver, so choose wisely when you approach (or are approached) by someone to rep your cause.