Eco Knights Rising
Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy comes to a close this week, as “The Dark Knight Rises” opens in theaters at midnight Thursday. After eight years of struggling with his new status as a wanted vigilante, Batman (Christian Bale) must contend with newcomers Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) and the brutal and villainous Bane (Tom Hardy).
A very strong supporting-cast trio of Sir Michael Caine as Alfred the butler, Morgan Freeman as Wayne Enterprises wizard Lucius Fox and Gary Oldman as Gotham City police commissioner Jim Gordon. These three have 12 Oscar nominations and approximately 121 years of movie experience between them — and are always a joy to watch. With little time, they add texture, character and richness to the trilogy.
“I tend to think you’re fearless when you recognize why you should be scared of things, but do them anyway.” – Christian Bale
The movie has all sorts of blockbuster buzz as the highly anticipated big budget box office conclusion to what has been a very successful franchise, A-list actors, and a huge fan base. During the film you may root for billion dollar bachelor Bruce Wayne when you know that Christian Bale is an Eco Activist along with many of the other actors and actresses in The Dark Knight Rises.
“I have this theory that, depending on your attitude, your life doesn’t have to become this ridiculous charade that it seems so many people end up living.” – Christian Bale
Christian Bale works actively with Greenpeace and shows support in the environment with non-profit environmental and social worker in various other organizations as well, such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Ark Trust, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, Redwings Sanctuary and Happy Child Mission.
Founded in 1971, Greenpeace is an international environmental organization with the aim of using renewable resources and ending nuclear war. Learn more about the history and evolution of this group… or Read More on Eco Activists and co-stars Anne Hathaway (Selina Kyle) and an interview with Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox).
“A role model is somebody that does things because of what they believe in regardless of what other people think.” – Anne Hathaway
Actress, acclaimed New York soprano, and recognized as one of “The World’s 50 Most Beautiful People”, Anne Hathaway or “Annie” to her friends, notes that “it’s lovely to think that my audience is growing up with me”.
She credits an upbringing of “really strong values” with defining her shape as a person and no better portrayal is her time spent with The Lollipop Theater Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the magic of movies currently in theaters to children confined to hospitals nationwide due to chronic or life-threatening illnesses. In 2008, she hosted a special screening of Get Smart for teenagers, and has also shown The Devil Wears Prada.
Hathaway also contributes to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a nonprofit medical corporation leading pediatric treatment and research on children’s catastrophic diseases.
Her support and voice for children in need extends to additional humanitarian causes. Hathaway is a women’s rights honoree of both Elle magazine’s “Women in Hollywood” tribute and The Step Up Women’s Network, a national, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to connecting and advancing women and girls.
Since the age of 15 she has stood up for her brother’s sexual orientation, and in 2007 she spoke at The Human Rights Campaign gala, the largest LGBT advocacy group and political action committee in the United States.
Hathaway encourages people to “make their voice heard” through the efforts of The Creative Coalition, a premier nonprofit, nonpartisan social and political advocacy organization of the entertainment industry, which educates and mobilizes leaders in the arts community on issues of public importance, specifically in the areas of First Amendment rights, arts advocacy and public education.
“Well, I don’t need any more press. I get enough when I work, but environmental causes is one place where you can get me to open my mouth.” – Morgan Freeman
Famous for roles in films like The Shawshank Redemption and Million Dollar Baby, Freeman might not leap to the top of anyone’s short list of celebrity eco-activists. And frankly, that’s just the way he likes it.
But there was that March of the Penguins narration in 2005. And the same year, he was named to the board of directors of Earth Biofuels, a Dallas-based producer of biodiesel. In fact, Freeman, a onetime Air Force mechanic, remembers getting his first taste of environmental awareness back in the 1980s, when he inhaled a faceful of bus exhaust on a street corner.
As a result, he knows a thing or two about engines of change, but chooses not to toot his own horn. Maybe it’s because he likes a round of golf now and then — he has likened it to a spiritual experience — and doesn’t want to be labeled a hypocrite. Or maybe it’s just who he is.
Celebrities are good at selling stuff. No argument there; no real problem either. Most people understand this. It’s a celebrity’s job to play the part. But when social causes are involved, the sales pitch can become an unnecessary guilt trip or a doomsday warning. Before a celebrity points a finger, my defense is… Hey, who are you to tell me?
You can relax when it comes to Morgan Freeman. Chances are, he doesn’t want to tell you a damn thing. Like most of us, Freeman is living his life, working on his career, and hoping those with the power to make real change will do so.
This under-the-radar environmental approach is pretty intriguing. He freely admits to having no environmental bragging rights, and you won’t find him living in a tree for the sake of protest. Some might think that leaves him open for criticism, while others will find the honesty refreshing.
How do you view the controversy regarding the amount of energy some biofuels take to produce, in terms of their ability to conserve energy?
That’s an empty argument, because nobody is trying to save energy. We’re trying to shift our use of fuel. Forget saving energy; if we get the right kind of energy, there are endless amounts. I think we should be developing every kind of alternative fuel that is available to us. That includes hydrogen to soybeans, from solar to wind. Whatever we can find that is going to help us clean up the environment we should be working really hard on developing. That’s my feeling on all of it.
Where were those feelings first developed for you?
Well, I started some time back. I don’t remember what year it was, but it was back in the ’80s, and I was in New York. A bus came up and then took off, and I had to hold my breath. And I thought, you know, that’s what it is. And then you start looking at places like Santiago, Los Angeles, Beijing, Singapore — all of these places where people are literally dying from the air. Mexico City, wherever there are densities of people, we have environmental problems, and now it’s pretty much global. So what are we talking here, about 25 years of concern.
Twenty-five years after that bus set the light off for you in terms of clean fuels, it’s still not a problem we have solved. Does that leave you more impassioned or more frustrated?
I’m excited about everything. I really am…A lot of people have been thinking about this stuff for a long time. There is a long period of development there, and that is good news.
With four decades in the entertainment industry, how do you view the negative press some celebrities have received for jumping on the eco-bandwagon? Critics admit the celebrity voice can help spread the gospel, so to speak, but is there a point where it becomes empty rhetoric, or even hurts the cause?
We celebrities all know our trump card in this game is to pull focus. If we have an audience, and we have someone we can talk to and say, ‘This is a good idea,’ that’s it.
I’m not a speaker, so I don’t go to environmental events and get up on the podium. This is about as high as I am going to get, podium-wise … [Celebrities] start talking about something that we find — I don’t want to say of interest, but of necessity. It’s no different than pulling together to help people in catastrophic conditions. This qualifies. Our situation, with global warming and air quality and all of that, has gotten to be catastrophic. Otherwise, nobody would be paying attention.
Not being a podium kind of guy, do you find yourself speaking out more now than you have historically, given these catastrophic events?
Well, I don’t need any more press. I get enough when I work, but environmental causes is one place where you can get me to open my mouth. And put my foot in it if necessary. I think the only thing I do that gives me any bragging rights in terms of energy conservation is sailing. Just using wind power.
One of my, and I assume many others’, first memories of your work was in The Electric Company. Given its title, might we see a repositioning of the show, teaching kids about the environment instead of reading?
That. Is. A. Great idea. You want to press that?
We can work on it together?
[Laughing.] We’ll talk about it later.
We’d like to thank Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway, and Christian Bale for all of there activities. We understand your busy schedule and appreciate the time and consideration towards green living.
To all the Eco Diego fans out there, enjoy the Dark Knight Rises.
Gotta collect em all. Check out our friend Steven Shultz blog post on Tea With Lemon …Pointless Drivel Updated Daily!