We love them on screen, but these celebrities stole our hearts because of the work they do behind the scenes.
JGL had to top my list because he is my biggest celebrity crush. Although he stole my heart in 500 Days of Summer, I fell in love with his commitment to supporting artists. He founded a collaborative online community at hitrecord.org.
HitRECord is an open and collaborative community, where anyone can contribute text, images, audio and videos to work on projects together. Participants can participate in creative challenges by uploading original pieces of work or adding on to what others have already started.
HitRECord also functions as a production company, and all contributors get fairly compensated for their work. Since 2010, the site has raised over $2 million.
Artists on the site have worked together to create books, apparel, music, art and other projects available for purchase.
Media projects are also featured on Pivot in a show called HitRECord ON TV. Each episode features a different theme, pieced together from different projects created on the site.
I love how actress Gina Rodriguez stays focused on celebrating her Latina heritage and breaking down Hollywood stereotypes in each role she plays. She made her big break starring in a movie called Filly Brown, where she played a young rap artist.
In an interview with Complex.com, she said “At the end of the day we are all one race, which is the human race. Filly Brown could have been a black girl, a white girl, an Asian girl. The story is relatable to all people, but it’s very special to Latinos because it’s a story we can also call our own.”
After her success in this movie, Rodriguez turned down some other roles because she was unhappy with the way Latina characters were represented. She now stars in the CW hit series Jane the Virgin, which is recognized for breaking ground in terms of diversity and feminism.
Rodriguez goes the extra mile for her fans, even responding to tweets to offer advice.
Actress Brie Larson is constantly radiating support and empathy, like the moment when she hugged each of the sexual assault survivors after Lady Gaga’s 2016 Academy Awards performance. I’ve started to love Larson a little extra each day since I started following her on social media.
Dr. Su’ad Abdul Khabeer said in a tweet, “You don’t need to be a voice for the voiceless. Just pass the mic.” Larson embodies this ideal. She gives other activists access to her accounts to share their stories and experiences directly with her hundreds of thousands of followers.
Hollywood figures get a lot of criticism when involving themselves in social issues for being “out of touch” with the struggles of average American citizens. Larson doesn’t pretend to understand exactly what everyone is going through, but she often reaches out to her followers to hear their perspective on issues and their ideas of how to fix things.
I really love the way Larson responds to online trolls. She never attacks anyone, but rather takes the opportunity to have a civil discussion about their difference of opinions. Many social media users could take note of Larson’s debate approach to make Facebook a more friendly place.
You might think of Ashton Kutcher as that goofy guy from That ’70s Show, but he’s someone you should take seriously.
As co-founder of Thorn, Kutcher does major work to combat child sexual abuse. This organization drives technology innovation to combat predatory behavior, rescue victims and protect vulnerable children. Kutcher said Thorn helped find 6,000 human trafficking victims in 2016.
In February, Kutcher passionately testified against sex trafficking before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
If this cause interests you, there are many ways you can get involved.
As Founder and President of the Joyful Heart Foundation, Mariska Hargitay works toward a world free of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. I think that’s a cause her character Detective Benson on Law & Order: SVU would gladly get behind.
End The Backlog is a major initiative of the Joyful Heart Foundation. There are currently hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits in US police and crime lab storage facilities. According to the site, there are 3,044 untested kits in Pennsylvania alone. If tested, these kits could identify unknown assailants and reveal serial offenders to help solve and prevent crime.
Which celebrities support causes you care about? Tell us in the comments!