Sarah Michelle Gellar stars in the new CBS comedy The Crazy Ones, but when it comes to subjects like saving the environment and keeping kids safe, she takes them pretty seriously.
When Gellar was approached by Unilever to take part in Project Sunlight (which encourages people to take steps, no matter how large or small, toward sustainability), she was happy to help a cause close to her heart. "It's sort of amazing," Gellar said. "It's like if someone came to you and said, 'Hey, we want to go public with everything you believe in. Would you want to stand in front and talk about something that you actually live your life doing?' and I'm like, 'For real?'"
Gellar was enthusiastic when asked to talk about what Project Sunlight is all about. "We're promoting the idea of living sustainably to provide a healthier, better future for tomorrow's children," she said.
Even just one person can make a difference to the planet. "That's what we're trying to show, is that every little bit helps," Gellar said. "Every one person makes a difference. We're all just one person, but collectively, together, that's how you make the difference. Even if you're in a hotel room, don't leave the water running."
Another subject close to Gellar's heart is the #NoKidsPolicy campaign started by Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard. "You know, Kristen Bell — she's a hero, she really is," Gellar said. "She shows that when one person takes initiative and gathers a group of people, you can effect change. You can effect great change. You can effect it quickly. And that's what we as citizens, as humans, as all of us on Earth have to do."
The campaign has already gotten a number of media outlets to agree not to show unauthorized paparazzi photos of the children of celebrities. Gellar doesn't think children should have to suffer because their parents happen to be in the industry.
"Yes, I have a job for a living and I understand people have an interest in it, but they don't realize what goes on behind the scenes, [such as] when you try to take your daughter to a ballet class and 10 large men with cameras get in her face. Think about, as a little person, just looking up and how scary that is visually."
For Gellar, the impact of the paparazzi has had an adverse effect on her own daughter. "[Having paparazzi around] alienates her from friends. Other families don't want to have play dates because they think it endangers their child. It can affect your child getting into a school because they don't want that kind of negative attention."
Sadly, Gellar's daughter has learned to see cameras negatively, even at home. "My daughter doesn't like to take a family picture. She'll say 'no pictures.' To her, she doesn't know the difference from me trying to take an iPhone picture of her to these men with cameras, because she associates it all so negatively."
By taking part in the campaign, Gellar hopes to send out a larger message. "What I implore everybody to understand is these aren't just my children. These are your children, because they're your future. That's the world we're leaving. You want to provide them an environment where they feel safe, where they feel protected and where they feel like they can accomplish anything. Because any [one] of our kids is the next Steve Jobs [or] the next — any great leader you can think of."
Paparazzi aside, Gellar is enjoying every minute of being on The Crazy Ones, especially while working with comedy legend Robin Williams. "I wish I could say it was intimidating, but it's just such a pleasure and a joy," she said. "I know that very few percent of the world gets to live the life that I do, which is to go to work every day and to look forward to it, to love what they do, to be around people that you not only love their creative side, but you enjoy who they are as people."
If you want a glimpse into how much fun the cast and crew are having on set, Gellar advises sticking around to watch after the final credits. "It's one of the reasons I love the bloopers at the end of our show, because it's the one time you really get insight into how much fun we're having. When you see that, you actually see the camaraderie, you see the joy that we have doing it every day."
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