Emmanuelle Chriqui, actor and activist | Photo courtesy of Naj Jamai
She played Sloan, the love interest on HBO's rabidly popular Entourage, and now portrays Lorelei on The Mentalist. In her free time, Emmanuelle Chriqui is an environmental activist: She has helped plant school gardens in low-income neighborhoods, took a life-changing trip to Africa, and, since 2007, has helped run the Environmental Media Association, which promotes eco-efforts in the entertainment industry.
Q: How did you get involved with the Environmental Media Association?
A: Years ago, I was shopping for a new car and was excited about the Prius. Someone put me in touch with Debbie Levin, who's the president of EMA. We hit it off famously. She saw my inclination toward living a natural life and asked if I'd be interested in joining.
Q: What natural-lifestyle things were you already doing?
A: About 10 years back, I was getting frequent throat infections. I saw a kinesiologist, who told me I was having a terrible time absorbing vitamins because of the water we drink—the chlorine and all the stuff in it. From that, I developed this hyperconsciousness about water and natural products. Also, I have always eaten organic food and done the small things you can do at home, like recycling.
Q: What or who originally influenced your thinking about environmentalism?
A: It started in how I grew up. My mom always had a beautiful garden and always made everything from scratch. We had a salad every night with dinner, and dessert was fruit or maybe a homemade apple tart. Also, watching An Inconvenient Truth just floored me. I was like, "Oh, hell no. I am not sitting back."
Q: Do you have a favorite place outdoors?
A: I had the great fortune of going to Kenya. It honestly changed me. I've never felt so insignificant—but in a positive way. I realized that this land does not belong to us. You see these giant, roaming animals, and you're like, "No, this is theirs."