Trudie Styler is an acclaimed actress, director, producer and humanitarian. Her concerns for the environment and human rights motivate many of her career choices, and are reflected in her documentary films and fundraising activities. As an ambassador for UNICEF, she’s committed to improving the lives of impoverished and exploited children all over the world. With her production company, Xingu Films, Styler has used her creative talents and expertise to produce award-winning films.
Styler’s first documentary, the award-winning “Moving the Mountain,” told the stories of the student leaders of the 1989 demonstration for democracy in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Subsequent documentaries include “Boys from Brazil,” about transgender Brazilian prostitutes, and “The Sweatbox,” a documentary on the making of the Disney animated feature “The Emperor’s New Groove.” Feature films and collaborations include “The Grotesque”; Guy Ritchie’s “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch”; and “Greenfingers.” Her most recent feature film is “Moon” with Sam Rockwell.
A leading player in the Royal Shakespeare Company during the 1980s, Styler studied drama at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and has extensive experience in British repertory theatres. In 1989, along with her husband, Sting, Trudie Styler started the Rainforest Foundation, an organization devoted to protecting rainforests and their indigenous peoples.
ROBIN BRONK: If you had five minutes in the Oval Office with President Obama, what would you discuss with him? What issue would you like him to know about?
TRUDIE STYLER: I would talk to President Obama about the strong stand he quite rightly took on the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and how I believe he should take an equally strong stand with a U.S. oil company whose conduct results in environmental catastrophe on foreign land — such as Chevron’s actions in Ecuador and their ongoing evasion of responsibility.
RB: If you could give President Obama one piece of advice, what would that be?
TS: Be as firm with American companies as he is with companies from elsewhere in the world; otherwise he runs the risk of being charged with hypocrisy.
RB: If you could ask President Obama one question, what would that be?
TS: You will obviously be remembered as America’s first black president. But what do you want your presidency to be remembered for?
RB: Would you ever consider a political career?
TS: I have passionate views and am very vocal about many issues. It’s important to me to be independent and to feel free to speak my mind, so I think I’d find it too difficult to have to toe any party political line.
Bronk is a seasoned Capitol Hill strategist and advocate. She started her career at The Creative Coalition, a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group for the arts and entertainment industry, in July 1998. During her tenure as CEO, Bronk has taken The Creative Coalition from a New York-based entity to a national organization. www.thecreativecoalition.org