ByAllanah Faherty, writer at
Senior staff writer | Twitter: @allanahfaherty | Email: [email protected]
Allanah Faherty

While any job is sure to change your life in some respect, there are some that truly have a long-lasting impact. Actors and actresses are no except to this experience, and despite the fact that they earn their money playing pretend, there are some stars whose lives have been forever changed by taking on roles in certain films.

Take a look at these four celebrities whose lives were changed by films they worked on throughout their careers:

James Cromwell — 'Babe'

Cromwell as Farmer Hoggett in Babe
Cromwell as Farmer Hoggett in Babe

Though James Cromwell had already been a vegetarian since seeing the "heartbreaking" sight of feedlots in 1975, it was his appearance in the 1995 film Babe that turned him into an ethical vegan. Aside from veganism, Cromwell also champions many animal welfare causes, including the use of animals in entertainment, horse slaughter and hound hunting. In 2015, Cromwell spoke about how Babe influenced his lifestyle:

"After having worked all morning with these extraordinary animals, I'd see their relatives on the lunch table. They had ham and duck, every animal except horse. That's when I said, 'I've got to try to be a vegan.' And for the most part, I have been vegan since 1994."

George Clooney — 'Syriana'

George Clooney in Syriana
George Clooney in Syriana

After starring in Syriana, a movie about the state of the oil industry, George Clooney became involved in a campaign called Oil Change, whose goal was "to eliminate America’s dependence on foreign oil." He partnered with the environmental organization Sierra Club, became an early adopter of electric vehicles (first driving an all-electric Tango, then Tesla Roadster EV), and invested huge amounts of money in satellite surveillance to monitor potential human rights abuses in Sudan. Talking about why he got involved in the project, Clooney said:

"If you’re doing a movie about oil consumption and corruption, you can’t just talk the talk. You gotta walk the walk."

Interestingly, Clooney uses the money he makes as the face of Nespresso to bankroll the ongoing the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP).

Angelina Jolie - 'Lara Croft: Tomb Raider' and 'Beyond Borders'

Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft
Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft

While filming in Cambodia for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Angelina Jolie witnessed first hand "the effects of a humanitarian crisis." After returning home she contact the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for more information on international trouble spots, and then began visiting refugee camps worldwide. In 2001 she was named a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and since then has been on over 40 field missions in over 30 countries.

After filming Beyond Borders in 2003, Jolie became a patron to the Harnas Wildlife Foundation in Namibia. Jolie first visited the Harnas farm while filming Beyond Borders, as the movie features vultures rescued by the foundation.

Angelina Jolie's humanitarian efforts are extremely vast, and a true example of a celebrity using their status for good. To read more about her charity work, have a look over here.

Janet Leigh - 'Psycho'

While the other actors on this list may have had movies change their lives for the better, that wasn't the case for poor Janet Leigh.

After Leigh appeared in the Alfred Hitchcock classic Psycho, the actress was so traumatized by the iconic shower scene that she stopped showering altogether. In 1995 the actress told the New York Times, "I stopped taking showers and I take baths, only baths." And when Leigh stays at a hotel or a friend's home with only a shower, she goes the extra step to stay safe while keeping clean. "I make sure the doors and windows of the house are locked," she revealed, "and I leave the bathroom door open and shower curtain open. I'm always facing the door, watching, no matter where the shower head is."

Which of these life changes surprised you the most?

Source: Humane Society, New York Times


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