Westworld star Evan Rachel Wood has developed a great power in earning a following, and with it she is acting with great responsibility.
Wood, who is also known for roles in Across the Universe and Thirteen, recently took a stand on a political issue plaguing the United States: the border. With debate raging on the handling of illegal immigrants and families which have crossed the American border in seek of refuge, only to find themselves being divided from their families and children being locked away from their parents, Wood was eager to make a difference. As a result, she went straight to the source, heading down to Texas to see what was happening first hand and make what difference she could not only by raising awareness but literally joining the cause.
“I feel like we’re living in an age where it’s really hard to find good information and there’s so much mistrust with information,” Wood said. “With something like this when the stakes were so high I just thought, ‘Well you know, Texas is a 3 hour plane ride, I have the means to do this. If I want to know what’s going on I should just get on the ground and start asking around and talk to the locals and talk to the people at the shelters and see what’s really happening,’ and it confirmed a lot of things that I had already felt.”
Seeing the how the issues as the U.S. and Mexico’s border were being handled truly opened Wood’s eyes, revealing the situation was possibly worse than she had imagined. However, rather than commiserating, Wood was determined to help and share how her followers can, too (which they can research with “#EvanInTX” on social media).
“It also made me realize that there were things that I could do and a lot of information was being withheld about what actually we can do and places that you can donate,” Wood said. “You can actually go and hangout with the kids and not actually in the detention centers but there’s places that they go when they come out of the detention centers or when they’re being held while they’re being processed or right before they’re gonna be deported. If you want to go and be with the people you can do that and if you want to give them supplies you can do that.”
One trip to Texas wasn’t enough for the actress. “I want to go back because there’s so much more to be done and to learn and I could only be there for a weekend,” Wood said. “It was crazy, we were at the Detention Center McAllen right when Elizabeth Warren walked out. So we got to get her testimony first hand. We were standing right next to her when she was talking to reporters and she’s amazing.”
Furthermore, Wood participated in a 24-hour hunger strike which has a real tradition to it, in another effort to raise awareness regarding what is going on at the nation’s borders.
“The 24 hours hunger strike was, it’s funny,” Wood said, pre-fracing a story regarding social media’s reaction. “It is amazing how people can find any reason to kind of make fun of you or if they don’t believe in your cause make you seem really dumb but the 24-hour hunger strike was a part of a prayer circle and it’s kind of like a ritual and it was to pay homage to Caesar Chavez who used to fast with Robert F. Kennedy. The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Center holds these hunger strikes and you get this eagle medallion and you fast for 24 hours and then you give it to somebody else and they fast for 24 hours and then they pass it on, they fast for 24 hours.”
More so than saying she wasn’t going to eat until her demands were met, Wood was delivering a message of respect while simultaneously raising awareness.
Watch ComicBook.com’s full interview with Wood, ranging from her musical career which includes shows under the Evan & Zane name to her future with HBO’s Westworld, in the video at the top of the page.
‘Doing nothing’ wasn’t an option for Evan Rachel Wood.
The Westworld actress spent the weekend at the border between Texas and Mexico, helping families who have been separated as a result of President Donald Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy for people caught coming into the United States illegally.
‘I felt like I had been kicked in the gut when I found out what was happening,’ she said in an emotional interview with ABC News on Sunday. ‘I don’t believe in families ripped apart; I just don’t.
The 30-year old added, ‘I don’t think it’s right and without a plan to reunite them – that’s completely unimaginable, and unthinkable and it’s wrong.’
She also signed-on to #BreakBreadNotFamilies, which is a 24-hour hunger strike and prayer chain that will last 24 days in honor of the 2,4000 children separated from their parents.
“It’s a small price to pay considering what families are going through,” she told People.
Evan documented some of her journey on Instagram.
One picture shows her playing with a young boy at a shelter in McAllen, Texas with the caption: ‘Just hung out with some of the families at one of the shelters people are sent to while they are being processed or awaiting deportation. Played with the kids for hours. They were so sweet, insanely smart, and creative. They have obviously been thru a lot and need supplies and medicine.’ #EvanInTX.
In another photo she is seen carrying supplies inside a local store with a caption meant to inspire her 450,000 social media followers.
‘Certain organizations, like The Red Cross, have not been “given permission” to donate supplies. But you can.’ #EvanInTX.
Evan donated things like clothes, shoes, toothbrushes, shampoo, body soap, and diapers but she said the thing that seemed to mattered the most was showing these people that they were valued.
Amid the massive backlash to the separation policy, President Trump signed an executive order reversing his policy on Wednesday.
As of Saturday, the Department of Homeland Security maintain the U.S. government had reunited 522 migrant children who were separated from adults.