I am as much of an activist as I am an actor: Jerome Flynn
By Audita Bhattacharya
Could talk about being in Pune as part of the Climate Healers tour?
I am here because I seem to be as much of an activist as I am an actor. I am here to explore how we move forward together in these very critical times. I feel our experiences are the same to some degree and it is important to share them. We must be thankful for what we have, but also grieve for what we’re losing. That gives us the fire in our hearts to bring a change, to come together and stand up when we need to. Also, we have to make individual choices, and being vegan is one of the most important choices to make.
What made you actively participate in the fight against climate change?
I was vegan and on goat products. Then I realised, that wasn’t any better than the rest of it. I have always cared about animals and have been a patron of a few charities. However, the environmental activism has just begun. I am emotionally connected to it now. There’s a lot that doesn’t feel right about the amount of suffering that we’re causing. I’m inspired by youngsters who are saying, ‘No, what we’re doing is crazy.
We want change and this doesn’t make sense.’ People who have the power, however, seem to be powerless to do the right thing because of the nature of the system we are in. If you get one courageous politician who asks for a rational solution, there is opposition. Competitive politics is not productive at all.
What do you hope people will take away from the film A Prayer For Compassion, which has you as one of the executive producers?
We hope that their hearts are touched. We were in a school a few days back and asked students, ‘Is there anybody here who would willingly harm an animal?’ and none of the kids put their hands up. We don’t need animal meat or any produce. I’ve been a vegan and I’ve run three marathons. Our bodies don’t need it.
You’ve been part of Game Of Thrones, one of the biggest and possibly the most unsustainable television productions of our time. Do you
refuse roles that are against your moral principles?
I recently did a pilot for a new Amazon series that is very poignant. If we do end up making the series, the producers, me and the rest of the cast, will jointly plant trees. I am going to tie up with the organisation Tree Sisters. If you’re doing a production, you plant a forest because we need to reforest the world.
One must become conscious. You must make sure that none of your plastics go to landfills and do not use single-use plastics at all. We come and fill our water bottles up. Hopefully, we will put back more than what we take.