By Michelle Lanz
Jessica Biel is in the press more often for her relationship status than her charity work. But all tabloid rumors aside, she really is doing her part to help bring awareness to cause-worthy concerns.
The 27-year-old actress is teaming up with the Dow Live Earth Run for Water and will embark on a trek up Mount Kilimanjaro this January in an effort to raise global awareness about the clean-water crisis.
Jessica recently shared some thoughts on her "hippie" upbringing, her positive uses for fame, and one of her biggest fears with Parade.com.
On her hippie, nature-loving upbringing:
"I grew up in Boulder, Colorado, and we lived and breathed and played and enjoyed ourselves outside. That has always been a part of who I am, and my parents explained to me about appreciation for the land and appreciation for having space and being able to be outside and just be free as a child. It was a very wonderful childhood in that way. I grew up with a great community with great role models. For a long time, Boulder was one of the lead cities of natural products, whole foods and hippies! It's really true. You very much get that feeling when you go to Boulder."
On using her celebrity for something positive:
"It's funny that this is an upside to fame because you don't really feel sometimes like you deserve to be the face of something. It feels weird. But I think it is important to stand up for what you believe in and stand up for the world. I would never say that anyone should follow me or do what I'm doing, but this particular issue is so important because it affects the human race. So I would encourage anyone who has a voice to get behind something that makes sense for them."
On how she does her part:
"I've made little changes like turning off the water, taking shorter showers and being involved with causes like this. Talking to my family, talking to people in my life that aren't as predisposed to thinking about these kinds of things or use the Internet, like my grandmother. And just really getting the word out there and really trying to live by that, even when it is so easy to go to the store and grab a bottle of water; I don't do that anymore."
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On facing the toughest climb of her life:
"It definitely is a scary challenge because you don't know quite how your body will react at such high altitudes. But it's fun, it's exciting. I'm thrilled to go. It will be a mental challenge. I think it's really going to be a wonderful experience to have climbed Kilimanjaro."
On her (lack of) fears:
"I'm not trying to sound arrogant or anything, but I don't really have a whole lot of fears. With different characters, you're always exploring your vulnerability and insecurities. So I feel like I'm always tackling those kinds of things."
Well, maybe there's one thing that scares her:
"OK, something I do have a fear of is swimming in the ocean -- deep, deep in the ocean. I've never really done anything like that before and have kind of a fear of being way out there. Maybe someone will put on a swim one day and I'd love to face my fear, but I would be really terrified!"