Ashley Judd (actress in Heat, Double Jeopardy, Ruby in Paradise, and the Divergent series) joined Dodge College for a Zoom Q&A about her career and her involvement in global humanitarian efforts and political activism. She has become a champion for social justice with her involvement in the #MeToo movement and her service as a board member for Time’s Up, an organization committed to ending gender-based discrimination in the workplace.

When asked about what inspired her to become an actress: “I came from a family where there was a lot of love. There were a lot of people in my family taking up a lot of space, and my space was very small. I had a lot of feelings inside. We had one small black and white tv when I was in the eighth or ninth grade. I used it to watch Kentucky Basketball games. One night, the film adaptation of the book The Doll Maker starring Jane Fonda was playing. I saw my people. I saw my culture. I heard our dialect. I recognized myself. Acting is a way of expressing oneself. Acting was a possible means to deal with everything.”

Judd went to college, did a major and four minors, and even joined the Peace Corps! She still has this restlessness about acting. That insatiable curiosity that had grown since The Doll Maker couldn’t be contained any longer. She would not forgive herself if she didn’t try going to Hollywood.

“The World isn’t about binaries anymore. We can let go of our all-or-nothing, either or, black or white. When I was getting ready to go to Hollywood, a family friend asked me what my plans for myself were. I let them know I had an acting school planned out and was going to go work with Planned Parenthood and do all these things, and they said ‘Well, are you going to save the world, or are you going to be an actor.’ My response was ‘Well why can’t I do both? Why do I have to choose?'”

Time’s Up:

Me Too: