Jane Levy on Joining the Women’s March: ‘Being an Actor and Being an Activist Are Very Similar Things’

Jane Levy, known for her TV roles in Suburgatory and Shameless and now starring in the action film Monster Trucks, was among the many celebs to head to the Women’s March on Washington over the weekend, adding her voice to the chorus of those demanding equal treatment from newly sworn-in President Trump. The 27-year-old California native spoke with Yahoo Beauty about her experience in D.C. and about still feeling hopeful from the day.

Yahoo Beauty: What was marching in D.C. like for you?

Jane Levy: It was really uplifting, and there was such a sense of community. It was the nicest, most supportive, polite crowd of people I’ve ever been in. There were moments where I felt really claustrophobic, but I felt totally safe. I avoid music festivals and big crowds on purpose because I don’t enjoy it, but I think it makes sense that a crowd of [mostly] women would be nice to one another. On my plane on the way there I overheard a woman in front of me asking a stranger, headed to the march, if she had a place to stay, making sure she was taken care of. And that to me was the whole energy. Talking about it makes me emotional.

So cool that you marched with your mom. Is she typically an activist?

My mom is definitely a feminist, and she’s one of the most loving people that I know. She’s pretty radical, and really, really cool and incredibly compassionate. I’m a new activist, and sort of kicking myself for the ways I’ve behaved in the past, taking democracy and [President Barack] Obama for granted. But both she and I are ready to fight.

Related: Debra Messing on Joining Women’s March ‘for the Civil Rights We Hold Dear’

What were the main reasons you decided to march?

My No. 1 [reason] is to show Trump that we reject his presidency and his rhetoric of insulting and attacking immigrants, Muslims, people of color, native people, women, disabled people, LGBT people, the list goes on. You lost by 3 million votes, the majority of this country doesn’t want you as our president, and we’re going to show you that. And then, women’s rights are human rights. I really appreciated California Sen. Kamala Harris’s speech at the march about how national security, criminal justice, and immigration are all women’s issues.

Meryl Streep faced some criticism for speaking out against the new president at the Golden Globe Awards. What’s your feeling about those who don’t approve of celebrities getting political?

I don’t understand that. I really don’t understand it one bit. First of all, would you rather have Meryl Streep just talk about her beauty and fame and riches and self-congratulatory BS? The ceremony already does that. People who are like, “Hollywood people are elitist and can’t understand the struggle” — the disconnect is mind-boggling in that they elected a man who inherited $100 million, who doesn’t live at all the life that normal people live, who lives like a king. To think that person is going to help them doesn’t make sense to me. Also, I think being an actor and being an activist are very similar things, at least for me. Human vulnerability is universal, and that is our job as actors — to portray that, and that we are all at our core the same. Storytelling is there to show you that we are not alone. I don’t really understand how you could be an actor and not have an opinion on these things. And I loved Meryl Streep’s speech — I though it was so eloquent, and I thought it came from love and not anger. I’m struggling with that, actually — trying to recognize when I want to say something that’s coming from anger or I want to attack back. But I’m learning.

Related: Women Braid Hair Together in Show of Solidarity at U.S.-Mexico Border

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