"I started acting to give voice to the voiceless," says the half-Peruvian, half-Swiss Q'orianka Kilcher, best known for playing Pocahontas opposite Colin Farrell in 2005's The New World. At that film's Peruvian premiere, she used the red carpet to draw attention to the plight of the forests of the Amazon basin. "People who read In Touch magazine might never know about these issues," she says, "but it's really those people you need to reach." The Santa Monica, California–based Kilcher took a yearlong sabbatical from acting in 2006 and traveled back to the Peruvian Amazon to film indigenous leaders, who showed her the way oil companies have degraded and poisoned their rivers and forests. In 2007, she won a prestigious Brower Youth Award. In 2008, she's planning a film project in an Alaskan wildlife refuge, and hopes to use her lead role in a biopic of Princess Kaiulani, the last princess of Hawaii, filming this spring, to draw attention to indigenous peoples. One last project she'd like to squeeze in: summiting Alaska's Mount McKinley in honor of her grandfather—Ray "Pirate" Genet, a legendary Denali guide. "I want to climb it before it melts," she says. She's kidding, sort of.
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