His good looks are enough to send all the planet’s females wreaking havoc in any autograph line, but this fortunate handicap has not deter him from becoming the outstanding actor he is today. Jude Lawn as an actor, has received two Oscar nominations; Golden Globe awards, Laurence Olivier Award, Tony Award (yes, he is formidable stage actor excelling in Shakespeare’s Hamlet). The man who played Dickie Greenleaf in “The Talented Mr. Ripley” was actually singing and playing the sax. An advocate for peace since many years, Monaco greeted him during the Peace One Day gala. Jude Law shares his enthusiasm in an exclusive interview with Force One.
F.1.M. : You are presently the ambassador for Peace One Day, the non-profit organisation founded by your friend Jeremy Gilley. Several years ago, you accompanied him to Afghanistan where you met and interfaced with various people. How did this experience affect you?
J.L. : In Afghanistan, Jeremy and I met all kinds of people – government and United Nations officials, teachers, community and faith leaders, soldiers – but I think I was most affected by the young people that we met. What continues to strike me is that young people, wherever they are, all want peace. I find this inspiring and I know that this, more than anything else, is what fuels Jeremy to keep going.
F.1.M. : What would you say to the cynic who might think that a day of peace is only symbolism and has no practical value?
J.L. : What Peace One Day has seen over the years is that people from all walks of life perform all kinds of activities to mark Peace Day. These activities require preparation. Peace One Day’s free online education materials for example, can be used throughout the entire year, exploring issues around peace and non-violence, ending bullying, uniting great peacemakers, the United Nations etc. These are projects that culminate on Peace Day. So, although 21 September is the focus, it’s really much broader than that. I think the experience of peace also has inherent value. Peace One Day’s 3-year project in the DRC and Great Lakes region of Africa is focusing particularly on women and a generation of young people who have known only war. The experience shows them that peace is possible and brings hope; I think that’s very important for the future.
F.1.M. : As you mentioned, over the next few years POD will be shining a light on the Democratic Republic of Congo and the wider Great Lakes region by engaging and encouraging all sectors of society to stand together in the name of peace on Peace Day 21 September. Why should people around the world be concerned by what is happening in DRC and the Great Lakes region?
J.L. : Because we’re all human beings. This is a conflict that has taken more lives than any since World War II, but it’s seldom in the news. Peace One Day is trying to change that. Jeremy wants to shine a spotlight on the region and send a positive, constructive message to the world. Peace One Day is working to bring all sectors of society in the region together on Peace Day 21 September and hopes to see a significant, measurable reduction of violence on Peace Day by 2016 at the latest. There is major support there already, but it’s also important that people around the world follow the campaign and show people of the region that they are supportive – people can join the Peace One Day Facebook community and follow @JeremyGilley on Twitter as a starting point.
F.1.M. : Peace Day, 21 September has been unanimously adopted by all UN member states since 2001. From the beginning of this journey up to the present day, Peace One Day has made two feature length documentaries and countless short films in order to raise awareness in the hope of making a difference, at least for one day. Being an actor, what effect do you feel the power of film can have?
J.L. : Well it was really the idea that the medium of film could be used in such a constructive and proactive way that drew me to support Peace One Day in the first place. Jeremy’s use of the camera was instrumental in creating an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence, and it continues to play a crucial role in building advocacy and raising awareness of Peace Day around the world. The global consultancy firm McKinsey & Co. support Peace One Day with analytics and the report that they produced for 2013 says that around 470 million people are now aware of Peace Day, with around 8 million people behaving more peacefully as a result. Jeremy is aiming to reach approximately 1.5 billion this year and film, not only the feature-length documentaries that I produce with Jeremy, but the use of film as viral media, will be central to that process. As a filmmaker I find it incredibly exciting.