For actress Keri Russell, a love of wild spaces goes back to the beginning of her career.
In a video shared exclusively with Refinery29, the star of The Americans relates a personal story about protecting America’s natural beauty.
“I had this binder that I kept my scripts in,” she said, referencing the insane, 18-hour days of her TV career in her early 20s. “On the cover, I had found this photo of Alaska. You know, the big, amazing mountains and water. And that was kind of my solace, in working on these dark stages. I would just look at that photo and think, I’m going to go there.”
Not quite 20 years later, she’s finally made it. She’s seen Alaska and she wants it to stay.
Russell is speaking out with environmental organization The Sierra Club to highlight the crisis facing the Arctic due to fossil fuel development and climate change. The organization is calling on President Obama to protect the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) from drilling and other threats.
At more than 30,000 square miles, the ANWR is the largest National Wildlife Refuge in the United States. The refuge stretches across five different ecological regions, and supports hundreds of species of mammals, fish, and birds. However, it remains vulnerable to oil drilling and fossil fuel development as part of a political compromise from the 1970s and ’80s.
The video showcases the beauty of the untouched landscape across the wide, sweeping spaces of the refuge. “It’s pretty amazing,” Russell said.
“Of course, we don’t want them to drill here,” Russell said. “It would be such a tragedy. I need those spaces; I don’t want them to go away.”