Jessica Biel gets schooled by Angelique Kidjo moments before the Dow Live Earth Run For Water press conference takes place this week at NYC’s Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers.
The activists are sitting in the front row talking about the uncomfortability of women’s shoes when Justin Timberlake’s gal takes off her red high heels and jokingly threatens to lob them out the window and into the Hudson River.
“Don’t hit me,” Angelique laughs.
The mood turns serious when the Grammy award-winning performer offers love advice to the Divine Miss Biel.
“The heart is a jail,” Angelique says. “He’s got to set it free.”
This slice of drama is the only evidence that the slim, stylish, genuine glamour girl, 27, might be going through a rough patch.
But she’s eager to bring her spotlight to Live Earth to announce that they will host 6K runs in 192 countries around the world on April 18, 2010, to raise funds to secure clean water – which is a luxury one billion people don’t have.
The distance represents the stretch women and children walk every day to secure water, and it isn’t always clean. Tragically, 5,000 kids die each day because they drink water that is unsafe. Experts estimate that by 2025, 2/3 of the planet will live in water scarce areas. With funds generated through these efforts, technology can bring water purification systems to areas in need, and with awareness, we can conserve our most valuable resource.
“Water is not something I have always thought about,” Jessica, whose gigantic diamond earrings sparkle, admits. “For most of my life, water has been an ordinary part of an ordinary day. Turn on the faucet, get in the shower, wash your clothes. It is always there; it is always accessible. I’ve never been forced to think about where it comes from.”
At least she’s honest. “I won’t stand up and tell you that learning more has made me the brilliant creator of solutions; I am not. But I am listening. And I am changing the way that I live.”
Next up is Pete Wentz, who has his own relationship drama with wife Ashlee Simpson, who is the mother of 11-month-old son Bronx. (Perhaps Angelique is the go-to love guru?) Looking dapper in a suit, the Fall Out Boy, 30, is giving a grown-up impression to the room filled with school children. And he acts grown up as well.
“These are regular kids just like my son who have to walk miles each day to get water, and the water you get may not be safe or clean,” he says. “If I had to give my little guy a glass of water – well, he doesn’t drink a lot of water – but if I had to give my little guy a glass of water knowing that it would make him sick, it would totally freak me out.”
He continues, “As a dad, I don’t want my son to be a citizen of Beverly Hills, or a citizen of the United States of America. I want him to be a citizen of the world. I want him to understand that kids who don’t have basic things like clean drinking water are just like him.”
Pete’s band made a humanitarian trip to Uganda in 2007 to raise awareness about the plight of thousands of children displaced by the country’s ongoing civil war.
What did he take away from the experience?
“The first thing I learned is that all human beings are the same,” he says. “It’s fate that determines which longitude or latitude that you’re born on. There’s no difference between a kid in the U.S. and a kid in a refugee camp.”
He adds, “The second thing I learned is that people like to make things impossible because ‘impossible’ is really easy to deal with. I know it sounds weird, but think about it. When something’s impossible, you can be like, ‘we just can’t do that.’ You can blow it off – it’s very easy. But I don’t like to live like that, and I don’t believe in impossible.”
How can we make a difference?
“Don’t be a water hog; take shorter showers,” he says. “And you can be like me – when I go to Europe, I use dry shampoo and baby wipes.”
Afterwards, Jessica and Pete crack each other up while mugging for photos. Well, no matter what, they definitely have each other through April 18, 2010 – the day of the Dow Live Earth Run For Water 6K run. And, they’re doing their part to make the world a better place before it’s too late.
You, too, can make a difference in the clean water supply around the world by signing up for the Dow Live Earth Run For Water taking place in the U.S. in cities including NYC, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C., on April 18, 2010.
For more on Jessica Biel, pick up the OK! on newsstands this week. Rob and Kristen/“Inside Our Home” is the cover line.