Read the interview with the American actress and learn…
- Why she is not afraid to fight Donald Trump
- How Snowden changed her way of thinking
- Why she is jealous of Europeans
- Why you should ALWAYS encrypt your e-mails
- What she loves about public saunas
THE RED BULLETIN: You play Edward Snowden’s girlfriend in the film. What have you learnt from the real whistle-blower?
Shailene Woodley: Firstly, that privacy is not a human right anymore. It’s a privilege, which is sad. You send an E-mail to a friend and you think that E-mail is sacred and private and yet lots of people have access to that information. The problem is, we have partaken in a technology that we don’t fully understand. There is a blind ignorance to the truth that repercussions come with using a device and innovations that are not fully developed and understood in our minds.
Do you encrypt your e-mails?
I do as much as possible. I could definitely do more. I am aware of it, but it’s also a subject that my brain finds difficult to fathom. I could read about it all day, but I can’t grasp it like I can grasp an article about chemistry, for instance. I need to know that there are people that I trust that can set up an encryption system, but right now there are not that many people available to the mainstream public.
Have the Snowden disclosures changed your view of US politics?
It has definitely made me even more aware that America is not functioning like a proper democracy. We have people who work for the NSA that tell Congress and the Senate, while under oath, that there has not been mass surveillance. And until Edward Snowden did what he did, we could not hold those people accountable because we didn’t know that was a lie.
And what have you taken from this?
Information like this has further helped me see America for what it truly is. It has also made me feel very hopeful for America and for what it can be again. I am engaging in politics to try and make a difference, but I also want to stay independent. I want to know how I can survive when the state no longer functions.
What have you done along these lines?
I studied herbalism. I have also studied survival skills, everything from building shelters and making fire with sticks, to knowing how to hunt, preserve and survive without walls or refrigeration.
Some people say they would emigrate if Trump wins. Would you contemplate doing that?
If Trump wins I will fight. I don’t think he will win, but if he does, every single day of my life will be dedicated to protecting the lives of everyone in our country, and working hard to influence Congress and the Senate. The President can do a lot, but more power lies in the hands of the people in Congress and the Senate.
You spent a lot of time in Bayern while filming Snowden, did you prefer it there?
When you get to know a new culture, you don’t just learn about that culture, but also about where you come from and the government that you come from. So living in Europe – which I have done in many different countries – is always eye-opening to me. There is a certain sense of freedom in expression, in sensuality and in art that you don’t necessarily find everywhere in America.
You are very outspoken about certain subject matters – sex education at schools for example. Does it surprise you when people are shocked by what you say?
In America – no. If people in Europe made that a big deal, then I would be a lot more surprised. It’s something you talk about openly in Europe. The second you say the word ‘sex’ in America, you know someone is going to blow it out of proportion and make a big deal out of it, because sex is suppressed in the USA and it is not talked about. That’s why we have such a crisis when it comes to pregnancy at young ages.
You’re going to return to America after this promotional tour. Is there anything about Germany that you are going to miss?
Yes. They have these places where you can swim for an hour and sauna for an hour in the same building. My two favourite things in the same place! We don’t have that in America.
You mean in luxury hotels?
No, in public baths. I always went to Nordbad.
And you didn’t mind going there, even though you’re a Hollywood star?
Of course not, I’m just living a normal life. I do everything I want to. I’m not going to hold myself back.