AUSTIN — Adrian Grenier wants to be Aquaman. Seriously. Like the character he played on the long-running hit series and soon-to-be major motion picture Entourage, the actor and newly-installed Dell Social Good Advocate is eager to play the role. Not for TV or movies, but in real life.
“I enjoy being Aquaman in real life. The oceans do need our help. I take it very seriously. My role in Entourage, I feel I owe it to the fans to fulfill their Aquaman fantasies,” said Greiner with a laugh, adding, “That’s probably why I’m doing a lot of focus on the oceans these days.”
Grenier, 38, isn’t actually playing Aquaman, a role his character sought and won on the hit show Entourage, but, as he often does, he turned the discussion of the memorable plot point in the show toward his environmental and sustainability work.
And, to a certain extent, the Aquaman claim rings true. On the day we spoke just outside downtown Austin, Grenier had just come off a big oceanic win: His Kickstarter campaign to fund a documentary, The Loneliest Whale, about the search for a real-life whale that has spent its entire life alone, just blew past its goal of $300,000 and ended with $400,000, thanks, in part, to a $50,000 assist from Leonardo DiCaprio.
The discussion today, though, was about more land-based pursuits. A few days before we spoke, Grenier had signed on to become Dell Computer’s Social Good Advocate. It’s the kind of title that sounds good, especially on a celebrity, but Grenier and his new partner are quite serious about their goals — even if they haven’t fleshed all of them out.
“[Social Good Advocate] means that we’re going to come to the table, sit down and beat out a large list of things we can do over the next year to bring people together and make them more conscious about the world and also find ways that we can get Dell an opportunity to do business better so they can reduce their carbon footprint. And also inspire other companies to follow suit,” said Grenier.
As for Dell, they saw in the actor a kindred spirit and an opportunity.
“What I like, when I first kind of started looking; Adrian has already put together several digital platforms, content, specifically around the idea of rebranding sustainability, what it means to people,” said David Lear, Dell’s executive director of corporate sustainability.
“It’s an incredible opportunity to have a company support my ideas and honor the work that I’ve been doing,” added Grenier.
Grenier’s latest role joins a long list of sustainability and environmental projects on the actor’s roster. He already runs SHFT, a so-called “lifestyle platform” focused on sustainability in film, art and food. It’s also quite natural for Greiner to blend social good and commerce. When I met the actor two years ago he was hosting a Ford Motors event at a farm that served dishes made entirely from the food grown there.
The actor is especially adept at blending his celebrity profile and social awareness pursuits, though he seems unconcerned about the ebb and flow of a film career and how that might affect his fame and ability to connect with people on the issues he cares about. Grenier says it’s something he can’t control.
“You have to let it have its natural course and sometimes you’re not as present in people’s minds and that’s okay. That’s the off time when you have to time to build, create what’s next. So no, I’m not consciously, desperately always trying to remain on a certain level. That would be unhealthy.”
As for Entourage, the film shoot is done and Grenier is gearing up for a world tour where he will, naturally spread his social good message.
“When people come up to me and they want to take a picture or get an autograph, to me I think it’s a wasted opportunity if I just walk away. I have an opportunity to really connect with somebody in that moment and that’s [why], for The Loneliest Whale, it was such a great time because every time I talk to people I had something to say and share with them.”
As for the movie? “We’re done, finally. It was a long haul, but people are going to be really happy. It’s worth the wait,” said Grenier.
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