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EXCLUSIVE: Thandie Newton Opens Up About Turning 'Pain to Power' With One Billion Rising

by Jennifer Drysdale 8:15 PM PST, January 17, 2017
Playing EXCLUSIVE: Thandie Newton Opens Up About Turning 'Pain to Power' With One Billion Rising

Thandie Newton is working to end violence against women, one step at a time.

ET's Nancy O'Dell caught up with the 44-year-old actress at the Golden Globes  in Los Angeles last weekend, where she was happy to support V-Day's One Billion Rising campaign with a special toast.

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ET teamed up with Moët & Chandon for Toast for a Cause at the awards show, where Moët generously donated $1,000 to stars' charities of choice. Newton gave her red carpet shout-out to One Billion Rising, which works to raise awareness and combat violence against women, which more than one billion women and girls will experience in their lifetime. 

The actress, who has been involved with V-Day and One Billion Rising for years, opened up about connecting with the organization to turn "pain into power" after watching Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues. 

"I felt personally connected to a lot of what she was writing about, particularly having just starred in the movie Beloved, where the central theme is the story about a woman killing her own daughter to try and protect her from the brutality of slavery. My activism was born at that time. Finally, I felt a place where I could articulate not just my own anger and frustration, but also joined forces with others and turn that pain to power," the Westworld star said, adding that one of the most meaningful moments she's had with the organization was going to Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for the inauguration of safe house and educational facility, The City of Joy.

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"As a Board Member of V-Day and One Billion Rising, Thandie's commitment to our movement to end violence against women and girls has been immeasurable and profound. She has stood with women from Bukavu to Los Angeles. She has given her time and her voice and her imagination to end violence against women at home, during war, in the work place," Ensler, founder of V-Day and One Billion Rising, told ET in a statement.

"Thandie traveled to Congo for the opening of City of Joy, a revolutionary center for women survivors of gender violence in the Congo. She has danced with women and risen with them and stood by them as they turned their pain to power," Ensler continued, describing Newton's involvement with "The Time is Now" for One Fair Wage. "She is the real deal, giving her heart and her whole being to the liberation of women and to unmasking the truth of all that stands in their way."

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