Angelina Jolie got up close and personal with bees for her latest call to action.
Alongside a bold new portrait taken by photographer Dan Winters for National Geographic‘s World Bee Day exclusive interview with Jolie, the star shared why it’s more important now than ever to protect the bee population.
“With so much we are worried about around the world and so many people feeling overwhelmed with bad news and the reality of what is collapsing, this is one that we can manage,” Jolie, 45, told the magazine. “We can certainly all step in and do our part.”
“I don’t think a lot of people know what damage they’re doing. A lot of people are just trying to get through their day,” she added. “They want to do good. They don’t want to be destructive. They don’t know which thing to buy. They don’t know which thing to use. So I think part of this is wanting to help it be simple for everybody, because I need that.”
Jolie — who has been designated the “godmother” for Women for Bees, a program launched by the United Nation’s UNESCO to train and support female beekeeper-entrepreneurs around the world — said it’s up to everyone to pitch in however they can.
“I have six kids and a lot happening,” she said, “and I don’t know how to be the ‘perfect’ anything. And so if we can help each other to say, ‘This is a way forward, simple, and this is something you can do with your kids.’ “
As for how she pulled off the stunning snapshot, Jolie said she couldn’t shower for three days beforehand.
“It was so funny to be in hair and makeup and wiping yourself with pheromone,” the Those Who Wish Me Dead actress said. “We couldn’t shower for three days before. Because they told me, ‘If you have all these different scents, shampoos and perfumes and things, the bee doesn’t know what you are.’ … Then you put a few things up your nose and in your ears so you don’t give them as many holes to climb in.”
“I did have one that got under my dress the entire time. It was like one of those old comedies,” she added. “I kept feeling it on my knee, on my leg, and then I thought, ‘Oh, this is the worst place to get stung. It’s getting really close.’ It stayed there the entire time we were doing the shoot. And then when I got all the other bees off, I lifted the skirt and he went away.”
She noted, though, that it “just felt lovely to be connected to these beautiful creatures.”
“You have to be really still and in your body, in the moment, which is not easy for me,” she recalled. “I think part of the thought behind it was, this creature is seen as dangerous sometimes or stinging. So how do we just be with it? The intention is we share this planet. We are affected by each other. This is what it should feel like and it really did, and I felt very honored and very lucky to have the experience.”