Kim Basinger now in 2022: She is a passionate animal activist

Through her Academy Award-winning performance in L.A. Confidential, Kim Basinger proved that she was more than just a sex symbol. Basinger experienced success as a model in New York before moving to L.A. to pursue acting. In 1983, she posed for Playboy and starred as Bond Girl Domino Petachi in Never Say Never Again

Multiple film appearances followed, including a starring performance in Tim Burton’s Batman. Basinger’s career declined gradually following her Oscar win. Her last on-screen performance came in 2018’s Fifty Shades Freed. Basinger has left the limelight and moved behind the scenes to work on a noble cause. 

Kim gave up acting to focus on animal activism

In October 2019, Kim earned the Albert Schweitzer Award for investigating animal abuse by Last Chance for Animals. In her acceptance speech, she revealed that animal activism had taken preference over acting:

“I love my work as an actress, professionally, but this is my heart, and when I stand up for animals, this is my heart. We do have a huge problem here, and it’s far larger than we ever thought it really was.”

Basinger told Interview Magazine that her love for activism stemmed from her mom, who taught her kids ‘the moral and ethical absolute of treating all living things equally.’ Kim described her Cherokee Indian mom as the first animal activist she encountered. 

Kim has faced many challenges in her activist journey, including people accusing her of being a hypocrite. After it emerged that the filmmakers of her movie I Dreamed of Africa used circus elephants, people questioned Basinger’s activism. 

“I cannot really be responsible for other people’s thought processes,” Kim responded to a question about feeling misunderstood for her work. “I try not to be too judgmental of others.”

Some of Basinger’s activism efforts have attracted negative attention. For instance, her protest against the treatment of horses in New York led to people branding her a ‘radical chic.’ She told Interview Magazine that her protest stemmed from genuine concern for horses:

“I was walking across the park in the summer and I saw these horses for the first time. One of them fell; he was dying of the heat on the streets of New York. And I went, ‘What is this?’ And ever since I’ve been totally against carriage horses. I’d rather talk about that than about how I am perceived in ways that have not an iota of truth.”

In her 2019 acceptance speech, Kim stated she’s disgusted by the animal abuses posted on social media. “It’s mind-boggling how many people – evil people, sick people – are out there torturing animals and then posting it,” she said. 

Kim told Extra that animals don’t need our sympathy; they need people to stand up for them. She said: “Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid to heal what’s going on because the animals do not, this is really a true statement, they do not need your tears. They need your help.”

Basinger feels that the current Hollywood climate goes against her nature

In 1994, Kim told Interview Magazine that she didn’t know most producers and directors in Hollywood because of her social anxiety. “I’m shy, and a lot of business is just social,” she said.

She talked candidly to Net-A-Porter about her social anxiety, revealing that she could do most nerve-racking things that didn’t involve being around people. “I’ll do things that make other people nervous, like skydiving,” Kim said. 

Kim described accepting her Oscar in 1997 as ‘terrifying.’ She revealed that suffering her first panic attack in her mid-twenties almost derailed her career. “I didn’t know what it was,” she said in the 2001 documentary Panic: A Film About Coping. “I didn’t know how to define it.”

However, she knew that her career required her to be around people, so she learned to keep it together. She told Net-A-Porter:

“I still get anxious sometimes, but I’ve worked very hard on it so it doesn’t paralyze me like it did before. I’ve never taken any medication for anxiety, so I’ve had to white-knuckle it a few times. I’ve found that it helps if I take the focus away from me – ironic for an actress, I know! That’s why I love being a mom and advocating for animals: that’s when I really feel powerful.”

The industry has changed a lot since Basinger’s days: Hollywood stars are expected to keep posting on social media, which goes against Kim’s preference for privacy. “I’ve never been one to share much of my life,” Kim said. “It’s a shame how out of hand this industry has become, and where the value system has gone.”

Thankfully, as she ages, she progressively cares little about what people think of her. “The best part of aging is learning to shed all the shit that has weighed you down all your live,” she said. “People don’t bother me so much. It’s not my business what they think of me.”

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