×

Hurd helping to green Hollywood

'Abyss' set producer on road to eco-awareness

If Gale Anne Hurd wants to, she’ll have her cake and eat it, too. That is, she wants to continue to produce hardware-heavy, action-packed tentpoles while also attempting to green Hollywood, one of the world’s least environmentally sound industries.

A fourth-generation Californian, Hurd asserts her home region has devolved. Scores of overwatered, overfertilized golf courses have unnaturally altered the delicate desert ecosystem in Palm Springs, while the San Fernando Valley’s once-historic acres of citrus groves have given way to today’s concrete jungle.

While producing one of her best-known films in 1989, Hurd’s conscience was stirred.

“After I made ‘The Abyss,’ I became an avid scuba diver,” she says. “I began to see the degradation of the oceans from pollution, runoff and overfishing. I became an advocate for the ocean and evolved from there.”

That evolution included actively greening her habits, deprioritizing comfort and cost in the process.

Popular on Variety

“Setting the thermostat higher in summer and lower in winter — that’s the tough one,” she laughs. “I own some commercial and industrial real estate, and we’re installing a lot of solar. I plan to do that with my house as well. It really is a viable technology now.”

But Hurd is not satisfied to limit activism to her home life. At Vertical Wine Bistro, her Pasadena restaurant, she ensures that chef Sara Levine practices a sustainable business. Hurd has also served on the boards of the Waterkeeper Alliance, Heal the Bay and Global Green USA — just a few of the orgs she has worked with during her years as an activist.

With this month’s release of “The Incredible Hulk,” the producer is showing Hollywood that film sets can be as green as the pic’s titular character.

“From the very beginning, Marvel, Universal, Edward Norton and I were all focused on making (‘Hulk’) a very green production,” she says. “One of our very first pre-

production meetings with department heads was a green meeting.”

Reducing carbon footprint

On-set efforts ranged from drastically decreased use of plastic utensils and water bottles to hiring an environmental consultant. As a result, “Hulk” will be the first major motion picture with the Environmental Media Assn.’s Green Seal (based on criteria of how to green film sets) added to its credits.

“People in the industry really understand how powerful their role modeling can be,” says EMA prexy Debbie Levin, who calls Hurd “one of the greenest producers in Hollywood.”

Hurd looks forward to a day when the world — especially Hollywood — accepts environmental awareness as a lifestyle necessity.

“A lot of these things are more difficult,” she declares. “But when everyone is on the same page, we’ll find better ways.”

More Film

  • 'Free Guy' Trailer: Ryan Reynolds, Jodie

    'Free Guy': Ryan Reynolds, Taika Waititi, Jodie Comer Star in First Trailer

    The first trailer for Ryan Reynolds’ “Free Guy” premiered Saturday at the CCXP convention in Brazil. Reynolds stars as Guy, a bank teller and NPC (non-playable character) who discovers he’s living in a video game. In the trailer, hostage situations, buildings being blown up and people shooting guns off in the street is depicted as [...]

  • KARMELE

    Asier Altuna Preps Basque Historical Drama ‘Karmele the Hour of Waking Together’

    Basque cinema is booming, and director Asier Altuna is part of the vanguard leading it forward. The Spanish filmmaker, behind 2005 Youth Award winner “Aupa Etxebeste!” and 2015 Best Basque Film “Amama” at the San Sebastián Intl. Film Festival, attended this year’s Ventana Sur Proyecta sidebar with his next project, “Karmele, the Hour of Waking [...]

  • The Day is Long and Dark

    Francisco Barreiro Cast in Upcoming Julio Hernández Cordón Project (EXCLUSIVE)

    Julio Hernández Cordón, one of Mexico’s most-awarded independent filmmakers over the last decade, has found the leading man for his next feature “The Day is Long and Dark (My Friends are Vampires),” in Fantastic Fest best actor winner Francisco Barreiro, star of Adrián García Bogliano’s “Here Comes the Devil.”. Barreiro’s casting was shared with Variety from Buenos [...]

  • Macabre

    Rio Fest’s Compact Edition Opens Amidst Sectorial Crisis

    RIO DE JANEIRO  — The 21st Rio Intl. Film Fest opens Monday Dec. 9t with the screening of Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” in the Odeon landmark theater. The smaller than usual edition, which was almost cancelled due to the lack of municipal backing, reflects the crisis of Brazil’s film sector, involved in a battle with the administration [...]

  • Papa-YouTuber

    Peru’s ‘Papa YouTuber’ Goes Global (EXCLUSIVE)

    Argentine sales agency FilmSharks Int’l label The Remake Company has sold remake rights at Ventana Sur to Peruvian family comedy hit “Papa YouTuber” (“YouTuber Dad”) to Mexico’s Cinepolis and Italy’s Colorado Films, with several other territories pending. Advanced discussions are underway in Germany, with Spain, France and the U.S. also pending. “The U.S. deal will [...]

  • Elia Suleiman attends the screening of

    'Pleasure Is Extremely Political,' Palestinian Filmmaker Elia Suleiman Says

    In a freewheeling masterclass held at the Marrakech Film Festival on Thursday, director Elia Suleiman offered as concise a mission statement as can be, defining his guiding beliefs in four short words. “Pleasure is extremely political,” said the Palestinian director, whose films have approached the fraught nature of life in the occupied territories with a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content