Emmanuelle Chriqui recently wrote an article over at the Huffington Post about the Raise Hope for Congo campaign – read it below and watch the video too!

New York City Fashion Week is always filled with the latest styles, hottest designers and the who’s who in the fashion industry. So when Gen Art asked me to host its fashion show this spring, I saw it as an opportunity to promote emerging fashion artists, and support a cause that has been very close to my heart — the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa’s largest nation.

The humanitarian crisis in Congo is the deadliest since World War II and has claimed nearly 6 million lives. Armed groups compete for control over mines in Eastern Congo, and use rape and violence as a way to intimidate local communities. Women and girls are constantly at risk of attack, and little has been done to change this.

So, what does fashion have to do with the crisis in Congo? Well, everything. The fashion industry has always been on the cutting edge, setting new trends and breaking the mold that helps shape where society is going next. The Gen Art fashion show, which showcased up-and-coming designers, such as Zac Posen and Phillip Lim, benefitted the Enough Project’s Raise Hope for Congo campaign and included models sporting Congo t-shirts, which Sarah Hall of The Huffington Post said was the best thing that happened on a catwalk all week.

The fashion industry has long been recognized for identifying trends, and can play a powerful role in promoting social change. Gen Art CEO Marc Lottenberg recognized the growing activism movement for human rights in Congo and spotlighted the Raise Hope for Congo campaign during the Gen Art fashion show front and center. The link between the fashion world and human rights, though, goes beyond a single event and transcends the hustle and bustle of New York City Fashion Week.

This connection of us, as U.S. consumers, to the people of Congo can be traced to the smartphones and electronics in our pockets that are produced using conflict minerals sourced from eastern Congo. These minerals provide funding to armed groups and continue to fuel the rape and conflict inflicted on the local Congolese people.

It is time to bridge the gap between the suffering in Congo, and American consumers. We have the power to pressure companies to clean up their supply chains and not source from mines controlled by armed groups. We can demand that our electronics products be conflict-free.

The fashion industry has joined an emerging trend of activism for human rights in Congo that has recently taken hold and gained momentum across the country in the form of a conflict-free movement. The Raise Hope for Congo campaign has been at the forefront of this movement, working with states, cities, colleges and universities, and companies to spread awareness and create a shift toward electronics products that no longer fund violence in Congo.

Like fashion, technology is at the cutting edge and has significant impact within our own lives. Technology connects us and our ideas to our friends, family, and the world. So the last thing we want is for our electronics products to be a source of harm to women and girls in Congo. Help bring about change, and sign on to a petition from a Congolese activist asking Apple CEO Tim Cook to create conflict-free electronics products using minerals from eastern Congo. The people of Congo have suffered long enough. Join this latest trend in activism and become a sentinel for human rights and peace in Congo.

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If you’re a man with a pulse, Emmanuelle Chriqui really needs no introduction. The most desirable woman of 2010 according to AskMen readers and the best reason to tune in to Entourage every week, Chriqui has recently added two more entries to her impressive resume: 1) Star of the biggest video game in history, Call of Duty: Black Ops; and, 2) Holiday gift expert for AskMen readers. With regard to the latter job title, Emmanuelle Chriqui took time out of her busy schedule promoting the Top 10: Reasons To Check Out Call Of Duty: BlackOps, to help men pick out the best gift ideas for their significant others. Here are the top five gifts to get your girlfriend, as picked by Emmanuelle Chriqui.

No.5 – A surprise romantic evening

“On the romantic side, surprising your girlfriend with a romantic evening at home when she least expects it is always amazing. Cook dinner, have flowers and run a bath with flower pedals inside, and light candles everywhere. It will totally take her breath away.”

No.4 – Your top five books/films

“I love the idea that if your boyfriend is a film buff or a book buff, or whatever he’s into, he buys his girlfriend his top five films or top five books and shares them with his lady — especially if his lady loves films and books as well. It’s nice when he really thought out, ‘These are my top five.'”

No.3 – Her dream shoes

“For sure, I like a great pair of shoes. Investigate your girlfriend’s closet and ask her friends, but most guys know pretty quickly when their girl is into shoes and which designers she likes.”

No.2 – A weekend vacation

“Plan a weekend vacation as a gift. Out here in California, there’s a place called the Post Mansion in Big Sur, which is the most beautiful, romantic, eco-friendly place. It’s just amazing. That would be a really extravagant gift to give your special lady.”

No.1 – A spa day

“You can never go wrong with a gift certificate for spa treatments. Every girl loves it. You can never go wrong with those. Whether your girlfriend is into mani-pedis or massages or scrubs or a weekend away at a spa retreat — this gift tops my list.”

Source

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Cause Celeb highlights a celebrity’s work on behalf of a specific cause. This week, we speak with actress Emmanuelle Chriqui and actor Ron Livingston about Women’s Expressive Theater (WET). They attended WET’s annual benefit, Stars Give Love, on April 19 in New York City, hosted by the Angel Orensanz Foundation. The awards benefit honored women who change the way the world sees women, followed by a one-night only performance of short plays written by women. This year, Nora Ephron, director of “Julie & Julia,” presented the We Empower Together award to Lynda Obst. Maria Zuckerman, vice president of HBO Films, received the Risk Taker Award.

WET strives to empower women and girls by making media productions that change stereotypes and advocate for equality. Their Risk Takers Series is a free program in New York City for girls age 13 to 19 to help them learn about communication, leadership, and media-literacy skills. Another WET program is the The INKubator: WET FILMS & WET PLAYS, where writers have their work reviewed by WET’s development team and producers and performed in public readings attended by insiders in the theater and entertainment industry.

Chriqui has appeared in multiple films and television shows including “You Don’t Mess with Zohan” and “Entourage.” She also performed in one of the plays at the Stars Give Love benefit.

Livingston has appeared in shows like “Sex and the City” and “Band of Brothers” and appears in the film “Dinner for Schmucks.” He also participated in one of the plays at the Stars Give Love benefit.

Q: Can you tell me what this event and this organization means to women, especially in a year where Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to be awarded an Academy Award for Directing at the Oscars?

Chriqui: It’s exactly that. We’re really about trying to bring women to the forefronts, as directors, as playwrights, as actors. Just everything, women have such a voice, something to share. I think by Kathryn Bigelow winning that Oscar, we can see that, “Yeah, women can do it.” Women can do a guys film and kill it. Women can do anything!

So it’s really lovely, because this mission is really about empowering women and empowering young girls as the charity portion of it. I just really believe in it, because, as wonderful as this business is, it’s a male-dominated industry and it’s very difficult. You read these wonderful scripts and you get all excited, and they’re like, “Well, we have to see who the male lead is first,” and you’re like, “really?” When is that going to change? Or, “That movie will never work, it’s two female leads.” That is heartbreaking to me.

Unless you’re like a super-uber ridiculous star, you almost don’t stand a chance. By coming out tonight, by supporting it and supporting the new directors, the new playwrights, and celebrating the women, it really gives us a chance to make a difference.

From MSNBC

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Before the Scene is where we all start. In a small town with our families. In front of a mirror with our friends. The days spent sleeping on a couch. The nights working at a bar. Living with the unknown and surrounded by uncertainty. It’s about the times that define us. It’s about the darkness just before the limelight.
——–
Emmanuelle Chriqui is most recognizable for her recurring role as Sloan McQuewick on HBO’s Entourage and as Dahlia, opposite Adam Sandler in You Don’t Mess With the Zohan. Her upcoming films include 13, Elektra Luxx, and Renny Harlin’s Georgia. She currently splits her time between Los Angeles and New York.
——–
Q: What made you want to become an actor?
A: “From a very young age I always knew this is what I wanted to do. I started in the theatre when I was seven and was instantly hooked. The feeling of losing myself in a moment remains one of the most amazing things to me. The whole environment of the theatre and film and television has always felt like home. It brings me so much joy and gives me the ability to meet all kinds of people and learn so many different things. Most of the great experiences of my life have come from my work.”

Q: What was your biggest fear?
A: “My biggest fear was always the what if’s. What if I can’t do this? What if I don’t succeed in the way I want? What if I have to live with unfulfilled dreams? What if I can’t support myself doing what I love to do?”

Q: What was your lowest point?
A: “In my early twenties, when I didn’t have thick skin yet. All the rejection and negativity drove me into fear mode and I just quit. I call it my ‘three month sabbatical.’ I wanted nothing to do with the industry and started doing martial arts. It was a very unhappy time as deep down I knew I wasn’t living my truth. My agents called me in for an audition that I kept refusing. Then finally [I] decided to go in and got it! This project ended up changing things for me and putting me back on my path. I struggled a lot though even after that: in the same year I got cut out of two big films. It crushed me and made me question everything.”

Q: What kept you from walking away?
A: “I think the thing that ultimately kept me from walking away was my faith in God and the universe. I always told myself that everything happens exactly the way [it’s] supposed to, even the really hard stuff. I lost my mother at an early age, and before she passed away she once told me I would become an actress for the both of us. That will always stay in my heart and mind.”

Q: What did you walk away from?
A: “I walked away from the things I didn’t believe in. I walked away from the unhealthy scene that exists here in L.A. I constantly reminded myself why I was here. I walked away from the parties and took my auditions very seriously. I walked away from people who didn’t support me or wished me ill.”

Q: Who was your closest ally?
A: “My family and my first manager. They believed in me and always encouraged me through the tough times. I have been blessed with wonderful angels in my life.”

Q: What were you doing the morning before the audition that changed your life?
A: “The night before I got one of my first big films, I was living with a close group of friends. We always had so much fun and kept each other going as we were all in similar boats. I believe I was living there rent free as I was totally broke and going through yet another hard time. I was seriously missing home and contemplating moving back to Canada. That night I dreamt that my mother came to me, patted my head and whispered to me that everything was going to be okay. I woke up and got the offer. Pretty magical.”

Q: What were the words that kept you going?
A: “A phrase that really resonated deeply to me was from a gospel a friend sent to me: ‘He didn’t bring me this far just to leave me here.’ It is the simple truth.”

Q: How have you changed?
A: “I think my faith is stronger than ever. And in my heart, I fully believe that everything is perfect even in its imperfection. I have come to embrace that this is life, obstacles and all, and it’s all about the attitude with which you choose to handle things. I think I am far more patient, and far more grateful, for not only the big miracles [but the small ones].”

Q: What words do you have to inspire others?
A: “Everything happens in the time it is supposed to: be patient, work hard and have faith. I recently read that when you plant bamboo from a seed, it takes five years to come out of the ground, then it grows like a weed. I think that is accurate for anything you are passionate about. Water it, tend the soil, love it and it will blossom.”

From Scene Magazine

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Emmanuelle Chriqui is a contradiction in terms: She recently returned from the former Soviet Union, where she filmed a starring role in Renny Harlan’s politically charged recreation of the Russian invasion of “Georgia,” but Emmanuelle was most recently seen on the big screen as a pregnant porn star in the SXSW-debuted indie “Electra Luxx.”

Perhaps best known as Sloan on “Entourage” (season 7 premieres tonight on HBO!), in her personal life Emmanuelle is all about single-minded commitment to the causes that she passionately supports. She’s heavily involved in the Environmental Media Association’s Young Hollywood board, and helped launch Raise Hope For Congo with respected humanitarian John Prendergast.

I spoke with Emmanuelle after she helped kick off the EMA School Gardens Program, which will roll out through 25 schools in urban Los Angeles to help under-served communities develop self-sustaining, organic food sources.

ES: When did you start getting involved in eco-consciousness?

EC: I’ve always been attracted to the alternative lifestyle, meaning organic and natural and alternative healing. That stuff has always been present in my life.

When I was shooting “Zohan” I really wanted to get a new car. I had been driving the same lovely little 1988 red two-door Toyota Corolla forever. I wanted to drive a Prius, and that was a big commitment for me because it was a real statement at the time.

One of the producers put me in touch with Debbie Levin [CEO of the Environmental Media Association], who connected me with Toyota. Being involved with Debbie and the EMAs [the Environmental Media Awards show, produced by the Environmental Media Association] has been a constant learning process. I’ve been getting more and more involved. And it’s really gotten a lot easier to be environmentally conscious!

ES: Yes, I was thinking about that when you talked about a so-called “alternative lifestyle” that was environmentally conscious. I can’t wait for a time when organic and natural is the norm!

EC: Exactly! And the alternative is the bizarros who are driving their giant old Broncos.

ES: So, let’s talk about the important stuff. What are your favorite green fashion labels or beauty finds?

EC: I’m still learning. I love Alexx Jae, which is awesome. I love their style, and their idea of using [upcycled fabric] from other companies. I wear Alexx Jae all the time. I also love anything made from bamboo–jeans, shirts, anything. I don’t understand why everybody doesn’t want to dress that way; it feels amazing–softer than the softest old t-shirt!

The whole thing is an exploration. Fashion, cosmetics–I feel like every day there’s a new something that’s all natural, all organic, no parabens. I love going to Erewhon and using Jason Body Wash. Just switching out everything and replacing it with the good kind.

It’s a journey and it’s a lifestyle that’s evolving every single minute. There are better products all the time. But you can’t just use something because it’s good for the environment. It’s got to feel good. Like toilet paper. There are so many different eco-brands now, you can choose which one you like.

Find out more about Emmanuelle’s eco-challenges–and eco-sins–at EcoStiletto.com

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Entourage actress Emmanuelle Chriqui, 32, is finally in a good place with her on-screen fiancé, E (played by Kevin Connolly ).

“It really represents a kind of stability, I think, between E and Sloan. We have our own house and I’m very much the supportive fiancée, so the drama of last season is no longer,” she says. “It’s very, very calm between us and stable. It doesn’t sound that exciting, but it’s the first time in years that they’re just in a good place.”

Chriqui tackles her fifth season on the Emmy-winning comedy — which returns for Season 7 on Sunday (HBO, 10:30 p.m. ET/PT) — as Sloan McQuewick, who accepted E’s marriage proposal in last season’s finale. And, although the on-off couple is finally on the same page, there doesn’t seem to be much room for the hard-partying, playboy antics of E’s best buds Vince (Adrian Grenier), Drama (Kevin Dillon) and Turtle (Jerry Ferrara).

“The boys — all of them — are really finding their own way. They’re still tight-knit, but they’re exploring other facets of their life,” including domestic bliss for E, Chriqui says.

“I hate to describe (E and Sloan’s relationship) as boring, but it’s not the most exciting thing in the world,” Chriqui, who “totally” hates talking about her own love life, admits. “You should see the dinners that this woman makes and it’s like, ‘Really? When does she do this?!'”

Fortunately, however, Chriqui’s career has never been more exciting.

“It’s just so easy to get pigeonholed and I think that’s the last thing I want to do,” she says. “I’m into the long haul, so if I can do as many different things and have a great time doing it, I’ll be thrilled.”

In addition to her heightened role on Entourage, she just shot the first Internet-exclusive feature-length film, Girl Walks Into a Bar, due on Hulu and YouTube in September. She stars alongside Rosario Dawson, Zachary Quinto, Danny DeVito, Josh Hartnett and Carla Gugino, playing an exotic dancer who has an “alternate fantasy life as a magician.”

The film is written and directed by Sebastian Gutierrez, who also cast Chriqui in last year’s Women in Trouble and its upcoming sequel Elektra Luxx, in which she plays a woman whose female best friend is falling in love with her.

Chriqui says she’s thrilled about taking on challenging roles and seeing her career blossom.

“Acting is my passion. Everything always leads back to acting,” she says. “Whatever I’m doing, it’s always to sort of move the acting career along. Of course, I love other things, but that’s really passion.”

She followed her passion to the country of Georgia last fall to shoot director Renny Harlin’s political war drama that tells the story of Russia’s 2008 invasion of the sovereign nation.

“It’s such a departure for me, and it was a life-changing, unbelievable experience. Just being in the country where everything happened, on real location was incredible,” she says.

Chriqui says she hopes Harlin will take Georgia, which also stars Andy Garcia and Val Kilmer, on the festival circuit this year. In the mean time though, she’s happy to spend time with her Entourage boys and is keeping her fingers crossed for the development of a rumored big-screen incarnation of the show, a la Sex and the City.

“I keep hearing that and I have not heard that from anyone directly from Entourage, but that seems to be the word on the street. I feel as though (executive producer) Mark Wahlberg is really thinking about that,” she says. “It would seem to me like a natural progression. It will be amazing!”

From USA Today

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An Entourage movie is almost definitely on the way – but before producer Mark Wahlberg and company can bring these boys to the big screen, there’s the little matter of season seven.

The cast got together this week and spoke to E! News about what viewers can expect on new episodes, which kick off again this Sunday night. Take it away, gentlemen… and lady!

Adrian Grenier: “It’s been a great season for me as an actor because Vince is getting into trouble. He needs help. Like there’s an emotional side to Vince that comes out with a fury.”

Kevin Connolly: “You will not see a wedding, but the engagement is going very well.”

Emmanuelle Chriqui: “[This season] is really just embracing the fact that we’re together and that the drama is over. Just being OK with being domesticated a little bit – in a good way, because we’ve never seen that with them. It’s very sweet.”

Kevin Dillon: “Drama had a holding deal at the end of last season and now he’s trying to get a job before that holding deal expires.”

Jerry Ferrara: “The growth of the character is definitely more than any other season, and he’s trying to stand on his own a little bit more… He starts his own business, a limo company with beautiful woman driving the cars.”

From TV Fanatic

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Entourage fans don’t confine their support of the HBO hit to Sunday nights at home – just ask star Emmanuelle Chriqui.

She recently chatted with USA TODAY’s Arienne Thompson and revealed that viewers frequently come up to her to offer opinions on her character Sloan’s up-and-down relationship with new fiance E (Kevin Connelly).

“People are definitely glad that we’re back together. I remember the funniest thing is that I was with my publicist in New York and we were walking near the office, and there was this construction site, and this guy was like, ‘Yo, Sloan, seriously, what the (expletive) is up with E?! Is he (stupid) or something?’ I was like, ‘Oh my God – this is a television show!'”

And, what about those rumors that Entourage will go beyond television show and hit the big screen a la Sex and the City? Chriqui doesn’t know, but hopes it’s in the cards.

“I keep hearing that and I have not heard that from anyone directly from Entourage, but that seems to be the word on the street. I feel as though Mark Wahlberg is really thinking about that,” she says. “I think it would be a great thing. It would seem to me like a natural progression. It will be amazing!”

From USA Today

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No wedding takes place between characters Eric and Sloan on season seven of Entourage, at least “not yet,” Emmanuelle Chriqui told HollywoodLife.com exclusively June 15 at the Fashion Delivers “Pay It Fashion Forward” Forever 21 Fundraiser at Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge in NYC. Despite the engagement that took place last season, could it be that Emmanuelle is getting tired of playing her down-on-luck in love character, Sloan?

Well, rumor has it that The CW is looking for a new lady to play a French love interest for Ed Westwick’s character Chuck Bass — and Emmanuelle might be at the top of the list for the role!

“I had no idea [that I was being considered for the role],” Emmanuelle gushed when we asked her about the situation. “Really … It’s the first I’ve heard of it, [but] it could be interesting. It would depend on what the script was like!”

Sounds like Emmanuelle might be getting tired of waiting for her character’s love life to finally straighten out on Entourage. “There’s a couple of surprises” this season, Emmanuelle said. “I’m thinking about what I’ve read already” and a wedding is “probably not” going to happen, even though the show is still filming.

If a wedding does end up taking place, however, Emmanuelle does have an idea of what Sloan’s big day would be like: “It’ll be big and beautiful I imagine,” she said, “because her dad would want it that way!”

Could it be that executive producer Mark Wahlberg is saving the wedding for the Entourage movie?

If so, Emannuelle would have plenty of time to play Chuck’s new girlfriend on Gossip Girl. Season four begins shooting at the end of July in both Paris and NYC.

From Hollywood Life

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Emmanuelle Chriqui has a rare quality in a rising star: She sounds genuinely humble.

Upon hearing her strong showings in the Best of Montreal’s Most Desirable Woman and Best Actress categories, she’s delighted: “I’m always surprised by this kind of thing. It’s lovely. I’ve been acting since I was seven, and it’s always been about the work. But if something like this helps me to get where I want to go, that makes me happier.”

The Montreal-born (and Orthodox Jewish-raised, by Moroccan immigrant parents) Chriqui has become one of the busiest young lasses in Hollywood, gaining solid notices and a lot of recognition after a show-stopping three-episode gig on the hit series Entourage. “That was supposed to be it—three episodes. But our chemistry was so strong they decided to write me into the show on a regular basis. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.” Chriqui is currently shooting season seven, but says point-blank, “I can’t tell you anything. Not allowed!”

Hopefully, there will be room for another threesome like the notorious one Chriqui appeared in with Kevin Connolly and Malin Akerman. For those of you unfortunate ones who missed it, it was HBO so they didn’t hold too much back. “We rehearsed that very carefully. Think about the first time you kissed someone. There’s a lot of nervous energy there. Doing those scenes is like doing any other important dramatic scene. There’s a beginning, a middle and an end.”

As well as the regular gig on Entourage, Chriqui has found good fortune in various film roles, working with Adrien Brody (in Cadillac Records), Adam Sandler (You Don’t Mess With the Zohan), Steve Buscemi (Saint John of Las Vegas) and Andy Garcia (Georgia). Chriqui has a considerable presence onscreen, but she also has a refreshing look that’s out of step with the achingly generic Britney clones. “I have a different look, no question,” Chriqui says. “It’s both a blessing and a curse. Some people are still not open to the idea that the girl next door can be a bit exotic. I suppose J. Lo has opened things up a bit. There have been roles I’ve been heartbroken not to get. I tried out for Girl, Interrupted, but didn’t get it. I had just moved to L.A. and I was so nervous during the callback audition. It was sort of like an out-of-body experience. But for every role I haven’t got, there are other roles I have managed to get.”

MEMORIES OF THE MAIN

And Chriqui reports that her Montreal memories are Technicolor vivid. “Though I grew up in Toronto, our first cousins lived back in Montreal, so we’d visit a lot and every summer we’d be there. I have huge Montreal memories! Especially when I got to 15, well, it was just so much fun. It was the place where they weren’t necessarily checking IDs at the door. I remember going to Business and DiSalvios on St-Laurent. I lived in New York for a while, I live in L.A. now—but you know, there’s nowhere quite like Montreal. There’s something very different about it.

“My sister still lives there, and many friends of mine. Whenever I come back, it feels like such a sanctuary, it’s this fun island that was everything to me during my childhood. Whenever I’m in Europe, I feel very at home. I think that’s because of the time I spent in Montreal.”

Chriqui says she spends her downtime immersing herself in old movies. “I didn’t go to film school, so there are a lot of films I’m really enjoying discovering. I just went through a load of film noir—Out of the Past, Murder, My Sweet—and some foreign films, including The Bicycle Thief.” And the way actors and stars used to behave is the way Chriqui likes to run her life now. “Back then, you didn’t know absolutely every detail of an actor’s private life the way you do now. I don’t really talk about my private life. I think that means that people can accept me better in different roles. It’s much harder for people to pigeonhole you if they don’t know everything about you. I really prefer it that way.”

From the Montral Mirror

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