One in a continuing series on the stars with a cause who come to Washington. Thursday’s visitor: Charlize Theron.
Venue: U.S Capital Visitors Center.
Event: “Together We Will End AIDS” briefing to celebrate the 10th anniversary of U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the global initative to eliminate the disease.
Bona fides: Oscar-winning actress, UNAIDS ambassador, founder of Africa Outreach Project to prevent HIV/AIDS in children.
Backup: Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Eric Goosby, South African Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan. “This is a room full of hope!” said Pelosi.
What she wants: To create an AIDS-free generation in her native South Africa. “This hope will only become a reality if we continue to stand strong and together in solidarity, settling for nothing less than the ending of this epidemic,” she said.
How she looked: Cropped blonde hair, simple stud earrings, somber black jacket and skirt.
How she sounded: Nervous, flat. Theron made the rookie celebvocate mistake of trading her show-biz charisma for policy-wonk-bland, stumbling over her boilerplate prepared remarks. You’re a star, Charlize. Own it.
Soundbite: “Like so many other nations in sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa is now facing a very different kind of struggle: The struggle of a nation where one in ten of its’ people are living with HIV.”