Ashley Judd on Who Do You Think You Are?
“When they were talking to me, they were surprised at how much I did know,” Judd says, referring to her and her family’s long-held interest in their genealogy. “A key element of the program is the surprise factor in revealing to the star information that they did not know. They were like, ‘OK, you’re going to be a challenge. How are we going to find family data that you don’t know yet?’
“Then they said, ‘What would you like to know?’ and I said, ‘Where does my passion for social justice come from?’ I have such an inexorable drive for positive reform, for equality, for justice. Is there a precedent in the family for these kinds of values and civic participation?
“And there is. There most certainly is. They found the big one.”
What the big one is you can find out on the show at 8 p.m. ET tonight (April 8, 2011) on NBC, but let’s just say it goes back 12 generations and crosses the Atlantic Ocean.
And that’s part of what makes this show cool.
Who Do You Think You Are? had not shown up on my radar before Ms. Judd’s episode because on the surface it felt like just another celebrity-based reality show.
But watching tonight’s episode it struck me that this is prime time network television where history and culture are being discussed in detail and in a pretty fascinating way, and the network is not PBS. Yes, the show has its gimmicks and somewhat manufactured drama. But it is also touching and enlightening, two things you really can’t say about most TV today, particularly reality TV.
For Kentuckians, with Judd’s episode, we see some familiar landscapes and places, including a visit to Frankfort.
“I loved going to the state archives,” Judd said in an interview Friday for a story that will be in Sunday’s Herald-Leader and on LexGo.com about her new memoir, All That is Bitter and Sweet. “They were wonderful people and I loved getting on that microfiche and looking at property records and … it’s enthralling.”
4 Responses to “Ashley Judd on Who Do You Think You Are?”
Alison April 8th, 2011 at 9:12 pm
I watched this episode tonight & got excited when I found out she was a Mayflower child too. I was so hoping she was in my family line but alas no…she is thru William Brewster while I am thru Richard Warren. But the episode was still great to learn more about the Mayflower pilgrims. Some of the information they gave her may help me to find more answers in my tree.
charles brown April 8th, 2011 at 11:56 pm
shes is as full of it as her mother.
Nate Thompson April 14th, 2011 at 4:53 pm
Good show. Good actress. Good person from what I see & hear.
Ashely Judd recently said in response to some feedback about a passage in her book:
“Abuse and violence in any form, at any time, in any expression, are never okay. Period. I, and other girls and women, are not afraid of you. You can keep on hating, but I am going to keep on loving.”
Most of that is fine and understandable but there is a part I wanted to respond to and since I don’t see a way to comment directly on her blog, I’ll try it here , if the paper can tolerate it:
“I, and other girls and women, are not afraid of you.”
Really? I think many or most women and girls are afraid of men or certain men or certain men in certain situations. Hence the traveling in packs from elementary school on, the mace, the big fingernails, the ready quick scream instinct and screams, a few knives and guns, the cell phone to call the police, the rape laws (where a convict can often get more time than for manslaughter or 2nd degree murder), the pornography laws (where just looking at photo “too young” or too vile” can get you a big time sentence), the lifetime sex offender programs (even for offending juveniles), the mainstream movie standards, the domestic violence laws (where a push or slap can get you arrested and thrown in jail), a good part of the feminist literature, etc.
Much or nearly all of the fear is warranted. But the fear exists. It is why some things happen to girls and women that they didn’t want and why they sometimes don’t report it later.
My interpretation is you that you meant you are not afraid to the point of inaction. You are not afraid to fight.
But the fear exists and signs of that fear are prevalent in culture and law.
Sometimes it can be overdone and I think that is worth some mention. In the big picture it may be better to overdo it than under-do it but it would be better to target the worst offense effectively and perhaps avoid overdone responses to some of the lesser offenses,
Nate Thompson April 14th, 2011 at 5:02 pm
Hate of violence against women can sometimes turn into hate of men or most men or nearly so or at least in the ears of some men.
And it is not just about words. Sometimes the law takes sides decidedly. And not always in measure that all consider precisely appropriate.
About Rich Copley & Copious Notes
Raised by opera-loving parents in a rock ’n’ roll world, Rich Copley has parlayed his broad interests into his career writing about arts and entertainment. Since 1998, he has covered performing arts, film and faith-based popular culture for the Lexington Herald-Leader, the daily newspaper in Lexington, Ky. MORE | E-mail Rich