Adrian Grenier is most well-known as the star of the mid-2000s HBO bro-fest Entourage. But the luxuriously tressed actor wants you to know that he is nothing like the hard-partying young superstar he played on that show. “While my character, Vincent Chase, indulged in the extravagant Hollywood lifestyle, offscreen, I’d always preferred more intimate dinner parties surrounded by close friends,” Grenier writes in an astonishing essay published on Refinery29. “Not too long ago, I invited a few people over for a casual evening. Our conversations are usually intellectual, creative, and invariably, devolve into humorous stories.”
How could you fail to take Grenier seriously when he appreciates intimate dinner parties, intellectual conversations, and “humorous stories”? And Grenier isn’t just using his voice to talk about his enviable dinner parties—he is using it to talk to, and for, whales. He explains,
Two years ago, my diving and producing partner, Lucy, resurfaced in my life, calling to tell me about this whale, this lonely whale. She told me the story of a solitary creature that has called out to no response for more than 30 years, and asked me to join her in answering it. So I did.
“MRRRRRRRRRRHHHHHHHH,” Grenier answered. No, actually he answered by starting a nonprofit called the Lonely Whale Foundation, which, according to its website, “is dedicated to bringing people closer to the world’s oceans through education and awareness, inspiring empathy and action for ocean health and the wellbeing of marine wildlife.”
On an individual level, Grenier is inspiring action by trying to get everyone to stop using plastic straws, which can break down in the ocean and threaten marine animals’ health. This is ostensibly the main message of Grenier’s wide-ranging essay, which also covers the first time Grenier went scuba diving, what Grenier sees when he looks in the mirror each morning (“environmentalist”), and the mysterious lack of trash in Instagram photos. But apparently—inexplicably—not everyone has enjoyed hearing Grenier talk about how “your plastic straw could end up lodged in a turtle’s nose.” “That’s when I started to feel the disconnect,” writes Grenier. “I felt the solitude the Lonely Whale must feel when it calls out year after year in the hopes that someone will answer its call for companionship.”
The so-called lonely whale, which has been tracked in the North Pacific since 1992, calls out at a frequency that other whales can’t recognize and don’t respond to. Grenier, meanwhile, calls out to Refinery29’s readers by appealing to their feminine side. “The ocean is often cast as female in stories, with tales of sirens and goddesses controlling the tides,” he writes. “In my personal experience, that narrative has rung true. … Use your strong female voice to call out like the sirens you are and refuse straws.” Don’t let him down, ladies—the lonely whale of Hollywood is waiting for your response.