You most recently saw her in NBC’s “The Cape,” but Izabella Miko almost didn’t become an actress. Born in what was still Communist Poland to thespian parents, Izabella learned to dance at the same time that she learned to walk. At the age of 15 she was given a full scholarship to study in New York with the School of American Ballet, only to have injuries cut short her dance career.
Then, a fluke casting in a Lithuanian television movie took Izabella back to America again—this time to the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute—and roles in “Coyote Ugly,” “Bye Bye Blackbird” and HBO’s “Deadwood” shortly followed. We talked with Izabella from the Los Angeles set of “The Cape,” where she opened up about her obsessive environmentalism and non-profit EkoMiko Foundation. Part One of Five.
EcoStiletto: “The Cape” is amazing. What was it like working on such a dark, comic-book style project? Did your dance background come into play at all?
Izabella Miko: It was different than anything else because it’s a character role for me. I play an animal trainer and a circus performer, and I actually not only have a dance background but I do trapeze and aerial. So the fact that I can use this odd skill while shooting something is really pretty incredible.
ES: So switching gears to your philanthropic side, what inspired you to start the EkoMiko Foundation?
IM: I was shooting in Poland about a year and a half ago and I saw how they’re not educated about the little things that we can do every day. I got started on my own set. I told everyone to bring their own [water] bottles. The paparazzi follow me there, so I was like, “Okay, great. If they take pictures of me, they’re going to take pictures of me recycling.”
ES: That’s a great idea! Good for you!
IM: They like to write about my love life. At least if they’re going to write about me, it should be about the plastic cans and bottles that I’m saving from the trash.
I created the non-profit EkoMiko Foundation—both here and in Poland—and a website that would inform people how to live a green life in a really fun and interactive way. We shoot webisodes every two or three weeks, interviews with celebrities, or green places, things that are green and fun.
I want to entertain people but at the same time feed them the green message in a different way. And the whole website is done that way, eco-news but nothing negative, we’re just focusing on positive things, trying to make eco very sexy.
ES: Sounds familiar! Okay, so for our shameless plug section, what do you think of EcoStiletto?
I get your emails. I love it. You guys are doing the same thing I’m doing: Making eco and green hot and fun and sexy and innovative. It’s exactly what I believe in.
ES: Thank you!