Ashley Judd acknowledges that she is a badass.
The actress, who joined the cast of the Epix spy drama “Berlin Station” as a series regular for its second season, talked about being badass woman in the public eye at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Tuesday.
“It’s fun,” Judd said. “But it is a little scary because there are plenty of people who would like to squelch the general badassery of strong women everywhere.”
Judd has been an outspoken political activist throughout her career, including a brief flirtation with a run for the U.S. Senate, a TED Talk touching on the online harassment of women and an appearance at the Women’s March in Washington earlier this year.
“It’s a mantle I assumed as a college student,” Judd said of her passion for activism. “A member of the board of trustees said something undeniably racist at a meeting. I felt that his ongoing presence on the board of trustees was inappropriate. He was a beloved figure, and I was great friends with his granddaughter, and still am.”
“That was a great lesson for me,” she continued. “I learned to put principles above personalities. And the principle was that he needed to go. So I helped organize a campus-wide walkout of classes protesting his presence on the board of trustees.”
Judd went on to say that she believes that outspoken badassery has done more to help her career than her previous onscreen work.
“I know that folks [who approach me] watched my recent TED Talk,” she said. “And obviously my body of work is 20 years in the making now. They could have referenced any number of films, they could have looked at ‘Missing,’ which was a limited series I did at ABC which garnered me an Emmy nomination … But they watched the TED Talk.”
“It’s wonderful to be wanted for exactly who and what I am,” she said.