Maria Bello, Defining Her Own Sexual Categories, Joins TheGrill As Spotlight Interview

The esteemed actress wrote a best-selling book saying she was a “whatever” – outside traditional sexual definitions

I am very excited that I will get to interview Maria Bello, the actor, activist and best-selling author, at TheGrill this year.

I’ve long been wanting to ask her about sexuality, gender and her decision to become a… “whatever.”

Bello sparked debate in November 2013 when she wrote an essay for the New York Times explaining that she had fallen in love with a woman and considered herself outside sexual categories.

“Whomever I love, however I love them, whether they sleep in my bed or not, or whether I do homework with them or share a child with them, ‘love is love,’” Bello said in “Coming Out as a Modern Family.”

Her related book, “Whatever…Love is Love Questioning the Labels We Give Ourselves,” is a New York Times Bestseller. The memoir about family and relationships and examines the idea of partnership in every woman’s life.

Bello is one of Hollywood’s most esteemed actresses, appearing in “Prisoners,” “A History of Violence,” “Coyote Ugly,” “Payback,” many other blockbuster and indie favorites.

She is the Co-Founder of We Advance, an organization that digitally empowers and connects women throughout Haiti.  She has spoken around the country on social impact investing, Haiti, women’s rights, LGBT rights and human rights including TEDx in Washington D.C., the ACLU, Vital Voices and others.  In 2012 she was a keynote speaker at the State Departments Forum on Impact Investing and is a partner in the online social impact investment firm, Gate Global Impact.

Bello joins previously announced speakers including Academy Award winning Producer Brian Grazer, A+E Networks President and CEO Nancy Dubuc, Condé Nast Entertainment President Dawn Ostroff, Box CEO Aaron Levie, long-time Viacom executive Van Toffler, YouTube’s Robert Kyncl, Maker Studios CEO Ynon Kreiz, Whalerock Industries’ Lloyd Braun, AwesomenessTV’s Brian Robbins, Twitter and Uber inverstor Chris Sacca, REDEF CEO Jason Hirschhorn, CAA’s Brian Weinstein and Evolution Media Co-Founder Rick Hess.

For the first time, TheGrill welcomes live coverage of the conference on CNBC with senior media and entertainment correspondent Julia Boorstin, who will also be a moderator.

TheGrill is the leading, annual conversation about the convergence between Entertainment, Media and Technology, bringing newsmakers together to debate the challenges and opportunities facing content in the digital age. Diverse content anchored by versatile talent and supported by big brands has always been the hallmark of Hollywood, and the technology revolution has brought new models to the fore – streaming video, VOD, theatrical and physical products all contributing to a reconfigured economic landscape.

TheGrill brings together the leaders, the deciders and the disrupters at the forefront of entertainment, media and technology. And unlike other conferences in this space, Founders and CEOs of these trailblazing companies lead the debate.

TheGrill has hosted notable entertainment leaders and creatives on the cusp of technological change, including Bill Maher, Seth MacFarlane, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, actress Julie Bowen, Live Nation Executive Chairman Irving Azoff, writer-director Judd Apatow and Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler.

Watch TheGrill welcome video below.