WON­DER WOMAN

Ac­tion star Con­nie Nielsen lever­ages her reel-life role to help real-life peo­ple.

Los Angeles Confidential - - Contents - BY MICHAEL VENTRE

Queen Hip­polyta is Won­der Woman’s mother, which ob­vi­ously means when she gets to­gether with other moth­ers at bingo, she has a lot to brag about. The fact that Con­nie Nielsen ap­pears as the DC Comics mom in two up­com­ing films—Won­der Woman, open­ing June 2, and Jus­tice League, set for Novem­ber 17—sug­gests she has this su­per­hero mother­hood thing down.

“I’m ex­cited to play Hip­polyta, who has such a great his­tory in the comic book world,” says the Dan­ish-born Nielsen, per­haps best known for her turn op­po­site Rus­sell Crowe in Gla­di­a­tor, which won the Academy Award for Best Pic­ture in 2000. “A lot of the myths in the story are based on real women—women hunters, women lead­ers.”

Nielsen knows a bit more than most about lead­er­ship. In 2010, she co­founded the Hu­man Needs Project (hu­man­need­spro­ject.org), a non­profit that pro­vides clean wa­ter, in­fra­struc­ture, and em­pow­er­ment ser­vices to res­i­dents of Kib­era, Kenya, an im­pov­er­ished neigh­bor­hood in the cap­i­tal, Nairobi, and the largest ur­ban slum in Africa. It is just one of sev­eral phil­an­thropic en­deav­ors for which Nielsen is pas­sion­ate, and one that earned her the Nel­son Man­dela Change­maker Award at the 2017 PTTOW Sum­mit.

“We’re work­ing to en­sure that the hu­man po­ten­tial that ex­ists ev­ery­where gets a chance to ex­press it­self,” says Nielsen, prov­ing that a su­per-heroic woman doesn’t al­ways need a cos­tume.

“WITH THE HU­MAN NEEDS PROJECT, WE’RE WORK­ING TO EN­SURE THAT HU­MAN PO­TEN­TIAL GETS A CHANCE TO EX­PRESS IT­SELF.” —con­nie nielsen

Hero­ine chic: Dan­ish-born bomb­shell/ac­tress Con­nie Nielsen, a su­per­hero on screen and off, spends time be­tween movies cam­paign­ing for a bet­ter life for the res­i­dents of Kib­era, Kenya, with Hu­man Needs Project co­founder David Warner (be­low right), and...

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