David James Elliott took his wife, son and daughter to the jungles of Ecuador this spring on the invitation of Amazon Watch — and has come back a changed man.
“I’m going out there again, longer this time, because I want to become more
active with the cause of getting clean water into tribal areas. These giant
corporations go in with their mega-projects and toss their crap into the water.
It’s terrible, shameful. With this going on, and what’s happening with the BP
catastrophe in the Gulf — the day of reckoning seems to have arrived. It’s here. Do it now or we’re done. Hopefully, we’re not too late.”
He’s been talking to Trudie Styler, aka the wife of rock star Sting and
co-founder of their Rainforest Foundation organization, about next steps.
The Elliotts spent two weeks in the rain forest, staying with members of a
warrior culture known as the Achuar, who are looking for help as they struggle to fend off the despoiling of their land. “Taking my family there was a calculated risk,” he admits. “We didn’t know as much as we should. There are definitely things there that can kill you.”
However, “It was the trip of a lifetime.” From seeing exotic birds and
monkeys to watching his son playing with tribal children, hiking through the
jungle with the Achuar to sampling native delicacies including smoked rat and fermented saliva, “It was ‘Avatar,’ really,” he acknowledges.
Elliott has the Hallmark Channel original movie “Dad’s Home” coming up
Saturday (6/19) in conjunction with Father’s Day. His character — a widowed advertising executive who finds he is sorely lacking in domestic skills when he’s downsized into stay-at-home status — couldn’t be much different from Elliott himself. The actor says he enjoyed playing a part with a light comedic touch, and was drawn to “Dad’s Home” because “my friend Bradford May was the director. He directed 50 episodes of ‘JAG,’ so it was just a gas to be with him again. Every day was fun.”
His work right now is ABC’s Sunday (6/20) debuting “Scoundrels” series. He
came aboard literally overnight when Neal McDonough opted out after production had begun, feeling that the show’s sex scenes were in conflict with his religious beliefs.
“Was I worried about TV sex scenes?” asks Elliott with a trace of sarcasm.
“No.” He plays the convict dad of a family of criminals, whose wife — the
inimitable Virginia Madsen — wants to go straight.