When Julia Ormond was just a graduate from London’s prestigious Webber-Douglas Academy of Art at the age of 23, she suddenly found herself getting rave reviews in her first role as a drug addict daughter in the 1989 British television series “Traffik.” It didn’t take long for word to get around about the beauty with long brown hair who also had talent.
In addition to landing other TV roles, in 1994 she co-starred with Brad Pitt, Aidan Quinn and Henry Thomas in “Legends of the Fall” before playing Queen Guinevere in 1995’s “First Knight” opposite Sean Connery and Richard Gere.
Julia admitted that such sudden stardom was astonishing, saying, “I found it all very scary. This fairytale gets built around you — as if you’ve been walking through the streets and then Sydney Pollack sees you and goes, ‘I’ll put you in something!’”
It was her taking the title role in the 1995 remake of “Sabrina” that put her under the microscope. Despite holding her own with Harrison Ford and Greg Kinnear, she was compared to the late Audrey Hepburn, who had originally played the part in 1954.
But Julia was made of stronger stuff and recognized that taking on the role would be problematic, saying, “It was a fantastic learning experience and OK, I got slammed because I wasn’t Audrey Hepburn, but you could have predicted that, really, if you’d opened your eyes wide enough.”
It was also during the 1990s that Julia became an activist against human trafficking.
While her work on stage and screen earned accolades over the past three decades, her advocacy has resulted in her being appointed a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador.
She has also founded Alliance to Stop Slavery and End Trafficking (ASSET), “which works with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government officials and individuals to create the systemic change needed to eradicate slavery at its source.
It was in 2010 that ASSET was “instrumental in passing the California Transparency in Supply Chairs Act, a consumer rights disclosure bill requiring major manufacturers and retailers to make public their policy on trafficking and slavery all the way down the supply chain.”
Her knowledge and leadership regarding human trafficking have resulted in her appearing as an expert witness before the U.S. Congress and the United Nations, in addition to being presented the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award and the Women for Women International’s Peace Award.
Julia will also be appearing as the keynote speaker at the 2022 New Friends New Life Luncheon being co-chaired by Katherine Wynne and sisters Kristi Sherrill Hoyl and Melissa Sherrill Martin along with Honorary Co-Chairs Matrice Ellis-Kirk and Ron Kirk on Friday, November 4, at the Hyatt Regency.
According to New Friends New Life CEO Bianca Davis, “As we at New Friends New Life continue to connect the dots and educate the community about the crime of human trafficking, we couldn’t be more delighted to introduce Julia Ormond to our donors and supporters at this year’s luncheon. Her role as an activist against trafficking around the world, and her experience assessing solutions and challenges, will provide attendees with further insight about how we can all dismantle, disrupt, and disarm this industry that is victimizing 25 million people around the world, including 313,000 people right here in Texas.”
Beginning at $2,500, underwriting sponsorships are now available here with a “limited number of individual tickets being released closer to the date.”
Funds raised from the luncheon will support New Friends New Life’s mission to “restore and empower trafficked and sexually exploited teen girls, women and their children and drive awareness of the issue and its prevalence.”