As an actress, activist, podcaster, role model, wife and friend, there’s not a part Sophia Bush can’t play—and with the eloquence and kindness every women dreams to emulate. It’s with great pleasure that we introduce her as this month’s FRĒDA Woman!
Between shots, we sat down with her to talk about her latest projects, the diligence she has in speaking out for issues near to her heart and more everyday inspiration.
Talk to us about what you’re currently up to.
After a whirlwind year—eight months filming a show in Canada and then getting married in Tulsa, Ok this summer and honeymooning in Africa with my husband—I am finally home for a glorious moment before I leave again for two back-to-back films and a series of live events for my “Drama Queens” podcast. This year feels like spring! All of the trees we’ve planted are bearing fruit.
What is something you’re really excited about right now?
I am currently in pre-production for season three of my first podcast, “Work In Progress.” We’ve been through so much that can be viewed as extraordinary or once in a lifetime as a society recently, and I can’t wait to get back into my interviewer’s chair and dive into curiosity and meaning and learning with the experts we have lined up. It’s one of the joys of my creative life.
Additionally, I am excited about this first married year that my husband, Grant, and I are in. It’s such a sweet season; filled with possibility and celebration. I really cherish this time. We’re traveling together, and building a life together and it’s such a special experience. Plus he’s building out his passion project, “Drink Good Wine,” which is a blast. I get to taste wine with my handsome man nearly every day and it’s “work?” Sign me up for more!
What does heritage style mean to you?
“Heritage” is actually one of my favorite words. In coming up with the pattern for my wedding dress, I told Monique Lhuillier that I wanted to design a “heritage print.” Something that, much like a family crest, would represent us and where we come from. Something romantic, classic, and timeless. And that’s really what the notion of “heritage style” means to me. Classic pieces that become part of your story, your vibe. Things that look “like you” to the people who know and love you. Things that work everywhere, no matter the location, and feel like home. When I consider investing in a piece of clothing or footwear I often ask myself, “will I want to wear this in five years, or ten? And in ten years, will I look back on photographs of this and think ‘still works?’” If the answer is yes? Then that’s something I’ll add to my collection.
How do you feel supported from the ground up?
From the ground up…to me that means being supported truthfully and holistically. Having a community that shows up for each other to celebrate wins and to hold space in tragedy. Having a community that goes the extra mile to check in, surprise friends, and lovingly offer what might not be asked for. I am a person who lends a lot of help but struggles to ask for it. And my humans? They see that and know that about me, and they often show up without my having to ask. To me, that’s a love language; the ultimate support.
What is something you’re learning about yourself now?
Well, I am learning to ask for help more often, that’s for sure. I am also so much more comfortable in my own skin, and with both what I know and what I don’t. That means that I ask a lot of questions. I don’t feel like I need to have the answers to everything, which I did when I was starting my career. That means that I ask a lot of questions. I actually relish learning about other people’s knowledge, expertise, trades, and even hobbies. I find that life gets infinitely more beautiful and ever more saturated when I lean into curiosity.
You’ve been vocal about a number of issues, what propels you forward to fight the fight?
For me, it’s all connected. Climate and discrimination. Education and access. And as a person with a platform, I feel a deep responsibility to use it to activate, engage, inspire, and gather groups to stand up for each other. Love is a verb. You have to be loving. You have to show up for people. So too, are politics and life in society. Democracy is a verb. We have to work it. It only works if we work it. So My goal is always to personalize issues for my community so that we continue to see how important it is for us to show up, speak up, and be heard.
When was the last time you were in awe, or in wonder of your own abilities–as a woman, actress, friend, or wife?
I was very impressed with myself when I packed just a carry-on suitcase for a recent 14-day trip! I won a couple of bets with that one.
But all joking aside, I was in awe of our wedding. Grant and I really wanted to take the media spotlight and attention that comes with my job and turn it towards Tulsa, Oklahoma. To the fight for justice and repartitions to the community of Greenwood and the descendants there. To the good work of Dr. Tiffany Crutcher and the Terence Crutcher Foundation, and the legacy of the Black Wall Street Times. And it worked. Those people were part of every story told about our wedding. People we know, and many we don’t who read those articles, have taken deep dives into studying the history of what happened in Greenwood and how to support the community there now. It was the realization of a dream. We spent the privilege of our platform the best way we know how, and everyone understood the assignment. It was a profound moment for us. And to have it be the underpinning of our most important day left us breathless. Tulsa, we love you.
Do you have advice for people standing up for what they believe in?
Don’t give up. Never stop learning. Show up to help the helpers—there are so many people who’ve been fighting the fight longer than we have. Learn from then—and eventually, you’ll be a helper yourself.
What’s something you’re most proud of?
I am proud of my journey. I’ve always gotten back up after I’ve fallen. I’ve always tried to lend a hand to others. I try to use my platform for good, and for learning. And I have a community and a marriage that reflect so much love and integrity back at me that I am finally confident enough to know that I’ve earned it; that I too must possess those qualities. The mission from here on out is to continue to earn that love and that beautiful belonging. To make the ones I love proud. And to relish in joy when I’ve got it. Joy is the fuel for everything hard, and the thing we must relentlessly seek out for ourselves so that we might relentlessly prioritize and demand it for others.
What’s your mantra?
Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose. Thanks to Coach Taylor.
Innovation. In law, design, tech, or any corner of society really. The people who look at the way we’ve always done things and so clearly say “there’s a better way.” Those people are the ones I look to for inspiration. Them, and Pinterest. My meditation is designing homes I don’t own on Pinterest. Always does the trick.
When you're not working, how do you like to spend your time?
I just want to be with my humans. For me, work is so often synonymous with leaving home and missing major events. So whenever I have downtime? I want to be in a car or on a couch laughing with my favorite people. To me? That is bliss.