Diana Silvers portrait Dazed 100
Diana SilversCourtesy of Diana Silvers
“I’d photograph how our most popular national parks have been impacted by climate change and urban development

Diana Silvers

Age - 22
 Los Angeles, United States
@dianasilverss
Diana Silvers
“I’d photograph how our most popular national parks have been impacted by climate change and urban development

You might remember Diana Silvers for her role as the incredibly cool, aloof hot girl Hope in 2019’s goofball high school comedy, Booksmart. But Silvers says that her character couldn’t be further from reality; when she was at high school herself, in LA, she was more of a loner. She threw herself into acting, and her naturalistic style has already landed her big roles – at 22, she’s worked with Octavia Spencer and Steve Carrell (on the upcoming comedy series Space Force), and is currently shooting her first starring role in Birds of Paradise, a feature-length drama set at a ballet school in Paris. 

Right now, she says, her experience as a loner is serving her well during quarantine. As a person who’s passionate about nature and climate change, she’s spending her time on lockdown in LA reflecting on the long term lessons we might be able to learn from the current global crisis. “I’ve been rethinking: how much do I really need to consume?” she says. “Whether it’s food or toilet paper or just random stuff I buy on the internet because I think I need it – clearly, as a society, we overproduce and under-consume. If there’s anything I could influence, it would be to take what you need and only what you need. And leave room for mother nature. This is a symbiotic relationship. Leave no trace, you know?”

How did you start doing the work you do, and what inspires it? 

Diana Silvers: I started acting when I was a kid, just doing theatre camp and acting in school plays. I needed the escape. I was incredibly insecure and didn’t have many friends, so getting to play pretend just gave me someone else to be... I picked up photography in high school to impress a boy I liked at the time. I never got the boy, but I found something I really love doing. 

What issues or causes are you passionate about and why? 

Diana Silvers: The National Parks! Preserving land. Preserving culture. Preserving our Earth. I just watched this documentary called Into the Canyon (incredible watch, if you haven’t seen it) and it astounds me that even our most protected land still need protection from big corporations getting their greedy, oily hands in there. 

“I picked up photography in high school to impress a boy I liked at the time. I never got the boy, but I found something I really love doing” – Diana Silvers

How has the coronavirus outbreak affected you, your work, and your community?

Diana Silvers: Historically, over the last century, in a time of crisis or war, people have turned to entertainment as a way of escaping the harsh realities of everyday life and as a result, the entertainment industry was one that boomed rather than crumbled. But, the coronavirus outbreak is unlike anything we’ve really experienced. We can’t work in either industry. There is so much uncertainty as to when we’re all going back to work. 

At the start of the outbreak in Europe, I was working on a film in Budapest (Birds of Paradise) when our production was shut down with six days left. The whole thing was really surreal and happened overnight. It felt like overnight the world changed. It’s strange: in a time of war, you huddle with your community, you hold your loved ones close and you can see “the enemy”. But with a pandemic, “the enemy” is invisible and could be anyone. I’ve never felt so paranoid and isolated from my friends and family before. 

I have hope that things will return to some form of normal. That we will touch and embrace and hold each other again. But right now I’m taking it day by day. I read enough news to stay informed and play my part, but not excessively to the point where I obsess over it and get anxious. I read scripts and try not to think about the ‘when’ of anything. I’m trying to treat this as a weird stay at home summer vacation, with lots of check-in FaceTimes and Clorox wipes. On the bright side, Los Angeles has never looked so beautiful. The air and visibility are off the charts. The sky has never been bluer. I guess earth needed a vacation too.

What creative or philanthropic project would you work on with a grant from the Dazed 100 Ideas Fund?

Diana Silvers: I would love to fund a photo project where I photograph 10 to 15 of our most popular national parks, showing how climate change and urban development have impacted our most heavily trafficked, protected lands. I’d put it up as a show, with proceeds going to not-for-profit indigenous organisations and nature conservation organisations. 

Aimee Cliff

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