What's Rachael Leigh Cook doing these days? Same old—cracking eggs to promote an important message. But this time, she's serving up a slightly different one.
The 37-year-old She's All That and Perception star, who rose to fame in the '90s, reprises her role in a new "This Is Your Brain on Drugs" PSA, released Thursday—on 4/20—and 20 years after her first one. This time, she speaks out not only against drug use, but against existing drug policy in the United States.
"This is one of the millions of Americans who uses drugs and won't get arrested," Cook says, holding up a white egg and putting it on a counter.
"However, this American," she begins, holding up a brown egg, "Is several times more likely to be charged with a drug crime. Imagine it's you."
An animation depicting the egg being sentenced, jailed and then released with dire prospects for landing a job or getting into college is shown.
In 1971, President Richard Nixon declared a "war on drugs." More than $51 billion has been spent on law enforcement efforts to try to curb illegal drug use and incarcerate users, dealers and distributors, but the initiatives have been "harmful" and the war on drugs is really a "war on people," according to the Drug Policy Alliance, the group behind the PSA and which promotes "drug policies that are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights."
"The war on drugs is ruining people's lives," Cook says in the video, holding up a frying pan with remnants of a raw egg dripping off it. "It fuels mass incarceration, it targets people of color in greater numbers than their white counterpart. It cripples communities. It costs billions and it doesn't work. Any questions?"
The Partnership for a Drug-Free America (PDFA), a New York City group that aims to prevent teenage substance abuse, launched the first "This Is Your Brain on Drugs" anti-narcotics ad campaign in 1987. Its original PSA shows a man cracking and frying an egg.
Cook starred in the second "This Is Your Brain on Drugs" PSA in 1997. In the video, she smashes an egg and then an entire kitchen to demonstrate the effect of heroin on a person's brain and how their addiction affects their lives, career and loved ones.
A third PSA, which did not star the actress, was released last year and features teens.