Actor and activist Ed Begley Jr. would be angry, if guys who collect their own rainwater got angry. Begley (St. Elsewhere, Six Feet Under) spent three decades enduring mockery for doing things that don't seem quite so stupid now. "Sometimes things happen in God's time," says Begley, 57. "Besides, all the stuff I've done for the environment has been good for my pocketbook. Begley has learned the subtle, passive-aggressive art of what to say to get back at conservatives. He's got his own show, Living with Ed, on HGTV, in which he and his wife teach you how to green your lives and not beat up your husband. "He made us take the bus in California," says Rachelle Carson Begley. "I took it at night, in a miniskirt." Worse yet, he turned down a free trip to Italy because of the wasteful use of jet fuel.
Without really trying, Begley has turned into the celebrities' EPA commissioner. Lucy Liu asked about solar panels the other day. Leonardo DiCaprio once stopped by to hunt for ideas. "Daryl Hannah and I have consulted on a lot of things. But she's way beyond me now," Begley says. He spends almost two hours a day answering e-mails from noncelebs about double-pane windows. But his wife says he's loosened up the no-fly rules. "He knows he'd have no friends and family if he keeps that up."