I was making 21 Jump Street and a friend gave me some Runa— the energy boost was so clean that I immediately stopped drinking coffee altogether. Later on I decided to go to Ecuador to see where this magical leaf, Guayusa, actually came from.
I went into the jungle to visit the Sápara people, who use Guayusa as an energy source and medicine, and became truly moved by both their way of life and their knowledge of the rainforest as a living pharmacy. I wondered how it was possible for our world to let such an extraordinary civilization, with such a rich and untapped knowledge of the forest, just fade away. Beyond the injustice of it, it was clear that with the loss of the Sápara, the world would unknowingly lose a critical link to the medical potential of the rainforest.
This tiny civilization, totally ignored and dismissed by the modern world, wanted to share its ancient lineage so that, if properly documented and studied, it might live beyond them and save countless lives across the globe. Needless to say, I had to lend a hand.