They might be earning millions of dollars but Hollywood stars — at least a majority of them — deserve credit for their benevolence and philanthropy.

Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield recently flashed cardboard placards, garnering attention towards a charity organisation
Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield recently flashed cardboard placards, garnering attention towards a charity organisation 

Over the years, the number of actors taking a keen interest in activism has increased. The advent of social media has indeed played a key role in this upswing. Nowadays, almost every actor worth his nickel is far from hesitant when it comes to supporting his or her cause (environmental or otherwise).

hitlist takes a look at those who took time off from the film industry to get some work done in the real world.

Ewan McGregor
Ewan McGregor
Lowdown:
There are very few peple who can claim that they've travelled across the globe on a bike. McGregor is one of them. In 2012, the Trainspotting star travelled with UNICEF immunisation workers to remote parts of India, Nepal and the Republic of Congo for a documentary to highlight the lack as well as the significance of vaccination in developing nations.

George Clooney
George Clooney
Lowdown:
One of the most influential voices on the global platform, Clooney has been at the forefront of raising awareness about issues ranging from Indian Ocean tsunami relief to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The actor-director even got himself arrested in 2012 by protesting outside the Sudanese Embassy, to highlight the ongoing crisis in Darfur.

Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio
Lowdown:
His money-worshipping character in The Wolf of Wall Street is a far cry from the number of causes DiCaprio has taken up. Among many things, he has been a votary of measure against global warning. Also, he was adamant on meeting Russia's Vladmir Putin in 2010 — despite two plane delays — to discuss tiger conservation.

Emile Hirsch
Emile Hirsch
Lowdown:
If you think his existential act in Into the Wild (2007) didn't affect Hirsch personally, you might want to do some rethinking. The following year, this young actor went to Africa — along with four fellow activists — to write what he called Congo Diary. About his five-day trip, he later said, "Maybe, just maybe, we can all come together to change the world."

Ryan Gosling
Ryan Gosling
Lowdown:
Other than inspiring 'Hey Girl' memes on the Internet, Gosling has been a social activist as well. The Drive star has worked on a campaign to stop de-horning of cows. Post Hurricane Katrina, he participated in a clean-up drive. Besides travelling to Darfur refugee camps in Chad, he also visited Uganda and eastern Congo to raise conflict awareness across the globe.

Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie
Lowdown:
We shouldn't be surprised if she goes on to bag the Nobel Peace Prize given the amount of time she invests in travelling to the 'troubled' zones on the planet. Thanks to her star presence, she's instantly recognised for her stance on global issues, humanitarian causes and her efforts in improving living conditions for refugees hasn't gone unnoticed either.