When it comes to empowering women, Sophia Bush is not someone you want to cross.
The "Chicago P.D." actress, who plays tough-as-nails detective Erin Lindsay, doesn't just portray a badass feminist on TV -- it's who she is.
"I celebrate the fact that I play a very strong capable female on television who works in a room full of men and nails it. And by the way, that's what I do all day. I work in a room full of men, and I work really hard, and I do a really good job, and I'm allowed to love that," she told AOL in an exclusive interview.
Bush, 33, who is also known for her past roles on "One Tree Hill," "John Tucker Must Die" and NBC's "Chicago" franchise, has no qualms about taking industry insiders to task on their degrading language. She recalled one moment she had a producer totally taken aback and "stuttering."
"If a producer is looking through photos of actors and actresses on an iPad for casting, and I hear them make a comment about a woman's body or what she looks like, I'm like, 'Hey, you didn't say that about any of the three guys who you just flipped through, and if you want to do it, don't make the mistake of doing it front of me again.' "
Sophia Bush through the years:
Sophia Bush recalls taking a producer to task about his degrading language
WILMINGTON - MARCH 19: Sophia Bush, star of 'One Tree Hill' cheers for her team during the charity football game on March 19, 2004 in Wilmington, North Carolina. The cast and crew of the WB drama are playing to raise money for Pop Warner scholarships. (Photo by Logan Mock-Bunting/Getty Images)
Sophia Bush (Photo by John Sciulli/WireImage for Bragman Nyman Cafarelli)
Sophia Bush (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
NEW YORK - JULY 15: (U.S. TABS OUT) (L-R) Actress/musician Hilary Duff, actor Chad Michael Murray and his fiance Sophia Bush appear on stage during MTV's Total Request Live at the MTV Times Square Studios July 15, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)
Sophia Bush (Photo by Chris Weeks/WireImage)
Sophia Bush during Gen Art's Fresh Faces of Fashion at Santa Monica Airport Hanger 8 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/FilmMagic)
Sophia Bush during Olympus Fashion Week Fall 2005 - Vera Wang - Backstage and Front Row at Bryant Park Tents in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Gregory Pace/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 5: Actress Sophia Bush arrives at the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' 'Glory Road' at the Pantages Theatre on January 5, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
(EXCLUSIVE, Premium Rates Apply) Sophia Bush (Photo by E. Charbonneau/WireImage for Focus Features)
Sophia Bush (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Sophia Bush and Kevin Zegers during Sophia Bush and Kevin Zegers on Set of 'The Narrows' - May 24, 2007 at SoHo in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
Sophia Bush (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Sophia Bush (Photo by E. Charbonneau/WireImage)
(EXCLUSIVE, Premium Rates Apply) UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - AUGUST 26: Actor Jonah Hill, actress Sophia Bush, actor Christopher Mintz-Plasse and actor Michael Cera at the 2007 Teen Choice Awards at Gibson Amphitheater on August 26, 2007 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 02: Actress Sophia Bush (2nd-L) sits in the front row of the Abaete Fall 2008 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2008 at The Salon at Bryant Park on February 2, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for IMG)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 08: Actress Sophia Bush leaves the Marc Jacobs Fall 2008 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2008 at the New York State Armory on February 8, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)
Sophia Bush and Minka Kelly
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 10: Actress Sophia Bush arrives at the Art of Elysium's 2nd Annual Black Tie Charity Gala 'Heaven' at Vibiana on January 10, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 30: Actress Sophia Bush arrives at the premiere Of Paramount's 'Star Trek' on April 30, 2009 at Graumanï¿½s Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - AUGUST 03: Sophia Bush arrives at the 2009 TCA Summer Tour - CBS, CW and Showtime All-Star Party at the Huntington Library on August 3, 2009 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 11: Actress Sophia Bush arrives at Hollywood Life's 6th Annual Hollywood Style Awards held at the Armand Hammer Museum on October 11, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 15: Actress Sophia Bush backstage at the Monique Lhuillier Fall 2010 Fashion Show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Promenade at Bryant Park on February 15, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for IMG)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Actresses Lea Michele and Sophia Bush attend PETA's 30th Anniversary Gala and Humanitarian Awards at The Hollywood Palladium on September 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06: Actor Sophia Bush attends the 2010 Global Green USA Sustainable Design Awards at Pier 60 on December 6, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Von Holden/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JUNE 18: Actors Austin Nichols and Sophia Bush attend Montblanc Presents The 24 Hour Plays LA at The Broad Stage on June 18, 2011 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Mark Sullivan/Getty Images For Montblanc)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: Actress Sophia Bush attends the premiere of The Weinstein Company's 'I Don't Know How She Does It' after party sponsored by QVC & Palladium Jewelry at Hudson Hotel on September 12, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 05: (L-R) Executive producer Joe Davola, actor Paul Johansson, actress Sophia Bush and creator Mark Schwahn pose at The CW's presentation of 'An Evening with One Tree Hill' at the Arclighht Theater on January 5, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 08: Actress Sophia Bush arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere 'This Means War' at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on February 8, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 04: Sophia Bush attends 2012 CFDA Fashion Awards Offical After Party at Boom Boom Room on June 4, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 29: (L-R) Actors Sophia Bush, David Krumholtz, writers/executive producers David Kohan, Max Mutchnick, actors Michael Urie, and Brandon Routh speak at the 'Partners' discussion panel during the CBS portion of the 2012 Summer Television Critics Association tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 29, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 09: Sophia Bush attends the Elle Magazine And Sarah Hyland Hosts Songbirds' 'Miss Me' Album Release Party at Sunset Marquis Hotel & Villas on August 9, 2012 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Actress Sophia Bush arrives at the CBS 2012 fall premiere party at Greystone Manor Supperclub on September 18, 2012 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - APRIL 10: Actress Sophia Bush carrying Coach, attends Coach's 3rd Annual Evening of Cocktails and Shopping to Benefit the Children's Defense Fund hosted by Katie McGrath, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk at Bad Robot on April 10, 2013 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Donato Sardella/Getty Images for Coach)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 19: Sophia Bush attends the Target FEED Collaboration launch at Brooklyn Bridge Park on June 19, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
WESTWOOD, CA - AUGUST 10: Actress Sophia Bush attends the 1st Annual Founders Party for the Invisible Children's 4th Estate Leadership Summit at Royce Hall, UCLA on August 10, 2013 in Westwood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 19: Sophia Bush appears in advance of a panel discussion at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago, IL on February 19, 2014 (Photo by Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 20: Sophia Bush is seen on April 20, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by GONZALO/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 20: Actress Sophia Bush attends the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 20, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 24: (L-R) Actors Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Sophia Bush and Sarah Hyland attend Entertainment Weekly's celebration honoring the 2015 SAG awards nominees at Chateau Marmont on January 24, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 13: Sophia Bush is seen in Los Angeles on February 13, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 06: Sophia Bush seen out for dinner on May 6, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
PHOTOGRAPH BY Candid / Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read Candid / Barcroft Media via GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 17: Sophia Bush is seen in New York City on June 17, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Nancy Rivera/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 26: Actress Sophia Bush speaks on stage at the 2015 Global Citizen Festival to end extreme poverty by 2030 in Central Park on September 26, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Global Citizen)
NBCUNIVERSAL EVENTS -- 'NBC Chicago Celebration' -- Pictured: Sophia Bush, 'Chicago P.D.' at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios on November 9, 2015 -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 08: Actress Sophia Bush is seen on March 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by ESBP/Star Max/GC Images)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Sophia Bush wears Sorel Around Park City - Day 1 2016 Park City on January 22, 2016 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Sorel)
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That kind of behavior, which Bush say is "habitual" in so many industries, is exactly why the actress is teaming up with EcoTools, a sustainable beauty brand notable for its environmental excellence, to help empower women through the #MyTrueBeauty campaign benefitting The Girl Project, which aims to support girls' education globally.
Bush, who has been a fan of the brand's products "for forever," was stunned to learn that EcoTools would donate $1 for each post on social media that tagged #MyTrueBeauty and @ecotools up to $100,000 on International Women's Day, no less.
"I was like, 'Say what?' Corporate people don't do that," she joked. "It's such a cool reminder that good people find good people."
Coming from Hollywood, which is largely perceived to be a superficial industry, Bush was particularly drawn to the campaign's idea that beauty starts from the inside.
"I feel my most beautiful when I feel like I'm being impactful or talking about something that I'm passionate about," she said. "We're not just going to raise $100,000 for The Girl Project -- we're going to create a whole digital database under our hashtag about messages about women's empowerment and women who are inspired by one another and how their volunteering to support each other, and I just can't wait to see it grow."
Joining the conversation of women's empowerment is important to Bush, who admires her colleagues and friends, Viola Davis and Gina Rodriguez, both of whom have found incredible success as women of color in the industry. The actress even admits "crying and screaming at the TV" when watching Davis' impactful acceptance speeches.
"It's so important to watch women in any position have that conversation because it reminds you of the progress that we're making but also how far we have to go. The number of women who are actually directing projects in Hollywood right now is a joke, and the number of women getting nominated for awards for the incredible projects they're making -- even less," she lamented. "Yes, champion what's going right, but also highlight where we need to keep pushing because progress still needs to be made."