Archive for March, 2012
Our Time, a non-profit organization helping children who stutter, will join with entertainment and sports stars to celebrate NFL Offensive Lineman and person who stutters Matt Slauson at the Tackling Our Fears, Defending Our Dreams benefit gala, April 16 at 7pm at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.
Tackling Our Fears, Defending Our Dreams will celebrate the bravery and achievements of young people who stutter as well as those who inspire their success. Special guests will include Rachel Dratch, Edie Falco, Victor Garber, Mariska Hargitay, Mark Sanchez, Richard Kind, Jesse L. Martin, Matthew Modine, John Oliver, Ron Rifkin, Amy Ryan, cast members from The Book of Mormon, and more.
The event will also include a special presentation by New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez as well as a dinner and auction.
The National Corporate Theatre Fund will honor Harry Connick, Jr. and the Cleveland Play House at the organization’s annual gala, to be held at The Pierre (2 East 61st Street in New York City) on April 30, beginning at 6:30pm.
Mariska Hargitay, who stars on Law & Order: SVU, will present Connick with his award. Additional guests and performers will be announced at a later date/
Connick starred on Broadway earlier this season in On A Clear Day You Can See Forever. He received Tony nominations for his performance in The Pajama Game and for the score of Thou Shalt Not. He has appeared in such films as Bug, Memphis Belle, and Little Man Tate. He co-starred in the NBC series Will & Grace and currently appears on Law & Order: SVU. In addition, he won an Emmy Award for his special Harry Connick, Jr.: Only You in Concert.
Cleveland Play House, founded in 1915, is America’s first regional theater. The theater’s mission statement is “To inspire, stimulate and entertain diverse audiences in Northeast Ohio by producing plays and theatre education programs of the highest professional standards.”.
The “Law and Order: SVU” star has played Detective Olivia Benson for 13 seasons, but in real life she fights against sexual assault and abuse with her Joyful Heart Foundation.
The Joyful Heart foundation was created by Law and Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay to help victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or child abuse. Hargitay hosted the “Joy Rocks” celebration event, which made more than $150,000 during a star-studded brunch at the House of Blues on a sunny Sunday afternoon, March 4.
“I used to drive by here and think, ‘That’s where the groovy people go.’ And I was right. I think that it’s just my definition of groovy that has changed,” Hargitay said about the Los Angeles venue, as she began her speech inside the event.
The event specifically celebrated special honoree Joe Torre, sending the message that “engaging men is a crucial part of the movement.”
“People are changing, people do want to talk about it and there are men, heroes, truly like Joe Torre that are so brave and are true leaders, forces of nature and teachers to us. And that’s what today is all about,” Hargitay said.
The baseball legend shared his personal story of growing up in an abusive environment and received a standing ovation after his delivery. “There were as many men here as women today…for so many years this was looked upon as a women’s issue and it’s far more important than that,” Torre said after the event.
In 2002, Torre and his wife, Ali, started the Safe House Foundation dedicated to ending the cycle of domestic violence. “I know he’s touched a lot of lives and I’m really proud of him,” Ali said about her husband.
Joyful Heart, which Hargitay started in 2004, sprouted from an outpouring of letters and emails she received from survivors opening up about their own stories of abuse, some for the very first time. The letters prompted Hargitay to start something that could help, or in her own words, “I had this crazy idea to start a foundation.”
“I love that Mariska’s organization is called Joyful Heart, because it’s awesome to bring light and joy into a dark situation,” The Office’s Kate Flattery said, one of the many Joyful Heart supporters who attended the event.
Academy Award-winning actress Hilary Swank and Parks and Recreation star Amy Poehler also expressed their support for Joyful Heart. They both spoke during a heartfelt moment of the afternoon where people shared one sentence on stage of something they have done, no matter how big or small, to promote a non-abusive society.
“I confronted the mayor of Los Angeles about the backlog kits in my city,” Swank shared.
“I am raising two young boys to treat everyone with respect and love every part of themselves,” Poehler said.
“We did something as simple as write a check,” Greg Kinnear said, who was a first-time supporter attending the event with his wife.
Grey Anatomy co-stars Sandra Oh and Kim Raver also attended the event. “I’m pleased to be here and also see the outpouring of support right now. That people took the time to want to be here together and to celebrate Joyful Heart foundation and bring awareness to its issues,” Oh said.
“It’s inspirational, because she (Hargitay) is bringing to light things that are often covered up,” Raver added.
Law and Order: SVU’s Christopher Meloni, Danny Pino and Diane Neal also attended in support of their co-star.
After a Southern-style brunch and generous auction, the rockin’ afternoon ended with a bang. Five-time Grammy-winner Wynonna Judd took to the intimate House of Blues stage for an inspirational performance accompanied by the House of Blues Los Angeles Gospel Choir.
Judd has been a longtime supporter of Joyful Heart, with her friendship with Hargitay going back to attending kindergarten together.
Joyful Heart has directly served more than 6,000 individuals over the past eight years, pursing their mission to heal, educate and empower survivors. “I mean statistics speak for themselves,” Hargitay shared, who states that one in three women report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in her life.
“Today we shine a light of Joyful Heart’s vision of ending violence against women and children. Perhaps not in our lifetime…but I’m convinced it’s foolish to place limits on what we can do,” Maile Zambuto, CEO of Joyful Heart, said during her tearful speech inside the event. “If you feel like you don’t play a vital part, we want you to know you do!”
“Having all these people here, means they understand how profound an epidemic this is, and how much our culture needs to change about how we deal with, and how we talk about sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. I think this is a testament of people understanding,” Hargitay said.
Joyful Heart just posted some pictures from this event on their tumblr page and I have added them to the gallery. Chris Meloni was also there so I hope we get some pictures of them together!
Joyful Heart Foundation Fundraiser in LA
March 4, 2012
Listen up, Saturday Night Live!
We think it’s time you let Mariska Hargitay host!
As we first told you last month, Hargitay’s Law & Order: SVU costar Ice-T has started an informal campaign to land her the coveted gig. We even started a Twitter campaign (#mariska4SNL) to help him out.
But does TV’s toughest-ass detective even want to do it?
“My real personality is more Saturday Night Live than Olivia Benson,” Hargitay said Sunday at a benefit for her Joyful Heart Foundation at the House of Blues in West Hollywood. “Ice is always like ‘Damn, I don’t know how you got on this show. You should be on SNL.’ So they always talk about it on set.”
Hargitay refuses to get her hopes up too high. “I did want [to host] for a long time,” she admitted. “You know, if I do it, great. If I don’t, I’m fine. It’s such a compliment that my coworkers even think that I would be worthy enough.”
Well, we think so, too!
In much more serious business, Hargitay created the Joyful Heart Foundation eight years ago to raise awareness around the issues of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse.
This weekend’s event honored legendary baseball manager Joe Torre.
“To see a man—the strongest man, the most macho man, and I use that in the best way—to see him take a stand and say, ‘Enough is enough’…that will make other men stand up,” Hargitay said. “It will change lives.”
Among her celeb friends who attended were Jodie Foster, her L&O costars Danny Pino and Diane Neal, Sandra Oh, Kim Raver, Christine Lahti and Greg Kinnear.
(NBC and E! are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)
There is also a petition to get Mariska to host SNL, which you can sign here.
Oh also says that the subject of sexual assault will come up in an future episode, and the entire cast will be involved. “We’re dealing with a very dramatic side of this issue,” she says. “I really admire Mariska and her work, not only on her show and the influence and the impact that she has on the show for this work, but it translates also in our work on Grey’s Anatomy.”
“It touches all of us, even if we don’t know that it does,” adds Raver. “I think the fact that we’re discussing it is the first step to aiding it.”
Read the full article here.
Don’t worry Olivia Benson fans. Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay says she’ll keep solving crimes on the NBC drama next season.
“It’s looking that way,” Hargitay confirmed to TV Guide Magazine on Sunday at a benefit in Los Angeles for her Joyful Heart Foundation, which supports survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. “I think the writing is great. I absolutely love my cast. I think Danny Pino [Det. Amaro] has invigorated that show. [Guest star] Harry [Connick Jr.] has reinvigorated me. And dealing with these issues is more than a TV show to me. It excites me to be on a show that sheds light on darkness. With the combination of SVU and Joyful Heart, my life is really complete and extremely fulfilling, because we watch people’s lives change right in front of us.”
It’s a good thing there’s another season to come, especially now that the relationship between Benson and Connick’s character, David Haden, is heating up. “It’s going to get complicated, though,” warns Hargitay. “But when Chris Meloni was around there was no way Olivia could ever be with anybody else. Now that he’s gone, I think she has room in her heart.”
As long as she also makes room to solve cases. “The case we’re about to work on is one that deals with Fleet Week, and sailors that may or may not be responsible for a rape,” Pino reveals. “Amaro starts to realize that maybe the original attacker wasn’t really guilty. He starts to look at the new evidence and starts to question [the original investigation].” Mark Consuelos will guest star as a potential suspect.
But re-opening a case won’t score Amaro any points with his new colleagues. “There are some fireworks involved, since he’s one of the new guys and he’s coming in questioning what the unit has been doing in the past. You can imagine it doesn’t go over well,” Pino says. “But I think he does achieve communication, and there’s a catharsis within the unit — ‘We’re really a team. It’s not about going after each other, it’s about going after justice and doing what’s right.’ And ultimately we all come out as winners.”
Although Pino previously worked on Cold Case, another procedural drama dealing with violent crimes, the actor admits that SVU has been a different experience emotionally. “On Cold Case you were dealing with a box of evidence. Here you’re dealing with someone who’s very much alive,” he says. “It’s surprising with what the show is about how much fun we have [off screen]. I think we have to keep it light on set, because the themes that we’re dealing with are so tragic.”