Delaney rallying against hunger
By William Hageman
The cast of ABC's "Desperate Housewives" forgot about Russian golddiggers, stripper Robin's adventures and the identity of the Fairview Strangler two weeks ago, to focus on real life.
Dana Delany, who portrays Katherine on the show, is a spokeswoman for the Child Hunger Ends Here neighborhood rally campaign, sponsored by food company ConAgra and hunger relief organization Feeding America. She and other cast members held a rally on the show's set to publicize the effort to eradicate childhood hunger.
"No matter what the ladies go through on ... (Wisteria) Lane, they always come together at the end to help each other out," Delany said by phone from California. Delany talked about the problem of childhood hunger and several other topics (the interview was conducted before news broke about former "Housewives" actress Nicolette Sheridan's lawsuit against show creator Marc Cherry and ABC, and we were unable to reach Delany for a follow-up question).
First, we discussed dolphins.
Q. The first thing I have to ask: A recent magazine story said you swam with 400 dolphins.
A. Oh, that stupid article. Yes, yes I did. It was pretty amazing. I was visiting a friend in Hawai'i and we decided to go swimming. She's kind of a spiritual person and we went to swim with the dolphins, and it turned out they had all congregated at the end of the runway on the Big Island; of all places, right next to the airport. It was great. They were very playful.
Q. You've been busy — "Desperate Housewives," a TV pilot ("Body of Evidence"), a film ("Multiple Sarcasms," coming out in May). We sometimes hear that Hollywood just wants fresh young faces, but for an actress who has — and I want to be very careful here — been around for a number of years, you seem to have no trouble finding work.
A. I feel very grateful. ... I love what I do, which I think makes a difference. I love to act. I don't care what the venue is as long as the writing's good. And I do believe, in the end, it's sort of a matter of the last man standing. If I just hang in there long enough, I'll keep working.
Q. Talk about Child Hunger Ends Here. How did you get involved?
A. They came to me. I don't do anything unless I really research it and find out whether it's worthy. When I was shooting the pilot in Rhode Island recently, I went to a food bank there that Feeding America has and it's really remarkable. They told me that last year Feeding America fed 37 million people in America. And they think because of the economy it's going to be 50 million this year. That's the scary thing, when parents can't feed their kids. You hear stories about parents going hungry rather than their kids going hungry. It's kind of this silent stalker that people don't want to talk about because it's embarrassing.
Q. When you take up a cause, do you ever worry about possibly alienating people? Some entertainers and athletes avoid taking a stand on anything. You seem fine with speaking your mind.
A. I have no problem with speaking my mind. I feel it's my life and it's going to be over soon, so I'd better be authentic.
Q. Explain how people can help.
A. If people go to www.ChildHungerEndsHere.com they can see ... ways they can get involved. They can go to the website and get all the information to get a free package of stuff ... (so they can) host their own rally to raise money.