You know Seth Rogen because he’s one of the most hilar people out there, but did you know he’s also dedicated to fighting Alzheimer’s and getting young people involved?
Seth and his wife, Lauren Miller, created Hilarity for Charity to fill a gap. They want to teach more young people the issues surrounding Alzheimer’s and raise money so that a cure can be found. In fact, Hilarity for Charity just launched HFC U, a special program that gets college students involved in raising both awareness and money. The college that raises the most money also gets a most awesome prize, which Seth talks about below. I spoke with the actor about HFC U, the stigma that surrounds Alzheimer’s, and how young people can take action.
Photo: Seth Rogan and his wife, Lauren Miller, at a Hilarity for Charity Event (Hilarity for Charity)
ACT: Alzheimer’s is not something many young people think about, and Hilarity for Charity really pushes to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s for the younger generation. Why is it important for them to know more about Alzheimer’s and help fight it?
SETH: It’s a rapidly growing disease. It’s the only disease that is in one of the top 10 causes of death that has no treatment or cure and it’s something that I think people view as kind of a natural thing that rolls you into death as you get up in your years. After being face to face with it, it’s truly nothing like that. It’s much more brutal than people understand. There’s a stigma to it that we’re also trying to get rid of. People are very ashamed of it and don’t even like talking about it.
ACT: Congrats on the launch of your HFC U program! Can you tell us a little about it?
SETH: Part of our whole goal was to get young people involved in charity. We got an idea that we could start a program where we could provide the information for kids in colleges to put on their own charity events to benefit Hilarity for Charity.
Photo: Seth Rogan and Mindy Kaling at a Hilarity for Charity Event (Hilarity for Charity)
ACT: And what’s this we hear about an advanced screening of “Neighbors” with a Q&A?
SETH: Whichever college raises the most money, I’ll go to that school and I’ll show my new movie, “Neighbors” and I’ll do a Q&A and I’ll hang out. We decided to really make it easy: If you go to our website and click on the HFC U tab, there’s instructions explaining exactly how to put on your own charity event.
ACT: Whoever wins this prize better be amazing. What are you hoping they do to raise the most funds for Hilarity for Charity?
SETH: I hope it’s nothing illegal. [laughs]
ACT: How can people get involved with Hilarity for Charity? Especially if they’re not college students?
SETH: You can just go to HilarityforCharity.org and donate money. If you live in Los Angeles, you can volunteer at one of our events. If you go to our website, there’s a ton of ways you can get involved.
ACT: We know that Alzheimer’s hits home for you as your mother-in-law has it. So we want to know: Do you have any advice if someone has a relative who is battling Alzheimer’s?
SETH: I mean, the only thing we’ve really taken comfort in is doing this, honestly. It’s such a terrible disease and makes you feel so helpless. There’s no cure or treatment or anything that can improve or even slow the effects. If you’re in a situation that helpless, I think you struggle to find anything that makes you feel like you’re somewhat in control of it. What we did was start a charity to try to raise funds to one day learn how to do something about it. That’s what I recommend people do: turn that frustration into something constructive.
ACT: Where can someone go for advice and support if they have a relative who has Alzheimer’s? Where can their relative go if they need help?
SETH: The Alzheimer’s Association has support groups. Depending on the size of the town or city you live in, they are more or less available.
For the relatives, I think it’s a very personal choice for how to deal with it. This disease also really affects the caretakers and family a massive amount because there is no easy way to take care of someone with Alzheimer’s. You don’t want to just stick them in a home, and you can’t always afford to, either. That’s one of the things that’s so brutal about it.
Photo: Seth Rogan and Samuel L. Jackson at a Hilarity for Charity Event (Hilarity for Charity)
ACT: What’s one thing you learned about the disease that you didn’t know before you started fighting for this cause?
SETH: I think the stigma it has, honestly, is one of the things I didn’t realize. Celebrities get it and they hide it and won’t admit it. It’s really a source of shame and ever since we started doing [Hilarity for Charity], people I’ve known a long time come to me and say, “Oh, my mother has Alzheimer’s. My father has Alzheimer’s. Thanks for doing this.”
ACT: OK, we have one random question. And it’s not about your Justin Bieber Tweet. It was just Valentine’s Day. You’ve been with your wife for 10 years, right? Do you have advice for young people in finding a good, healthy relationship? The reason we’re asking is because it’s Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.
SETH: Just be respectful. That’s all I’ve got to say.
For another great (and hilarious) interview with Seth, check out Seth’s interview over at mtvU.
Photos: (Hilarity for Charity)
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