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A Word with Wendie

Actress Wendie Malick dishes on a lifetime of love and action for animals

For years, acclaimed actress and animal advocate Wendie Malick has spoken for those who cannot speak for themselves.

She recently starred in a TV spot for The HSUS (above) to help get the word out about animal suffering to all Americans, and to inspire them to become heroes for animals, too.

Our Hollywood Office senior director, Beverly Kaskey, caught up with Malick to learn more about her own inspiration and her hopes for animal protection.


Beverly Kaskey (BK):

Sometimes, celebrities have only passing interest in the causes they endorse. In your case, though, animal protection is a core value. When did your passion for animals begin? Was there a particular event?


Wendie Malick (WM): 

I grew up with animals. In fact, my older sister was a collie named Bonnie. As kids we were always bringing home wounded and lost creatures. "Old Yeller", "The Incredible Journey", "Black Stallion", "Babe"...all favorites of mine.

They reinforced what I already believed: Animals are the greatest teachers and often the most loyal friends you could ever hope for, and they deserve to be treated with dignity and compassion.

I  became a speaker for those without a voice after traveling around the country and the world and seeing first-hand how animals were being abused and exploited. As Gretchen Wyler always said, "Cruelty can't stand the spotlight".


The HSUS is so proud to have you speak for us. What inspired you to make such a commitment?


I am so proud of the work The HSUS does and am deeply honored to lend my voice. It's inspiring to see how many people all over the world have taken on this mission of compassion.


What has the reaction been among your friends and colleagues when they see you so visibly taking on the cause of animals?


My friends and colleagues all know what an animal freak I am. I often show up at rehearsals and meetings smelling like horses (eau d'cheval is one of my favorite scents) or covered in dog fur. I am happy to say that many of these friends and colleagues have rescued animals from shelters, and most people i know are spaying and neutering their pets.


One of the primary goals of these TV commercials we're producing—perhaps the most important—is to raise public awareness about the plight of animals and the needless suffering they are made to endure. How do you judge our success so far?


I believe a picture is worth a thousand words. Some of the visuals we use in our PSAs are extremely disturbing, but it would be far more disturbing to ignore the abuse. We each have a powerful voice that can be used to speak up on our fellow companions' behalf.

I have heard from countless people, both friends and strangers, who have vowed to help end the needless suffering of animals in whatever way they can. I feel very hopeful about this consciousness.

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