You may know Chyler Leigh for her portrayals in Not Another Teen Movie, Grey’s Anatomy and Supergirl. She and musician-husband Nathan West also run a company that’s a go-to source to learn, in part, about the altruism of people in the entertainment industry. Leigh and West, who worked together on the TV series 7th Heaven, have three children, and support the Thirst Project, a non-profit organization that brings safe drinking water to communities around the world. ABILITY’s Chet Cooper recently spoke with Leigh about all of her projects.
Chet Cooper: Can you talk about your latest project?
Chyler Leigh: Sure. My husband and I started a company called Charity Pulse. We’re just in the very beginning stages, but what we’re trying to do is to be a go-to source to learn about people in the industry, whether they’re musicians, actors or athletes—anybody who is given a significant position of influence. It’s taking what we do by trade and viewing it through a more altruistic lens. When you see somebody come up, any particular celebrity, and something comes out about them that might become negative, we’re trying with our website to go in between as a buffer and say, “Yes, OK, this might be one thing, but did you know this person also supports such-and-such? Here’s a little bit more information about whatever charity they’re working with.” We’re trying to open the eyes of people who might perceive celebrities as narcissistic. We’re trying to show the connection between people in the entertainment field and charity work, and bring it all together to let people know.
Cooper: Do you have a website yet?
Leigh: We’re in the beginning phase of it. Our website is going to a second-phase launch this week. My part is a section called “10 for 10.” The website has three segments that will talk about people who are ordinary citizens and those who want to find something to be passionate about, so our website is a place to learn about local charities. People can find something that they’re into, and then we’ll put a spotlight on ordinary citizens who are doing something really amazing. We also have a segment about modern icons—in other words, finding well-known people in the entertainment business. I wrote a piece about David Bowie and his effects—
Cooper: Before or after?
Leigh: After. I talked about his charity work. A lot of people didn’t know how involved he was with local charities and with the AIDS Foundation. I didn’t know a lot of those things either. Looking back, I was very humbled by it, thinking, “My gosh, if only I had known those things, and not found out in the aftermath.” So I have a segment called “10 for 10,” which is about finding people in the industry and asking 10 questions in 10 minutes to find out what the altruistic motivation is behind what they’re doing and what they’re involved with. I ask them some fun questions, but also deeper questions, to learn more about them, so people have more than just the gossip side of someone’s life. They can understand a little bit more about that person’s heart, what they’re working towards and what they’re passionate about.
Cooper: And then you’ll put the 10 for 10 interview up on your website?
Leigh: Yes. I did my first 10 for 10. I’m on the show, Supergirl, and one of my coworkers is David Harewood. He’s an amazing man. He was my first 10 for 10, which will be up on CharityPulse.org this week. It’ll be a podcast version of our interview, but I also wrote a piece about him. He’s done incredible work with the Anthony Nolan Foundation.
Cooper: So the website will have three segments: a podcast-type 10 for 10 segment, the everyday citizens doing good work, and what was the third part?
Leigh: That’ll offer information on local charities. The everyday citizens are those people who are real stand outs in their communities.