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Catching up with Marg Helgenberger: Actress talks cancer awareness, gender equality and Taylor Swift

Santiago Felipe/FilmMagic
Santiago Felipe/FilmMagic

(NEW YORK) — Marg Helgenberger wants to remind everyone that the season of giving is upon us. As a Stand Up to Cancer ambassador, the actress is raising awareness for the organization’s campaign with CVS called The Value of a Dollar.

Through this weekend, CVS shoppers have the opportunity to donate $1, $3 or more to Stand Up to Cancer when they check out at their local pharmacy.

Helgenberger tells ABC Radio she was inspired to get involved after her mother was diagnosed with cancer in the 1980s. Her mother, her sister and many of her friends are now among the survivors.

“Everyone in the world has someone in their family [who’s been touched] by some type of cancer,” she says. “So I think that it’s something that everybody would be willing to spend a little money to help be a part of the solution.”

When she’s not working in support of cancer research, you can find Helgenberger on stage, in the Off-Broadway show What We’re Up Against. The timely story is about gender politics in the workplace and Helgenberger says she can relate to the misogyny her character experiences.

“Lots of dismissiveness and mansplaining, my God!” she says of the things she’s experienced on the job. “And just being literally sort of ignored.” 

She recounts a story where her director was only relaying direction to her male co-star. She finally had to remind the director that she was in the scene too.

Other on-set memories were more fun, however — like the time when Taylor Swift — a self-proclaimed obsessed fan of CSI — made her acting debut on a 2009 episode of the show. Though Taylor never named one of her cats after Helgenberger’s character, the actress says the singer couldn’t have been nicer to the cast and crew.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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