Liam Hemsworth honed his hunting skills in the Hunger Games franchise and fought off extraterrestrials in Independence Day: Resurgence, but his hardest acting job to date involved 20 kiddie co-stars. "While shooting a spot for Brave Beginnings, I spent the day with children ranging from 6 months to 11 years old, all of whom had survived premature birth," says Hemsworth. As a spokesperson for Brave Beginnings, the 26-year-old actor is working to raise awareness about the most fragile of lives: premature infants. "The kids in the PSA were very calm until the director called action, at which point the babies started crying and the older kids began walking away—it was a comedy of errors." Hemsworth has teamed up with the organization for its annual theatrical fund-raising program, which encourages moviegoers and entertainment-industry insiders to help make critical neonatal equipment available for premature infants. Brave Beginnings provides grants to hospitals in need of equipment such as infant resuscitators, incubators, and OmniBeds. "The best part of the experience was actually meeting the children's parents, who have been through such difficult times to help their children survive," says Hemsworth. "These families are thriving because they had equipment that helped their kids pull through."
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How He Got Involved
Brave Beginnings is a program developed by the Will Rogers Institute, and each summer the organization selects an actor to promote its mission (a tradition that started with Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart in 1936). "I wanted to help in any big or small way I could, and I was moved by the number of people who reached out to me via social media saying they had been born prematurely or had given birth to a premature child," says Hemsworth. "It showed me how important it is to continue educating others."
Why It Matters
"The United States has the sixth highest rate of babies born prematurely in the world, and the equipment that we're fighting to make accessible gives those newborns a much better chance of surviving," says Hemsworth. "A baby's life is delicate, and every child matters. So if we can do something to save those lives, why wouldn't we?"
What You Can Do
Download the Atom Tickets app (free; available on Google Play and iTunes) and enter the code WILL ROGERS to donate 10 percent of your ticket price to Brave Beginnings. Or visit brave beginnings.org to donate to a local hospital.