Bindi Irwin is only eleven-years old but that hasn't stopped her from following her father's footsteps, taking her love for animals, and translating it in to her everyday life, joining the fight to protect the environment. Bindi told us all about what it was like filming her new movie Free Willy: Escape From Pirate's Cove, her television show, and the steps she's taking to protect wildlife.
J-14: What was it like filming your TV show Bindi the Jungle Girl in your homeland, Australia?
Bindi Irwin: It was so much fun. It was so funny, though, because in Africa while we were there where we were staying we got to watch Animal Planet every morning before we'd go film the movie. What was so funny was that my dad was on Animal Planet every morning. So we'd watch him and then go film the movie! It was really cool. It was great to watch him and in one episode he was actually in Africa and it was cool because we were there filming in Africa. That was a lot of fun as well.
J-14: How could you relate to your character in the movie?
Bindi: What's so funny is that Kira Cooper was trying to save this orca and in real life I'm trying to save a place called the Steve Irwin Wildlife Preserve. The Steve Irwin Preserve is under threat of being strip mined so you can go to AustraliaZoo.com and sign the
petition and help us with the fight. It was so cool that we had this tie-in.
J-14: Do you have beliefs about whether or not places like Sea World should exist where animals are kept in captivity? Clearly it's a theme in the movie.
Bindi: Well you know it's a good subject. It really depends. I think we should really focus on things like whaling that are happening as we speak. The blue whale is actually the largest animal to ever live. It's larger than any of the dinosaurs or anything like that. They're actually being killed for food. A place right here in LA called The Hump restaurant got busted for serving whale meat. Seals are being killed and used for clothes and things like that. What they actually do is they'll have the little baby seals and they'll be waiting for their mother to come back because their mother goes out to find fish for them, and they'll be waiting and they'll get clubbed to death and then be used for fashion and things like that. I believe that when the buying stops, the killing can, too.
J-14: What did you find in South Africa about preserving what they have as far as wild life?
Bindi: They have such amazing and gorgeous wildlife. Actually at the end of the movie when we finished shooting we actually got to go on a three-day safari. That was lots of fun. We got to see some gorgeous lions, giraffes and things like that. They were so beautiful. But the sad thing is they are being killed and used for boots, bags and belts
and rugs on people's floors. I find it very odd. They're so beautiful. I think the skin should be left on the gorgeous wildlife. And when people kill them they're killing the biggest and the best and the greatest and what's happening is that the littler and weaker wild life are breeding and everything is just getting smaller and smaller and weaker and weaker. That's really sad. We really do need to stop buying wildlife products. When the buying stops the killing can, too.
Q: You've really followed in your father footsteps by combining the animals with the acting.
Bindi: Yeah, you know, I watched my dad's movie so many times, Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course, and I actually said to my mom that one day I'd love to do a movie and I'd also love to do the voice of an animated character. When Free Willy came along and they asked if I wanted to do this movie of course we said yes because it's not just a
fun, action-packed family movie but you'll also accidentally learn something while you're watching it. Kira Cooper, the girl who I play, she doesn't take no for an answer and she really stands up for herself. I really believe that kid empowerment is so important because we really are the next voters, the next decision makers and the next generation making a difference on our planet so it's so important. I watched this very, very old movie and it had a line in it that went, "Children should be seen and not heard." I had to ask my mom what that meant and she was telling me about how back then kids didn't get to have an opinion. They didn't get to speak for themselves. I think it's so important because we are that next generation taking care of our planet.
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