What “Billions” Star Malin Akerman Is Teaching Her Son About Giving Back

Malin AkermanPhoto Credit: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

“Billions” star Malin Akerman is a big believer in giving back. The 40-year-old actress has been a strong supporter of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles—a nonprofit pediatric health care organization dedicated to creating hope and building healthier futures for children which also happens to be one of the nation’s leading children’s hospitals—for almost a decade. CHLA has always been important to the Swedish star, who began visiting patients and their families for the past seven years, has hosted events in support of the hospital’s Make March Matter campaign, and who attends events in support of the non-profit as well, including most recently, its ‘From Paris With Love’ gala. If you need further proof that it’s an important part of her life, Akerman even brought her now-husband, Jack Donnelly, to the hospital right when they started dating. Here, Akerman, who’s been cast as the lead in new NBC drama “Prism,” shares why philanthropy is such an important part of her life, as well as what she’s teaching her 5-year-old on son Sebastian about giving back.

Malin AkermanPhoto Credit: Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock.com

Tell us about your work with CHLA, and why you find it so personally rewarding.

I’ve been involved with CHLA for several years now, and I think supporting their cause is so incredibly important. They ensure that every child can receive exceptional care – regardless of illness, injury or ability to pay. To know that every sick child is receiving world class care and that the parents and guardians are not burdened by the financial hardships of medical bills and can focus on loving their child – it’s an amazing thing to be a part of.

Is there one particular moment or instance you can relay back through your seven years with the hospital that has been the most poignant?

Last year I did a visit to the hospital that was particularly poignant and emotional. I visited the Newborn and Infant Critical Care Unit and spent time with babies in need of cuddling and human touch. To hold such a fragile life in your hands and know that you are providing it with much needed love is a moving experience.

Malin Akerman
Akerman and husband Jack Donnelly

Why is giving back so personally important to you?

Giving back teaches us find compassion within ourselves and to stay attached to morals, ethics, and values that are linked to the benefit of humanity.

One of the first things you first did with your new husband was take him to CHLA. How did that experience bond you together?

I think doing something outside of yourselves and giving back together is such a unique experience. I think we truly saw inside each other’s hearts during that visit, and it made us love each other even more.

Malin Akerman
Akerman with son Sebastian Zincone

Photo Credit: Ron Adar / Shutterstock.com

What do you try to teach your son about altruism? What other values are you teaching him?

He’s living a very lucky life, and he’s a healthy boy, and he has everything he needs when he needs it. I think it’s just about raising him and making sure he understands how lucky he is and how we can give back. Whenever we pass someone by, we always give a dollar, or we give food out after Thanksgiving, or we go and see people who are living under the bridge and we go and give them pies that haven’t been touched and things like that so he understands what that means.

You recently signed on to the new show, “Prism.” What drew you to the role? How is this project different from the other things you’ve done before.

My character, Rachel Lewis, is such a force of nature and a passionate public defender. At the same time she is extremely empathetic and ruthless! I love that duality. The concept of this show is so unique in that each episode explores the murder trial from a different perspective. You start to wonder if the truth matters less than who can be the most compelling.