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Showbiz Tonight at CNN Heroes
Aired November 25, 2010 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
A.J. HAMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Right now on a special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT AT CNN HEROES."
BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, counting down to an amazing event at the top of the hour. "CNN HEROES, AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE," saluting everyday people, changing the world.
HAMMER: The inspiring stories of people who do so much to help others. The everyday heroes who will inspire and amaze you.
ANDERSON: And Hollywood`s biggest stars, right here, sharing their amazing hero stories.
HAMMER: A special edition of TV`s most-provocative entertainment news show, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT AT CNN HEROES."
ANDERSON: Starts right now.
HAMMER: Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer at the famous Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Welcome to a very special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT AT CNN HEROES."
ANDERSON: Hi there, everyone, I`m Brooke Anderson outside on the red carpet. And tonight, we are counting down to a blockbuster event at the top of the hour. The fourth annual "CNN HEROES, AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE" hosted by Anderson Cooper.
A.J., the red carpet is already buzzing. Some of the biggest stars in the world. Jon Bon Jovi, Halle Berry, Demi Moore. Here tonight to help us honor some of the biggest heroes in the world. Saluting everyday people who are changing the world.
HAMMER: And Brooke, over the past year, it is amazing, we got more than 10,000 hero submissions from more than 100 countries.
ANDERSON: A.J., an all-star Blue Ribbon Panel including Muhammad Ali, Patricia Heaton, and Yo-Yo Ma, and Ricky Martin chose the top 10 CNN heroes that we are honoring here tonight.
Holly Robinson Peete was also on that panel. She`ll be with us right here in just a bit.
You voted on CNNheroes.com for the hero that inspired you the most. And tonight, the 2010 CNN Hero of the Year will be revealed.
Right now, here`s a look at some of the top 10 hero honorees. Dare to be inspired by them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAGNUS MACFARLANE-BARROW, 2010 TOP 10 CNN HERO: Every small act of kindness does make a difference.
AKI RA, 2010 TOP 10 CNN HERO (Through Translator): I want Cambodia to be safe.
HARMON PARKER, 2010 TOP 10 CNN HERO: I feel I`m privileged to do what I`m doing.
ANURADHA KOIRALA, 2010 TOP 10 CNN HERO: It is my strong hope to stop every Nepali child from being trafficked.
SUSAN BURTON, 2010 TOP 10 CNN HERO: I want women to realize that they have something to contribute.
My name is Susan Burton. I went to prison six times. Finally, I found rehab. And I thought, I can help women come home from prison. I picked them up. Bring them back to the house. This is giving life. That`s what it`s all about.
BARLOW: I`m Magnus Macfarlane-Barrow. I gave up my job and I sold my house to try and help the people of Bosnia. I think of it as a series of lots and lots of little acts of love.
PARKER: My name is Harmon Parker and I build bridges to transform people`s lives. So let`s go see what the bridge site looks like. I`ve worked all over Kenya. Life for people here is very difficult.
When it floods, people really suffer, not being able to get across to the clinic or the market or to their school.
The very first bridge I built, I saw how it could change lives and transform communities. So I carried on. It`s hard and it takes a lot of determination. I love what I do.
AKI RA (Through translator): My name is Aki Ra. I was born north of Sebi in Cambodia. When I was 10 years old, the Khmer Rouge choose me to be a soldier. Then I was trained in how to lay land mines.
I put people in danger and damaged the country. After the war was over, I decided to clear mines by myself.
What makes me happy is that I have done a lot of good things different from during the war.
KOIRALA: I am Anuradha Koirala. We started this to accommodate rape survivors, trafficking survivors. We take everybody. One day we will really stop it. That trafficking will end. They are my strength.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: Such spectacular stories. And we got the incredible stories of the rest of the top 10 heroes coming up throughout our show tonight.
ANDERSON: And those top 10 heroes, A.J., have made their way on to the red carpet. You may be able to see them over my shoulder. But everybody is really excited about their arrival for the big event tonight.
And, A.J., I want to let everyone at home know that they can make a difference right now by donating to the fabulous heroes causes. Head on over to "CNN HEROES" on Facebook, click the "donate now" tab to learn more about the incredible work the top 10 heroes are doing and to make a donation.
Facebook is generously waiving all of their fees so 100 percent of what you give goes directly to each hero`s cause.
All right. The great country group Sugarland is joining me right now on the red carpet. Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush.
Sugarland is performing at tonight`s "CNN HEROES ALL-STAR TRIBUTE" show.
Great to see you. I cannot wait for the performance tonight. Why was it important for you guys to be here and take part?
JENNIFER NETTLES, SUGARLAND: You know, I think so often the news many times sensationalizes violence or there`s so much negativity in the news that we hear. So to have a night -- just one even -- to come and celebrate these exceptional people, who are everyday people but who have done exceptional things in their lives either through courage or bravery or compassion, it is -- it`s really quite an exceptional night.
ANDERSON: It`s important. What are you performing tonight and why did you -- did you choose what you did?
KRISTIAN BUSH, SUGARLAND: Well, tonight we`re playing a song off our new record and it`s called "Stand Up." And it`s a -- it`s a song when we -- the record just came out about four weeks ago. And it`s had a lot of reaction, this song, among all of our fans and new fans.
NETTLES: It`s quite an anthem.
BUSH: Because it`s such an endemic decree of asking people to use their voices to stand up for what they believe in.
ANDERSON: What would you say to all the viewers at home, fans of yours, who may be watching these emotional and inspiring stories, who they also want to make a difference and do something? What would you say to them?
NETTLES: I would say to the people here tonight are people, you know, that are everyday people. And you too can do an exceptional thing. You know it`s not just about being reminded tonight of who we are but being reminded of what we can be. And I think watching tonight, everybody should be very inspired.
ANDERSON: Jennifer Nettles, Kristian Bush, from Sugarland, thank you so much. We appreciate your being here and performing.
NETTLES: Thank you, pleasure.
ANDERSON: Take care, have a good time. A.J.
HAMMER: Brooke, right now, I want to bring in CNN`s Anderson Cooper. Anderson is the host of "CNN HEROES, AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE."
Always good to see you, my friend. So four years ago, I remember being with you when we kicked this all off and I knew we were on to something big. Why is tonight so important?
ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "CNN HEROES, AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE": You know I think it`s rare in this day and age that we really focus on people who aren`t celebrities or people who don`t have power. And these are just everyday people who are making huge changes and improvements in their communities and other people`s lives.
You know these are people who -- they don`t necessarily have a lot of money. They don`t have -- in some cases, they have no money at all and they don`t have influence. And yet they`ve been able to effect change for thousands and thousands of people.
And so it`s nice to take a night and really honor them and help them in their work. And, you know, the attention that we give them really propels their work forward and allows them to expand their projects.
HAMMER: I always say to people -- we say dare to be inspired. Dare not to be inspired by some of these stories we`re going to hear tonight and some of the stars that we`re going to see telling their own stories.
What exactly can we expect from the evening?
COOPER: We`ve got a lot of, you know, huge name celebrities here. Demi Moore is going to be presenting. Renee Zellweger, Halley Berry, Jon Bon Jovi is performing, and John Legend and Sugarland.
Butt, you know, the focus -- what`s great about all the celebrities who come here is they really want the focus to be on these heroes, on the top 10 CNN heroes and really making a difference in people`s lives.
HAMMER: And one of the things that has always struck me, is it really showcases the fact that one person can make a difference. I think so many people think, oh what could I possibly do, but this really highlights the fact that you can change the world.
COOPER: Yes, I mean I think a lot of us in our own lives think, well, you know, I don`t have enough money to make a change. Many people who do have money think, well, I don`t have the time or I don`t really know how to get started.
These are people who didn`t know any of that and didn`t have any of that money, and yet they`re doing tremendous things. And, you know, each of them gets awarded $25,000 tonight and the winner who gets to be named tonight, the CNN Hero of the Year, gets an additional $100,000, and that really has had a major impact on the past winners.
HAMMER: And seeing the attention they get and the fact that people will now flock to their Web sites and really understand it, it`s a tremendous thing. And I know it mean as a lot to you personally as well to be here.
COOPER: It does. I mean, you know, you can`t help but be moved and inspired. Every year, I`m just blown away by the people that we see and, you know, feel inspired to get out and try to do more in my community.
HAMMER: All right, Anderson, great to see you as always. Enjoy the evening. Thanks, man.
ANDERSON: All right. So many stars arriving right now as we countdown to "CNN HEROES" tribute show, A.J.
HAMMER: And right now I want to show you something very cool that we`ve got set up here for the starts tonight. It`s the "CNN HEROES" social suite. And it is hosted by the lovely Holly Robinson-Peete, Brooke. She`s one of this year`s Blue Ribbon panelists. That`s the panel that chose the top 10 CNN heroes that we`re honoring tonight.
And then check this out. We`re inviting the stars to come up right here in the social suite and get social with us by posting on Facebook, sharing their favorite hero stories.
And you can join the conversation right now as well. All you have to do is go to "CNN HEROES" on Facebook and learn all about tonight`s top 10 CNN heroes and you can also learn how you can donate to their causes.
Follow @CNNheroes on twitter right now. You can go behind the scenes of what`s going on tonight. They`re tweeting about heroes, too. Be sure to use the trending topic, #CNNheroes.
ANDERSON: A.J., that social suite is so cool. I love how interactive everything is.
All right. We`ve got to move on because we`ve got so much more coming up here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT at CNN Heroes. Hip-hop great and the star of CBS` "NCIS Los Angeles," LL Cool J, one of the many big celebrities presenting at "CNN HEROES, AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE." He will be right here with us revealing how he makes a difference.
HAMMER: And I can`t wait, Jon Bon Jovi is performing tonight. But this superstar is also a superhero. Wait until you hear how he is helping the homeless every day.
We`re just minutes away from "CNN HEROES, AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE" at the top of the hour.
You`re watching SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on "CNN HEROES."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN WALLRATH, 2010 TOP 10 CNN HERO: How you doing? You look sharp today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
WALLRATH: My name is Dan wallrath. We build homes for returning heroes from Iraq and Afghanistan.
I want you to read the sign for me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Future home of Sergeant Alexander Reyes, United States Army.
The houses are mortgage free. It changes a whole family`s life. Welcome home. It gives them just a new start so that they can move forward. These young men and women are doing this for you and me.
How can I not help them?
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Welcome back to this special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT AT CNN HEROES."
I`m Brooke Anderson on the red carpet outside the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. And we are counting down to an incredible event at the top of the hour. "CNN HEROES, AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE" saluting everyday people changing the world.
A.J., the red carpet is really heating up right now. Stars are pouring in before the big "CNN HEROES" tribute show begins. And I want to tell you, there is a huge -- I`m talking huge -- surprise in store during the show. It`s going to be absolutely amazing.
HAMMER: Yes, I`ve been hearing all about that. I`m very excited. I have no idea. So I`m in on the buzz, too. Everybody is kind of talking about what will that big surprise be.
Now tonight of course is all about honoring our CNN heroes. And a lot of stars have been showing up and they`ve been showing up right here at the "CNN HEROES" social suite and this is where they can get on Facebook, they can post about their favorite CNN hero.
They can put up a post about what they`re expecting tonight, what they think the big surprise is going to be.
I`m joined right now by Guy Cross. Guy is the manager of Platform Partnerships for Facebook. And this is the first time that "CNN HEROES" is teaming up with Facebook. Some really cool technology is a part of tonight.
How is it going to help people be a part of "CNN HEROES," Guy?
GUY CROSS, MANAGER OF PLATFORM PARTNERSHIPS, FACEBOOK: Yes, sure. First of all, we`re very excited to be here to support the program. What we`re providing is a process by which we can use Facebook credits to allow the people watching the show at home and -- when they see it on Facebook and donate to the heroes.
They can actually make a donation. It`s safe, it`s easy, it`s fun. And they can share that donation with their friends, make the message personal.
HAMMER: And what`s really terrific about it is there are no fees involved. A lot of people get concerned when they make donations through some kind of a service that there`s going to be a service fee and some of the money gets lost. Not the case here.
CROSS: That`s right. Facebook is donating all the processing fees to the heroes` causes so they`re receiving 100 percent of the donations. Right.
HAMMER: And what is so amazing about Facebook and other forms of social media is it really has changed the way -- revolutionized, if you will, how people can get involved with different causes like the ones we`ll see here tonight on "CNN HEROES" or donate to a cause that they think is so important.
Does that exceed your expectations?
CROSS: Well, we`ll see. We`re very excited to see what happens tonight. Facebook (INAUDIBLE) a new technology, but the key thing here is that charities are -- have always been social. You know from fundraising to volunteering. People like to do that with their friends and so it`s a natural fit for Facebook to be involved here and we think it`s going to be a big winner.
HAMMER: Why was this so important for Facebook to join up with "CNN HEROES" tonight?
CROSS: So when CNN came to talk to us -- talk to us about the event, they really wanted this to feel like more of a movement. They wanted people to connect with the heroes, with the causes. And that`s exactly what`s Facebook is about.
We`re all about people. And we think we`ve got the technology that will help make that a reality.
HAMMER: Well, the movement is on, Guy. And I thank you and Facebook for being a part of it.
Guy Cross, thanks so much for being here with us tonight.
CROSS: Yes, thank you. It`s been a pleasure.
ANDERSON: Thank you, A.J., and thank you, Guy.
And I want to remind you again how you, too, can be part of our social suite and make a difference tonight.
Go to "CNN HEROES" on Facebook to learn all about tonight`s top 10 CNN heroes and donate to their causes.
Now listen to this, Facebook is generously waiving all their fees so 100 percent of your donation goes directly to their charity.
ANNOUNCER: Still to come, Academy Award-winning actress Renee Zellweger right here tonight. Her heroic battle to find a cure for breast cancer.
And an amazing performance coming up from Jon Bon Jovi tonight. He`s right here, revealing his extraordinary efforts to help the homeless.
You`re watching "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT AT CNN HEROES."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARIZPE DELA VEGA, 2010 TOP 10 CNN HERO: People have become paralyzed by the fear. Our hospital has not been touched. Our doctors have not been kidnapped. This is a miracle of God, believe me.
My name is Guadalupe Arizpe de la Vega. I believe that help is the most important of the human race.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Welcome back to this special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT AT CNN HEROES."
I`m Brooke Anderson. And I am on the red carpet outside the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
We`re just minutes away from "CNN HEROES, AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE". It`s hosted by Anderson Cooper, saluting everyday people changing the world.
OK. With me right now is hip-hop great and the co-star of CBS` "NCIS Los Angeles," LL Cool J. He is a presenter at the tribute show tonight.
LL COOL J, HIP-HOP STAR: Yes.
ANDERSON: And we`re so grateful that you`re doing that for us.
LL COOL J: Thank you. Thank you.
ANDERSON: Why did you want to be here? Why is this so important to you?
LL COOL J: It just reminds me of my family and the people that raised me. Just hard-working people who do their best for their community like my grandfather was part of the community, the block patrol. And he would do everything he could to make the community safe.
And for me to be able to come here and honor this woman, Linda Fondren, and all the wonderful things that she`s done to help people lose weight and help people better themselves, that`s what we have to do.
You know it`s not always about being fancy. Sometimes we have to remember the real people who really work hard every day.
ANDERSON: Yes, LL mentioned Linda Fondren. He`s presenting to her tonight. She started that initiative in Vicksburg, Mississippi. A really great cause.
LL COOL J: Yes.
ANDERSON: You know, you`re an actor. You`re a Grammy Award-winning rapper. But a lot of people may not know you have been very involved in charities yourself.
What is the cause nearest and dearest to your heart?
LL COOL J: Well, it`s two causes. One, I support the Red Cross. I`m on the celebrity cabinet and I try to raise funds and raise awareness for their organization anytime I can. And the other thing is a charity project called Jumping Ball that I do in Queens with State Senator Malcolm Smith.
And we do this thing where we get kids together and basically get them off the street for a summer for the whole month in August.
LL COOL J: And give them an opportunity to play basketball and they get big trophies and they do rock climbing and jump rope and dance contests, and even chess and even, you know, some intellectual stuff as well.
So, you know, I try to make sure that I`m connected to my community, I`m giving back to my community, and sharing with my community. And it`s not about any political party or any political affiliation. It`s about -- it`s a social thing.
Let`s support the community and support, you know, the people who need it in our country.
ANDERSON: How wonderful. You are truly making a difference. And thank you so much for being here tonight. Enjoy the night. LL Cool J.
LL COOL J: Thank you very much. Thank you.
ANDERSON: Good to see you.
LL COOL J: Appreciate --
ANDERSON: Presenter here tonight at "CNN HEROES."
HAMMER: We`ve got so much more coming up on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT AT CNN HEROES." Big stars coming your way. Get ready for Aaron Eckhart, a great actor. You of course know him as Harvey Two-Face from "The Dark Knight." He`s presenting here at "CNN HEROES." And he`s going to be right here with us.
ANDERSON: And Jon Bon Jovi, one of tonight`s big celebrity performers, will be right here, too. You`ve got to hear about the incredible way that he`s helping the homeless each and every day.
You`re watching a special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT AT CNN HEROES."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EVANS WADONGO, 2010 TOP 10 CNN HERO: My name is Evans Wadongo. I grew up in a small village in (INAUDIBLE).
These families are so poor, the amount of money that every household uses to buy kerosene every day. If they can just save that money they can be able to buy food.
I thought I must find a way of using solar to light up rural homes. The impact of these solar lanterns is lifting people out of poverty. I just feel like it`s right.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Counting down to an amazing event at the top of the hour. Dare to be inspired by a star-studded tribute saluting everyday people changing the world.
A.J. HAMMER, CNN HOST: And Hollywood`s biggest stars sharing their incredible stories of making a difference with us, like Jon Bon Jovi.
ANDERSON: Plus, a big surprise that is going to leave you speechless. "Showbiz Tonight at CNN Heroes" continues Right Now.
HAMMER: Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Welcome back to a special edition of "Showbiz Tonight." "Showbiz Tonight at CNN Heroes."
ANDERSON: Hi there, everyone, I`m Brooke Anderson outside on the red carpet. We are just minutes away from a blockbuster event at the top of the hour, "CNN Heroes, An All-Star Tribute" saluting everyday people change the world. As you can see, the red carpet is hopping. So many big stars joining us here tonight.
HAMMER: Brooke, so many great stories. A lot of people making a huge difference all over the world. Ten heroes will be honored tonight. One will be named the 2010 CNN hero of the year. And they will walk away with $100,000.
ANDERSON: A.J., people from all over the world sent in more than 10,000 hero submissions from 100-plus countries. Our star-studded blue ribbon panel selected the top ten. Tonight, the lives of these top ten heroes will change forever. As they are honored for their tireless efforts to help those in need. Each of them will receive $25,000 to help continue their work. And, tonight, you can help too. Head over to CNN heroes on Facebook right now. Click on the donate now tab to contribute to these very important worthy causes. And so many incredible stars are here tonight to honor these heroes, like John Legend, Renee Zellweger. A.J., I know another big star is with you right now.
HAMMER: Everybody`s excited about it, Brooke. Jon Bon Jovi. Bon Jovi`s going to be take the stage at "CNN Heroes" in just a few minutes for what I am certain will be an incredible performance. Of course, John is a superstar singer. But many people may not know that Jon is also a super crusader, helping the homeless every single day, through the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation. He has touched thousands of lives. I sat down with Jon Bon Jovi to get his heroes story.
JON BON JOVI: One night, I was looking out of my hotel room window in what felt like a gilded cage over city hall in Philadelphia and looking at the statue of William Penn and there was a homeless man sleeping on the street. And I thought to myself, that man was not what the forefathers were thinking about when they developed our constitution. They didn`t intend for a man to be sleeping on the steps of city hall. And I realized that without a scientist, without a pill, we could effect change.
HAMMER: What are a few of the things that the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation has accomplished so far?
BON JOVI: Well, initially, it was affordable housing. Building units of affordable housing. I said, what`s the story with this block? And it was a dangerous block. There were -- for every one row home, there was one or two that were dilapidated or places that were rat infested. I said, if I can involve the private sector, corporate America, my own private dollars, we can bring back a street. We want bring back a neighborhood. We can bring a town back. The idea you were building community was very important to me. I said, I need to know the price tag to get a block done. And we did the first block. Those blocks started to take pride again in community. Subsequently, there are 100 homes now. Because people have built on to Bon Jovi Boulevard and made it a neighborhood.
HAMMER: Somebody wants to get involved with the Jon Bon Jovi soul foundation, what the heck do they do?
BON JOVI: You can go online, jbjsoulfoundation.org is a good place to start. If it`s not the homeless issue, it may be cancer. It may be M.S. It may be something else that moves you. Whatever it is that the moves you, find something. Get involved. Make a difference. Because, you know, it`s the sum of the parts that make for a better whole. You want to see effective change, it is on your street and notice your neighborhood, and you can make that change.
HAMMER: I am thrilled to be joined by Jon Bon Jovi right now. Always good to see you, my friend.
BON JOVI: Thank you, A.J., thank you.
HAMMER: The foundation does more than provide affordable housing. I love the Jon Bon Jovi soul kitchen. Tell me about that.
BON JOVI: It is the next step. The two basic needs are shelter and food. And the idea is a Robin Hood restaurant kind of crusade, if you will. You or I go to this restaurant, you`re seated by a waiter or waitress, it`s a beautiful setting, great food. But there`s no prices on the menu. Simply because if you have the money to donate, you do. If you don`t, you come and you volunteer and you work in the kitchen. That is, in fact, effective change. You are helping your neighbor get through a difficult time in their life. In a wonderful setting with great food.
HAMMER: Yeah, I`m in. You make it easy and it involves food. Why was it important for you and band to be here tonight at "CNN Heroes?"
BON JOVI: I`m glad the band are supporting my causes. In this case, I`m here to celebrate the heroes. Because it`s the everyday people that work tirelessly that need people like us to shine the light on their good deeds so the community can get involved with them. And join hands to make the country and the world a better place.
HAMMER: What are you and the guys going to be doing?
BON JOVI: A new single from the greatest hits called "What Do You Got." It`s a good song, it`s working out.
HAMMER: I applaud you for your tireless efforts. I know you`re out touring the world. You`ve told me before, that`s sort of a break and gives you a chance to rest --
BON JOVI: Sure it gives me such pleasure to be involved in the foundation. What`s I`m here for.
HAMMER: Always good to see you, my friend.
BON JOVI: Thank you, A.J.
HAMMER: You do not want to miss Bon Jovi`s performance of their brand-new song "What Do You Got," coming up in just a bit on "CNN Heroes, An All-Star Tribute."
ANDERSON: The wonderful actor Aaron Eckhart joins me. Aaron will be a presenter tonight on "CNN Heroes All-Star Tribute Show." Good to see you. Why did you want to be a part of this tonight?
AARON ECKHART, ACTOR: I believe in heroes. I believe we al have the impulse to be a hero, to help other people go beyond ourselves, have courage. Some of us act on those impulses and some of us have not yet acted on them. And the people that we`re honoring tonight have acted on their impulses. It`s a great lesson. It`s inspiring for our young children. And for me and for all those people out there who want to do good for the world.
ANDERSON: And you have done great things as well. You went on your first USO tour recently, right with fellow actors Bradley Cooper, Dat Sheppard. You spend time with U.S. troops in Afghanistan. What was that like?
ECKHART: It was fascinating. I learned a lot about what we`re doing over there. I talked to the troops. Had a fantastic time with Bradley and Dax. I could not be more proud of our troops and the marines and -- so I don`t know how heroic I was. I mean, those are the heroes. But I saw them in action.
ANDERSON: What would you tell the viewers at home, fans of yours who are watching tonight, who may have an idea who may want to do something and become involved as well who are watching tonight`s inspiring stories, what would you tell them?
ECKHART: I would say act on your impulse. That first image or thought that comes in your mind, to propel you to action, to do good, follow it. Don`t think about it, don`t doubt it, just do it. And get in the habit of that.
ANDERSON: Aaron Eckhart, thank you so much. Great to see you. Enjoy yourself tonight.
HAMMER: I`m joined now by the absolutely stunning and extraordinarily talented Renee Zellweger. She`s a presenter tonight at "CNN Heroes, an All Start Tribute." Terrific to see you here.
RENEE ZELLWEGER, ACTRESS: Good to see you. Thank you for that, you`re always so sweet to me.
HAMMER: Why was it important to be a part of "CNN Heroes" and be here tonight?
ZELLWEGER: A lot of reasons. Selfishly motivated. I knew you`d be here. I knew Anderson would be here. I knew Jon would be here. Not a bad night, right?
HAMMER: No, not at all, good, thank you.
ZELLWEGER: Also, you know, I think it`s really important we celebrate great acts of courage and exceptional benevolence and share the stories of the men and women who are making a difference with the choices they make every day with the actions. They push society in the right direction. They inspire the rest of us to ask ourselves what we can do. I`m not talking about men and women who are born into privilege or -- you know, they don`t have great access, special privileges, finances, they just have made up their minds to -- to make a difference and live their lives to that, you know, seeing it through that commitment with no fear. It`s -- I mean, you know, the word "hero" it certainly applies.
HAMMER: You certainly have worked yourself tirelessly and fearlessly, helping to raise awareness and find a cause for breast cancer. Wipe was that such an important cause for you to get involved in?
ZELLWEGER: Again, it`s selfishly motivated. I have a lot of friends who have suffered from the disease and who have benefitted in the advances made in the science in the last decade or so so it`s kind of more out of gratitude than anything that I participate. So many people are touched by cancer. So many people, you know are devastated when it comes into their lives. And, you know, it`s a tiny thing, it`s a very, very tiny thing to participate, to show up, to talk about it, to promote awareness, and I feel like it`s, you know, it`s kind of the very least that I can do.
HAMMER: Well, as we`re seeing tonight, even one person can make a difference, no matter how big a star or how anonymous they may be. Renee Zellweger, good to see you.
ZELLWEGER: Thank you, sweetheart good to see you too.
HAMMER: Renee Zellweger, a presenter at "CNN Heroes, an All Star Tribute," airing on CNN in just a few minutes. We will see you inside.
ANDERSON: A.J., you`ve got to take a look at that countdown clock. We are so close to the start of "CNN Heroes, An All-Star Tribute."
ANNOUNCER: Still ahead, "The Talks" Holly Robinson Peete in the social suite. And right here "CNN Heroes" performer John Legend. Dare to be inspired by his music and his incredible worldwide charity work. "Showbiz Tonight at CNN Heroes."
LINDA FONDREN: Mississippi has held the title of being the most obese state for six consecutive years. My name is Linda Fondren and I challenged my community to the 17,000-pound weight loss challenge. I decided to make the challenge permanent because we did not reach enough people. Obesity affects us all. The only way to combat it is to stand together and help each other.
ANDERSON: Welcome back to this special edition of "Showbiz Tonight." "Showbiz Tonight at CNN Heroes." I`m Brooke Anderson on the red carpet outside the Shrine Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles. OK. Let`s head over to A.J. Hammer who is in the CNN Heroes social suite with a special guest. A.J.?
HAMMER: A very special guest. We`re putting her to work tonight. Holly Robinson Peete who is not just a celebrity at large but she is a blue ribbon panelist here at CNN heroes. I`m going to ask you about that in a moment. What`s been going on? You`ve been very busy. You`re on iPad, you`re tweeting, you`re on Facebook.
HOLLY ROBINSON PEETE: Social media heaven. Here`s the deal. I mean, I have been hosting the social suite, getting celebrities to come up here and tweet about CNN heroes which is just the best --
HAMMER: What did you write about LL Cool L?
PEETE: I tweeted that I was standing next to LL Cool J and he smelled good. I can`t even tell you the response I`m getting. You know, A.J. what I love about this event, it`s like the Mother Teresa of award shows. It`s just got heart and philanthropy and everything. And I find myself star- struck by some of the CNN heroes here tonight.
HAMMER: It`s easy to be very inspired just meeting these people but wait till you see their stories as we honor them tonight. You are partially responsible for the CNN heroes we are honoring. I was standing with Jon Bon Jovi. He said explain to me about the blue ribbon panelists. I said, these are the people who help choose the ten honorees we`re going to see tonight. That has to as he put it a very daunting task.
PEETE: It is a very daunting task but I love it. Every year they ask me, I`m right there. I do it with my daughter, with my kids. We watch them. My daughter`s here tonight. She`s seeing people. She`s like, there`s Harmon Parker, he`s the one who built the bridges in Kenya. This is what we live for. I believe service is the rent you pay for living and these people have paid their rent.
HAMMER: You certainly have had you own level of service with the holly rod foundation where you`re helping in the fight against Parkinson`s Disease and social media has been a big part of that fight hasn`t it?
PEET: Social media has changed philanthropy, made it easier to give back, and just get an awareness out about whatever your mission is. I`ve always on twitter, always on Facebook. It really helps us in our cause.
HAMMER: I feel like I kept you from it too long. Holly Robinson Peete, thank you for being with us. Out to Brooke Anderson.
ANDERSON: Thank you for your hard work, Holly Robinson Peete. Right now, wasn`t to remind you how you can be a part of the social suite and join the conversation right now. Head on over to CNN heroes on Facebook. While you`re there, like us. With me right now is actress Marisa Tomei. She`s fabulous. She`s presenting tonight. Welcome, Marisa, great to see you. You have worked tirelessly as a human rights advocate and you even just directed a film about the exploitation and the abuse of women around the world. It`s your directorial debut. Why did you choose to tell this particular story?
MARISA TOMEI, ACTRESS: Well, I was asked to do it. Nick Christophe wrote a book and it celebrates women heroes all around the world. They asked a bunch of people to bring these stories to life. So we went to Ethiopia. Lisa Leoni who co-directed it to me. And we met a woman who -- she was a young child when she was abducted and was just supposed to marry her abductor. And she fought it in the court system that`s very corrupt and just has a lot of institutionalized misogyny. She fought it. She is 21 now. She got the laws changed through that time. I`m leaving out a lot of the harrowing, harrowing details --
ANDERSON: Of course, of course, but how wonderful you`re telling this story and it`s going to play on PBS. Congratulations on that film. We are so thankful that you`re here tonight. Why is this event so important?
TOMEI: Because it really celebrated the people that have either turned their lives around or given selflessly back to the community, and it`s where the attention should be. These are the great stories. These are the stories of community.
ANDERSON: What would you tell the viewers at home who are watching these emotional and inspiring stories tonight and who want to make a difference as well?
TOMEI: Besides have your tissues ready, which I told myself before I came tonight?
ANDERSON: Me too.
TOMEI: I better have tissues in my purse. Yeah, let it touch all of our hearts and let that grow into action.
ANDERSON: Thank you so much, good to see you, enjoy the night.
ANNOUNCER: The big event just a few minutes away. "CNN Heroes, an All-Star Tribute." One of the stars honoring the everyday people changing the world, John Legend. Right here. "Showbiz Tonight at CNN Heroes."
NARAYANAN KRISHNAN: My name is Narayanan Krishnan. I feed and care for the abandoned and mentally ill in my hometown, Monterey, India. Every meal is prepared fresh. We are feeding the people three meal a day around the clock. Rain or shine. No holiday. The happiness I see in their face keeps me going. I want to save my people. I feel just the purpose of my life.
HAMMER: Welcome back to "Showbiz Tonight" and "CNN Heroes." I`m A.J. Hammer.
ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson. We`re here on the red carpet outside the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
HAMMER: It`s very exciting, Brooke. You can feel the energy as we love to say, because just a few minutes from now, the big event. "CNN Heroes, an All-Star Tribute."
ANDERSON: A.J., dare to be inspired. Tonight`s all-star tribute will be dramatic, it will be stirring, as the world gathers to honor CNN`s top ten heroes of 2010.
HAMMER: One of tonight`s performers, I`m very excited about this, he`s going to be front and center honoring tonight`s heroes, Grammy-award winning musician John Legend. Performing with Common and Melanie Feony tonight. I`m excited for an incredible performance tonight, John. Not your first time at the CNN Heroes show. You were here with us before. This is your second event. What can we expect tonight?
JOHN LEGEND, SINGER: I`m excited to be back, you know. I`m excited to perform with Common and Melanie Feony. We`re doing a song from my new album with the Roots called "Wake Up." These songs are inspired by a lot of the great work like the heroes are doing.
ANDERSON: You`re a hero in your own right John. You know you spent your entire career committed to making the lives of other people better. You`ve received countless humanitarian awards for your work with the show me campaign, which works to fight poverty through education. Why did you want to launch that effort and work with that?
LEGEND: Well, we travel around the world. We see a lot of people that are struggling, trying their best to make it. They need a little help. So we figure if we have the opportunity to help them, we should do it.
ANDERSON: In practical ways, right?
LEGEND: Absolutely. We want to help people help themselves. We provide education, help here in America but we also do work in Africa with education, with clean water, with agricultural support, financial, education. Just try to help people empower themselves.
HAMMER: The one thing that I hope people always take away from a night like tonight is the fact that a single person can make a difference. Very often, we don`t do anything because we think, well what the heck can I do? But it is true, and I think people will get this message loud and clear at "CNN Heroes." It does not take an army of people to get things started. That`s what we`re honoring.
LEGEND: Yeah and what we`re honoring tonight is people who do it locally in their own communities and making a huge difference. I always tell people all around the world when I speak to them that they can do that, they can volunteer, they can tutor, they can, you know, contribute in some way. And it doesn`t even take a lot of money. You know, just find the time to give back. And I think CNN is doing a great job by showing people it`s possible tonight.
ANDERSON: It`s a different awards show than you guys are used to attending but I`m sure it stands out as pretty meaningful for you.
LEGEND: We love doing it and highlighting the great work of all these great people.
ANDERSON: John Legend, thank you so much. Can`t wait for your performance. You always put on a tremendous show. We can`t wait.
LEGEND: Thank you.
HAMMER: Brooke, we are now just seconds away from the start of the moment we`ve all been waiting for, "CNN Heroes, An All-Star Tribute." This is going to be a night packed with inspirational stories, spectacular celebrity appearances by Halle Berry, Kiefer Sutherland, Renee Zellweger. Incredible music performances by John Legend, Bon Jovi and Sugarland.
ANDERSON: That`s right A.J. These honorees tonight are not just fill lap throw pivots, they are angels on earth. So watch, be inspired, prepare yourself for a truly extraordinary "CNN Heroes" surprise as well. I cannot wait for the moment when all of these amazing guests are going to be revealed.
HAMMER: I am so excited about that so I think we should get right to it. The time has finally arrived for "CNN Heroes, An All-Star Tribute," hosted by Anderson Cooper.
ANDERSON: Thank you for joining us for this special edition of "Showbiz Tonight." "Showbiz Tonight at CNN Heroes." If you`re watching us on HLN, click on over to CNN right now.