We caught up with the actress, writer, and philanthropist to discuss how she transformed a personal tragedy into something positive, made Franco a man, and what’s life like with one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. And then my mom was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s when she was 55 and I was 25, which is much younger than I thought I would be when facing losing a parent.Tell us about founding Hilarity for Charity and the decision to combat Alzheimer’s with humor. I spent the first five years of her diagnosis really sad, really dark, really angry, really depressed. ” As a writer with a comedian husband, our circle is very much in the comedy world.My mom was a teacher for 35 years, and she was still in the classroom and still able to do that for a while — it was just the kind of thing where once in awhile she would get confused, she wouldn't know where something was, she would repeat something.After the diagnosis, the most important thing to her was that she didn't want to tell anyone. She was scared of people knowing that she had something wrong with her mind, especially as a teacher.
Since both of her parents (my grandparents) had dementia, I was familiar with the signs. Everyone is forgetful sometimes; it doesn't mean you have Alzheimer's. I didn't want it to be happening, so it was just easier to pretend it wasn't.
And hosting Franco’s Bar Mitzvah was just the beginning of their plans.
Miller tells us that Hilarity for Charity has a whole slew of upcoming initiatives, including contests that involve a college campus visit from Rogen as the prize, and an array of eclectic variety shows, which are currently in the works.
I didn't say anything to anyone about it for a year and a half. Then she repeated herself more to the point where I couldn't ignore it.
You'd think my dad would have been the first to notice it and take action, but it was my brother and I who had to bring it up with him.