Comic Relief seeking actors' donations

James McAvoy, Sophie Okonedo involved in initiative

LONDON -- British actors are being asked to donate a small proportion of their wages for U.K. charity Comic Relief during the first three months of 2009.

In what is described by Comic Relief organizers as "a unique initiative," actors will have the opportunity to donate 1% of their earnings between Jan. 1 and "red nose day" on March 13.

The plan has already attracted some high-profile supporters including James McAvoy, Natascha McElhone, James Nesbitt, Bill Nighy and Sophie Okonedo. That group of talent has already worked on a three-minute short about the project, dubbed "Taking On the Tough Stuff."

Those signed up will give the proceeds towards projects dealing with issues such as sex trafficking, domestic violence and child soldiers across the U.K. and Africa.

Comic Relief co-founder and writer-director Richard Curtis said: "Actors often work at depicting the toughest social issues on screen and stage -- 'Taking On the Tough Stuff' is a way of them also helping to solve these issues on the ground."

Nighy described the plan as a "cunning way" to let actors lend a hand in helping with important social issues.
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