<EM>Heroes</EM> star Hayden Panettiere Heroes star Hayden Panettiere

What looked like a scene from a Hollywood thriller turned out to be a real-life episode in the life of teenage Heroes' star Hayden Panettiere. There she was in tears and putting her life in danger last month as she surfed the waters off the coast of Japan trying to stop the slaughter of dolphins with a group of activists called Sea Shepherd. (See news story.)  

"I risked my life," Panettiere told TV Guide. "A lot of people in this world will say they are involved in causes and organizations, but they don't actually do something. It was a great feeling to be there physically, making a difference."

In the video of the event, which is now making the Internet rounds (watch it here), the attacks on pilot whales by Japanese fishermen are so violent that the ocean water turns into a red sea. "It is hard for me to look at," Panettiere says. "I wasn't concerned about risking my life at the moment. The resulting footage created such tremendous awareness, it made it all worth it."

Panettiere and the other activists tried to form a barrier between the fishermen and the dolphins. They were in the area working on a documentary called Secret Dolphin Cove, which will be in theaters next summer. Some of the footage from them event was so bloody that it could not be shown on television.

"For the future I am going to continue to be involved and active until the problem is solved," Panettiere says. "The response has been incredible. By virtue of television, the Internet and word of mouth, it has gotten to the eyes and ears of people who would never have known about the problem otherwise."

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