Bindi Irwin has a clothing line, an exercise video, her own TV show and now an offer for a movie deal. And if she were any other 8-year-old but the daughter of Steve “The Crocodile Hunter” Irwin, she might be impressed with all of that.
Instead, the bronzed and pigtailed naturalist wears her fame and position as easily as she wears her yellow “Bindi the Jungle Girl” polo shirt and khaki shorts. She was, after all, born to it.
“I’m just being me,” she told TODAY’s Al Roker on Wednesday. “And it’s really nice to get that wildlife conservation message out.”
Bindi started filming episodes of the Kids Discovery Channel show “Bindi the Jungle Girl” with her father more than a year ago. After he died in September 2006 after being stung by a stingray while filming off Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, she continued on, celebrating her father’s life and legacy.
Her mother and Steve Irwin’s widow, Terri Irwin, said that Bindi isn’t like your normal child star. It’s not a career she was brought to, but one she was born into.
“It’s nice, because this has been our gig all of our lives,” Terri Irwin said. “Steve and I decided to take our kids with us on the road for all of our filming trips, and so it’s been just a natural progression for Bindi. She’s a lucky kid because she’s got one gig — there’s no auditions, there’s no Hollywood pressure.”
There are Hollywood offers, though, she said, confirming that she and Bindi have been asked to take her jungle girl show to the big screen.
“That’s the rumor,” Irwin told Roker. “We pass everything on to our producer and tell him, whatever comes along, be very appreciative and say, ‘No.’ ”
The way she said it gave the impression that “no” could turn into “yes.” Bindi acted as if she’d be keen on doing a movie.
“I really heard it’s all about my mum and my little brother, Robert, and animals,” she offered.
Of course, in the Irwin household, everything is about family and animals. Her father was chasing crocodiles along with every other manner of critter before he became a star for doing so. And he never lost his wide-eyed wonder and awe at the world he brought to his viewers.
Bindi sounded just like him when she talked snakes with Roker, drawing out words like “gorgeous” and “amazing” — they come out “GOR-geous” and “a-MAAAY–zing” — to describe them.
‘Tough on the outside and tender on the inside’
A week ago, she and her family took part in “Steve Irwin Day” back home in Australia and helped dedicate a statue of Irwin and his family and a crocodile. She sang a song at the festivities, as did Olivia Newton-John.
“It was so much fun,” Bindi said. “It was so nice that everybody was there cheering for daddy’s life.”
This week, she’s in New York, getting ready to ride in a float dedicated to her father — the Crocman — in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Asked how she keeps her daughter grounded, Terri Irwin laughed and described the sparsely settled part of Queensland, Australia where they make their home. “We live in the bush,” she said. “Anytime the pressure starts to mount, we go bush.”
They learned that from Steve Irwin, who never let stardom get between him and his real love of wildlife and the outback.
His daughter is the same way, Irwin said.
“She’s so much like him. She’s tough on the outside and tender on the inside,” she told Roker. “She’s got a real empathy for all wildlife, and I think it’s really important now that we realize that humanitarian issues are so intrinsically linked with our environment. Bindi’s bringing that message to a whole new generation.”