Michael Sheen may trade acting for political activism.
Michael Sheen of Passengers and Showtime’s Masters of Sex says he may leave acting entirely to focus on fighting “demagogic, fascistic” politics that led to Donald Trump’s election win.
During an interview with The Times U.K., the actor said he’s determined to fight the “hard populist right” through grassroots organization, beginning with his hometown of Port Talbot, Wales. “It means that I would work less as an actor, and possibly stop,” he said, clarifying he’ll step away from acting “certainly for the time being.”
Sheen will be seen next in theaters alongside Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence in the sci-fi film Passengers, but with the cancelation of Masters of Sex, he confirmed he has “nothing” new acting-wise in the works at the moment. However, Sheen was announced earlier this year to both star in and direct Green River Killer. He expects his girlfriend, Sarah Silverman, will want to stay in the U.S., but both “are going to have to be ready to get involved in all kinds of ways.”
“It’s not going to look like this in 10 years’ time,” he remarked. “Everything has shifted. The dice are being rolled again.”
Sheen linked Trump’s presidential win to a portion of America that’s been hurting for a long time before the election. “He won five years ago,” he said, calling the president-elect the result of a culture “that holds up Kim Kardashian as the most popular and powerful person on the Internet.”
Sheen remarked later in the interview, “In the same way as the Nazis had to be stopped in Germany in the ’30s, this thing that is on the rise has to be stopped. But it has to be understood before it can be stopped.”
After the interview’s publication, the actor took to Twitter to clarify his statements. “Before this gets ridiculous I said I’m thinking I might start acting less and maybe even stop for a while at some point but don’t know yet,” he wrote. “Brexit will of majority&totally understandable. Not about that. Talked about general world rise of anti-democratic forces. Must be stopped.”