Welsh actor Michael Sheen has dismissed a newspaper report by The Times which states that he is abandoning Hollywood for a career in politics.
Sheen criticised the article from The Times — published in its Saturday magazine — in a blog post on Tumblr within hours of it being published.
“I did one interview with The Times of London a few weeks ago, parts of which (including a headline that is not a quote) have been picked up by a lot of other outlets,” wrote Sheen on Tumblr. “I DID NOT declare that I’m ‘quitting acting and leaving Hollywood’ to go into politics.”
The Bafta-nominated star, who appeared in “Twilight” and “Masters of Sex”, said in his post that he told David Sanderson, a reporter at The Times, that he has become more involved with community issues over the last few years.
According to Sheen, Sanderson then asked him what that meant for his career. “I said it might mean I work less as an actor and maybe even stop for a while AT SOME POINT,” wrote Sheen. “But I don’t really know yet.”
He continued: “I certainly did NOT equate people who voted for Brexit or Trump with a fascistic ‘hard right’ that must be stopped. The majority of people in the UK, including my hometown of Port Talbot, voted for Brexit. That is the will of the people and is to be respected. That is democracy. Given the concerns around the economy in the area I come from and its industrial history, I totally empathise with the dissatisfaction with the status quo that the vote was partially an expression of.”
Sheen, a leftwing political campaigner, has become increasingly vocal on issues that matter to him over the last few years.
Sheen told The Times Magazine: “In the same way as the Nazis had to be stopped in Germany in the Thirties, this thing that is on the rise has to be stopped.
“What I think must be resisted is the re-emerging spectre of fascism in the West. Our democracy must be defended and each of us needs to decide how we can contribute to that effort.”
On the political landscape, Sheen told The Times: “It’s not going to look like this in 10 years’ time.
“Everything has shifted … the dice are being rolled again. Once I’m in, I’m fully in, and this is big. It will be a big change for how people relate to me.”
As newspapers picked up on The Times story, Sheen tweeted: “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.”
The 47-year-old has lived in LA for 14 years but he plans to move back to Port Talbot in the near future.
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