Is Michael Sheen quitting acting to fight fascism full-time? Perhaps.


Michael Sheen is an international treasure. The Welsh actor can do it all, from drama to romance to comedy to historical bio-pics, from film to television to theater. He is arguably one of the best and most underrated actors working today. And now Sheen might not be a working actor anymore. Sheen is currently promoting Passengers, which looks like a turdburger, and he did an interview with the Times of London. I guess that Sheen lives part of the year in America? Or does he live here full-time? I don’t know – I always got the feeling that he maintained a home in Wales, but come to think of it… his daughter goes to school in America, his girlfriend is American Sarah Silverman, and he worked for years on an American show (Masters of Sex, which just got canceled). So maybe he lived full-time in America. I’ll use the past tense because in this interview, Sheen announced his plans to move back to Wales, give up acting completely and commit himself to fighting fascism full-time.

Michael Sheen is to give up acting at the height of his career to fight the rise of the far-right populism. The Frost/Nixon star said he would be leaving Hollywood to order to commit himself to political activism and fight “demagogic, fascistic” politics that he says has engulfed the West over recent years.

“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,” he told The Times.

He also credited the Brexit decision (he said he was “sad and frustrated”) U.S. presidential election in favor of now-President-elect Donald Trump for motivating him to feel a “massive urgency” about the current political climate.

“It’s not going to look like this in ten years’ time,” he said of the current political climate. “Everything has shifted. The dice are being rolled again.”

And while he admitted to feeling “terrified” in the current state of politics, he added there is “a freedom in it.”

The actor is to return to Port Talbot in south Wales to co-ordinate the activities and says the support of his home town for Brexit is one of the reasons he has decided to begin his activism back where he began. The actor, 47, currently starring in the science-fiction film Passengers, will leave the actress and comedian Sarah Silverman, his partner of two years, and his family in Los Angeles says the move could put their relationship at risk.

He said: “It will be a big change for how people relate to me. Once I’m in, I’m fully in, and this is big. As soon as you start to be effective, then people try to crush you, because it’s dangerous.”

[From The Telegraph & People]

It feels like… he wants to leave America just as Presidente Deplorable takes office, and I don’t blame him. The next few years are going to be absolutely miserable. The only consolation I can offer is that I get the feeling that it’s going to be pretty miserable no matter where you are and what country you’re in. He could stay here and fight American fascism or he could go home and fight against British xenophobia and anti-immigrant nationalism. He made his choice. I’ll miss seeing him as an actor, but if this is what he feels he’s got to do, then God bless and Godspeed.

After every media outlet reported that Sheen was “quitting acting,” he issued a statement on Twitter and Tumblr. He wrote: “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. Brexit will of majority & totally understandable. Not about that. Talked about general world rise of anti-democratic forces. Must be stopped.” He also issued a longer statement, which you can read here. He basically says that he didn’t equate Trump with fascism, but that he is going to become more politically active in the years to come.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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28 Responses to “Is Michael Sheen quitting acting to fight fascism full-time? Perhaps.”

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  1. Lucy says:

    It will be sad not seeing him in anything else if he ends up quitting acting altogether, but at least it’ll be for a greater cause. I know many people don’t agree, but I appreciate it when celebrities are interested in politics, and eager to discuss it. I obviously appreciate it a lot more when they say things I agree with!

  2. Sixer says:

    I think he lives stateside but he is often here doing political stuff such as giving speeches at marches and protests and the like. He’s also done a couple of political documentaries for the BBC about deindustrialisation in Wales and about the Welsh radical political tradition (my grandparents come from that).

    He also did an updated Passion in Port Talbot at Easter one year. You can watch the documentary about it if you’re interested and have an hour to spare. I thought it was lovely and also speaks to commitment to his roots and community theatre.

    So he’s always been doing this kind of stuff really.

  3. Felice. says:

    He will always be the other Wesley Snipes to me.

  4. Maybeiamcrazy says:

    While I am sure he means well, would it actually help? If Hollywood stars could change people’s mind, surely Clinton would won by %40 percent majority, same with remain campaign. The problem in our societies are too multi-faceted. If it was purely racism , we would always have Trump-like somebody as USA president. Sigh… I don’t know what is going on at this point. It is not just one country, it seems to be happening all over the western world. Good luck to Micheal Sheen though. He is delightful

  5. robyn says:

    Not only Sheen but everyone must fight fascism and get informed.

    Is fascism too strong a word for the rise of Trump? I don’t think so. Is Trump compromised because his wife talks like Natasha the Russian spy? I don’t think so. Rather, Trump has been corrupted by Russia through financial dealings for years. Isn’t it scary to elect someone whose taxes (undisclosed by him) could prove big financial conflicts of interest with Russia?

    This is Putin’s way of war. He is doing to the US what he did to the Ukraine and you’d better believe it. Russia infiltrated Crimea first by making sure a pro-Russian candidate was installed as president. He filled Crimea with Russian’s and Russian supporters who would not object to being overtaken by Russia.

    Putin used similar tactics in Florida where Russians bought Trump properties. The same man (Paul Manafort) who helped a pro-Russian president win in the Ukraine also helped Trump. Why? Putin wants to dismantle pro-European countries and the European Union. Why? The weaker they are the stronger Russia becomes and the more they can bully their way through Europe and get back to pre WW2 status. Trump’s hat should say “Make Russia Great Again”.

    How does Putin get away with it? Serious apathy and the sheer naivety of the populations he is targeting. America’s only hope is if the Electoral College voters are brave enough to vote for any candidate other than Trump. I hear some of these people are getting death threats, which proves this is war on America and democracy. Don’t let Putin win people!!!!!

    I am an ordinary person watching this all unfold and it is so clear to me. Why isn’t it clear to everyone in the US that Trump is the worst thing that could happen to the world?

  6. vbv says:

    So he’s been living in LA for the past 10+ years, but now he feels it is incumbent upon him to go back to Wales and SAVE THE DAY! Because only he can. HE IS AN AHHHKKTOOHHR for God’s sake!

    Man… no wonder people have no respect left for celebs. The level of self-aggrandizing delusion and entitlement…

    And I bet they discern that her pothead GF Sarah, who self-admittedly has no idea about world politics btw, will be the first lady of the UK in about 3 years after Mike saves the grey island from itself!

    • vbv says:

      He is a great actor btw.

      Stick to activism if you feel passionate. Do not overrate your usefulness.

      • Kitten says:

        Why though? I don’t understand why he can’t be both an actor and a passionate activist. The two are not inherently contradictory.
        On the contrary, artists are often political people by nature.

      • MsGnomer says:

        Trolling American gossip pages to undermine good, factual news and good works is one thing Russians have spent a lot of time doing. Not sure why you have vitriol against someone who takes their responsibility as a democratic citizen seriously.

    • Anatha says:

      He’s been always active and passionate about politics in his hometown. It’s not like he is an actor who now wants to save the day. He is a labour member in Port Talbot and now wants to be more involved with what he did anyway, because he is passionate about it. He is one of the many, many people who are not politicians (or only politicians on the small scale), who got taken by surprise and now want to do more for their communities. What’s wrong with that?

      • vbv says:

        Because he is a clueless Hollywood fat cat.

        And if he is a labor party bottom btch, then he should talk about Rotherham first. The shame of the UK, the shame of the labour party.

    • Sixer says:

      vbv – Sheen is far far from your average Hollywood limousine liberal. If you’d read what I said above, you’d already know that. But just in case you need any more convincing, here is a speech he gave about the NHS last year in both video and text format. It was widely regarded as one of the best political speeches of the year.

      I don’t like words without action superficiality from celebrities either. But that’s not Sheen at all.

      Watch the video and tell me that isn’t a charismatic political speaker. “But first of all, by God, believe in SOMETHING”. I love that.

      • vbv says:

        He doesn’t like the Brexit results so he decides to play superman to dictate and educate and mandate the provincial lowly masses that he stripped himself from by moving to the US with his ex wife and raise her daughter in LA.

        Where does he get off?

        These Hollywood liberals spit in the face of the common man, degrade and insult them through blatant vitriol or juvenile jokes, try to make them feel horrible for the lives that they lead, and then they expect these subhuman masses to listen and vote however these precious thinkers and paragons of humanity see fit! It makes me ashamed to call myself a liberal now, because this has become the common rhetoric/tactic now.

        It is beyond tasteless. Good grief. The nerve!

        I am not some white guy btw. I am not basking in my so-called ‘white privilege’.

      • Sixer says:

        None so blind as those who won’t see.

      • MsGnomer says:

        I don’t think Sheen believes he is going to “play superman.” In a democracy, everyone has equal responsibility to pull their weight. You go on being insulted. I will go march on the street and do my part to ensure fascism’s toe hold in our country does not get a good grip.

    • Jaded says:

      @vbv: Saving the world starts with one person at a time, doing whatever they can to shine a harsh light on the dreadful, apocalyptic things happening in this world right now. Better that than to sit back complacently spewing angry drivel.

      • Fire rabbit says:

        The people who stand up to fascists and their dictators have always come from all walks of life, all professions. Artists too. Which is why oppressors try to shut them down first, along with a free press and educators.
        Are you suggesting that only certain kinds of people, the right kinds of people perhaps, should have these duties,a say- so in how things are done? That those of us who don’t qualify , by your standards, should just sit down, shut up and do as we’re told? How convenient.
        It’s very interesting that even though certain agendas have “won” recently, their proponents are still all over the internet spewing venom and being defensive about their victories. You won. What do you care if most of the rest of us disagree with you? What in the world do you have to worry about 😉?

  7. Eric says:

    Napoleorange. Release your past tax statements so we the people can see not if, but how many, conflicts of interest you have.

    Godspeed to a Vulgarian impeachment.

  8. AnotherJen says:

    Stick to acting.

    • SusanneToo says:

      And others could stick to defrauding small businessmen, stealing from charities, bankrupting casinos, throwing people off their land to build unwanted golf courses, and grabbing pu$$ies.

  9. SwanLake says:

    Not a fan of his and don’t think much of his acting. Please fight the forces of anti-democratization instead.