Society

Michael Sheen Responds To Report Of Him Quitting Acting

| by Kathryn Schroeder

A report suggesting Michael Sheen is quitting acting to become a full-time activist is not entirely correct.

The Times of London published an interview with Sheen on Dec. 17 that said the actor felt dismay with the “global rise of anti-democratic forces,” and that his response to the “demagogic, fascistic” drift of politics meant “that [he] would work less as an actor, and possibly stop,” according to The Guardian.

The news outlet wrote in its headline that Sheen is quitting acting for activism, and other publications quickly reported the news.

Sheen took to Twitter on Dec. 17 to clarify that he is not quitting Hollywood: “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.”

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He also wrote on his Tumblr that quitting acting completely is not on his agenda.

“I DID NOT declare that I’m ‘quitting acting and leaving Hollywood’ to go into politics,” Sheen wrote on Dec. 17 in his “What I Did Not Say” Tumblr post of the allegedly misquoted interview.

“In the actual original interview I said I have become more involved with community issues back at home over the last few years and because of the political situation it’s something I would like to focus on more,” he wrote. “The interviewer asked me what that meant for my career and I said it might mean I work less as an actor and maybe even stop for a while AT SOME POINT. But I don’t really know yet."

The actor added that he did not equate people who voted for President-elect Donald Trump or Brexit with a “fascistic ‘hard right’ that must be stopped.”

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“The majority of people in the U.K., including my hometown of Port Talbot, voted for Brexit,” Sheen wrote. “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 [empathize] with the dissatisfaction with the status quo that the vote was partially an expression of."

Sheen ends his Tumblr post by stating he believes people must resist the “re-emerging spectre of fascism in the West,” and that everyone must defend democracy and find their method of contribution to do so.

Sheen’s recent acting credits include the series “Masters of Sex,” and a role in the upcoming “Passengers” movie starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence. He previously portrayed Tony Blair in “The Queen,” and David Frost in “Frost/Nixon.”

Sources: The Guardian, Michael Sheen/Tumblr, Michael Sheen/Twitter / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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