Michael Sheen denies saying he would quit acting to focus on politics

The Welsh actor says his quotes were taken out of context

It was reported yesterday (December 17) that actor Michael Sheen would be quitting his job to focus on politics following Trump’s election and the Brexit result.

The Welsh actor has now denied that he ever said that, saying an interview with The Times was taken out of context.

As The Hollywood Reporter reports, Sheen was quoted in the paper as saying: “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.”

However, in a post on his Tumblr page, the actor wrote: “I DID NOT declare that I’m ‘quitting acting and leaving Hollywood’ to go into politics. 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.

“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 Times piece also asserted that Sheen would move from Los Angeles back to his hometown of Port Talbot to fight fascism. The Welsh town voted for Brexit in June, which Sheen was quoted as saying left him feeling “sad and frustrated”.

“I certainly did NOT equate people who voted for Brexit or Trump with a fascistic ‘hard right’ that must be stopped,” he wrote on Tumblr. “The majority of people in the U.K., 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. 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.”

Sheen’s latest movie, Passengers, will be released on December 21.