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18th Dec 2016

No, Michael Sheen is not quitting acting for politics – at least not yet

The Hollywood star has clarified his comments

Tony Cuddihy

He’s not walking away from Hollywood just yet.

Actor Michael Sheen has clarified comments he made about leaving the world of acting to get involved in local politics back in Wales.

The 47-year-old caused a stir on Saturday when it emerged that he was turning his back the movie world to help fight fascism, but it turns out it’s not something he’ll be doing any time soon.

He was quoted as having told The Times: “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.”

Now, however, he has written in a blog post that his comments were mis-interpreted and he did not intend to label those who had voted for Brexit – or for Donald Trump in the United States – as fascists.

“I DID NOT [Sheen’s caps] declare that I’m ‘quitting acting and leaving Hollywood’ to go into politics,” he wrote.

“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.

“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.”

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Michael Sheen