Michael Sheen Leaving Hollywood to Fight Rise of Populism (Update)

Michael-Sheen-Beverly Hills-Oct 6, 2009-AP

Update: Sheen posted a statement to his Twitter account in which he said he is not quitting acting altogether to go into politics.

“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. I DID NOT declare that I’m ‘quitting acting and leaving Hollywood’ to go into politics,” he said in a statement.

“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.

Read the rest of Sheen’s statement here.

Original story below:

Actor-producer Michael Sheen says he’s walking away from his career in Hollywood to lead the fight against the rise of populism in Britain.

“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,” Sheen told The Times Magazine. “Once I’m in, I’m fully in, and this is big. It will be a big change for how people relate to me.”

Sheen, whose latest science-fiction film Passengers opens December 21, plans to leave his Los Angeles home and move back to his native United Kingdom where he will organize grassroots against the populist right.

“It’s not going to look like this in ten years’ time,” Sheen told The Times, citing this year’s Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s election as his motivations to take on a more prominent role as an activist.

“Everything has shifted. The dice are being rolled again,” he said.

Sheen most recently had a regular starring role in Showtime’s Golden Globe nominated romantic drama, Masters of Sex. But the show wasn’t renewed for a fifth season and the series finale aired on November 13.

Now the accomplished stage actor is asking himself “How can I be most effective? What am I going to do?”

“It started with a connection to something, and an idea of why I wanted to do it,” he said. “How I was going to do it emerged over time and was a lot to do with listening rather than telling.”

Sheen will be seen on the big screen twice in 2017 in the comedy Brad’s Status and alongside Reese Witherspoon in the drama Home Again.

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson