Michael Sheen stepping back from acting
Michael Sheen is taking a step back from his career.
The ‘Masters of Sex’ star has lived in Los Angeles for the last 14 years, but is now planning to return to his native Wales to be a full-time activist and has confirmed he currently has no TV or movie projects in the pipeline.
He told The Times newspaper: "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."
The 47-year-old actor – who is in a relationship with comic Sarah Silverman – claimed the recent US presidential election, which will see Donald Trump take office in the coming months, spurred him on to take action.
He added: "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.
"It’s not going to look like this in ten years’ time. Everything has shifted. The dice are being rolled again."
Following the publication of the interview, Michael has insisted he is not quitting acting entirely, but is taking a break as he wants to focus on his increased interest in community issues "back at home".
He said: "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.
"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 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."