Sheen, Michael: Actor Quits Acting for Political Activism

Actor Michael Sheen is leaving Hollywood and acting. The actor told The UK Times he’s quitting full-time screen career to fight against the “hard populist right.”

“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,” said Sheen.

The Masters of Sex star interviewed with The Times while currently promoting his new film Passengers, which stars Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt.

Sheen also said that the recent U.K. Brexit vote and Donald Trump winning the U.S. presidential election sparked a “massive urgency” to commit himself to opposing demagogues and fascists by moving from Los Angeles back to his hometown of Port Talbot, Wales.  His region voted for the Brexit in June which left the actor “sad and frustrated” and wanting to make a difference.

“It’s not going to look like this in ten years’ time,” he said. “Everything has shifted. The dice are being rolled again.”

Sheen developed an increasing role in activism after meeting community organizations while participating in street performances as part of the National Theatre Wales’s production of The Passion in Port Talbot, Wales in 2011.

He said he’s not signed up for any future acting projects and was unsure if his relationship with L.A. comedian Sarah Silverman would last overseas.

“It will be a big change for how people relate to me,” said Sheen. “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.”