Michael Sheen has spent enough time playing a politician. Now he’s going to become one.
Or at the very least, the Welsh actor plans to become a political activist and put his acting career on hold, perhaps permanently.
That’s what he told The Times of London in an interview published Saturday. According to journalist Ben Hoyle, Sheen, who has portrayed British politician Tony Blair and political journalist David Frost in the past, says he has no upcoming acting projects and plans to return to his hometown in Wales, Port Talbot, which voted to leave the European Union in the recent “Brexit” vote, according to the BBC.
Sheen, who described himself as a news junkie in the interview, compared the rise of the “hard populist right” to Nazism and white supremacy.
“In the same way as the Nazis had to be stopped in Germany in the ‘30s, this thing that is on the rise has to be stopped,” he said.
Sheen’s career has been on the rise in recent years, as he has garnered Emmy, Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations since 2010 and critical acclaim for his role as Dr. William Masters in “Masters of Sex.” According to data from BoxOfficeMojo.com, his films have grossed nearly $1.5 billion worldwide.
However, he has never shied away from expressing his political opinions and advocating for certain causes. In 2015, a speech he gave in favor of free healthcare in which he ripped into both sides of the political spectrum went viral and caused waves.
On his Twitter timeline, Sheen has frequently sounded off on both the “Brexit” vote and Donald Trump’s recent election to the U.S. presidency.
However, on Twitter, Sheen rushed to quell any speculation that he would be permanently retiring.
Sheen’s girlfriend of several years and fellow actor, Sarah Silverman, has been especially politically active as well, campaigning on behalf of Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary and speaking at the Democratic National Convention on behalf of Hillary Clinton.
Silverman retweeted Sheen’s message about his uncertainty regarding his actign future, as well as another tweet that read: “As actor Michael Sheen decides to dedicate himself to activism, it's worth remembering his NHS speech,” and linked to the speech above.