Michael Sheen denies he's quitting acting for politics

19 December 2016

Michael Sheen has denied he's quitting acting to fight against right-wing politics.

The Welsh actor took to Twitter on Saturday to clarify he won't be leaving Hollywood after he claimed an interview he gave to The Times newspaper was taken out of context.

In the interview, Michael said he was misquoted after hinting he would be quitting his full-time acting job to fight against the "hard populist right."

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"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,” the Masters of Sex star told the newspaper.

"Before this gets ridiculous I said I'm thinking I might start acting less and maybe even stop for a while at some point but don't know yet," Michael wrote on the social media site, before posting a link to his Tumblr page where he shared a lengthy statement.

"I DID NOT declare that I’m ‘quitting acting and leaving Hollywood’ to go into politics," he wrote. "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."

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The 47-year-old star was quoted in the interview as saying the recent vote in the U.K. to leave the European Union - nicknamed Brexit - and Donald Trump winning the U.S. presidential election sparked a "massive urgency" to commit himself to opposing fascists by moving from Los Angeles back to his hometown of Port Talbot, Wales.

Michael hit back at The Times, and said he did not compare those who voted for Brexit or Trump to fascists.

"The majority of people in the U.K., including my hometown of Port Talbot, voted for Brexit," he wrote on Tumblr. "That is the will of the people and is to be respected. That is democracy.

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"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."

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