Michael Sheen struggles to “accept” non-Welsh actors playing Welsh characters. The 54-year-old actor has revealed that he would prefer to see Welsh actors play Welsh characters on screen, although he insists it’s not “particularly on the point of principle”.
Michael – born in Newport, Wales – told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: “You know, seeing people playing Welsh characters who are not Welsh, I find, it’s very hard for me to accept that. Not particularly on a point of principle, but just knowing that that’s not the case.
“That’s a very different end of the spectrum, but a part like Richard III is such a great character to play, it would be sad to think that that character, you know, is no longer available or appropriate for actors to play who don’t have disabilities, but that’s because I’m just not used to it yet, I suppose. Because I fully accept that I’m not going to be playing Othello any time soon.”
Michael Sheen also suggested that actors from privileged backgrounds can struggle to play working-class characters. The acclaimed actor thinks it’s important to be able to relate to a character in some way.
Michael, who portrayed broadcaster David Frost in the 2008 drama movie ‘Frost/Nixon’, said: “Again, it’s not particularly a point of principle, but personally, I haven’t seen many actors who have come from quite privileged backgrounds being particularly compelling as people from working-class backgrounds.
“If you haven’t experienced something, you know, the extreme example is, well, if you haven’t murdered someone, can you play a murderer?”
Michael has previously spoken out in support of Welsh independence from the UK. He said on ‘The Hard Shoulder’: “I think the strongest argument against independence anywhere, whether it’s Wales or anywhere else would be: ‘Look how good you have it, Why would you risk that?’ Nobody’s making that argument in Wales really and that in itself tells a story I think.”