UK Markets open in 4 hrs 20 mins

Michael Sheen declares himself a 'not-for-profit' actor

·2-min read
Cover Images

Michael Sheen has revealed he will no longer make a profit off of his acting roles and instead donate his earnings to charity.

In an interview for The Big Issue, the Good Omens star reflected on his role in the 2011 National Theatre production of The Passion, which took place in his hometown of Port Talbot in Wales and became a turning point in his career as he discovered small charitable organisations in the town he didn't know existed.

When he went back to visit, he was told the "funding had gone" and some of the groups no longer existed, and this made him realise that he wanted to take a more hands-on approach with helping others.

"I've realised in the last few years that I want to be one of those people who help other people the way so many people helped me," he explained. "I don't want to just be someone who enjoys the fruits of what other people have done and then pull the drawbridge up."

More recently, the actor-turned-activist was involved with the Homeless World Cup, which faced cancellation due to funding issues in 2019 so he saved it using his own money.

"I had to make a decision - I could walk away from it, and it wouldn't happen," he explained. "And all those people from all around the world who were banking on coming to have this extraordinary experience, maybe a life-changing experience, wouldn't have it. I thought 'I'm not going to let that happen.'"

To fund the organisation, Sheen sold properties in the U.S. and the U.K., which was "incredibly stressful" but ultimately brought him to the realisation that he could become a "social enterprise" through his acting work.

"When I came out the other side I realised I could do this kind of thing and, if I can keep earning money it's not going to ruin me. There was something quite liberating about going, alright, I'll put large amounts of money into this or that, because I'll be able to earn it back again. I've essentially turned myself into a social enterprise, a not-for-profit actor," the 52-year-old concluded.

Sheen, who lived in America for many years, once again lives in Wales.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting