Friday, February 23, 2024

Michael Sheen reveals why he has quit Hollywood to live in his Welsh hometown and says ‘it would take a lot’ to go back: ‘My life is elsewhere’

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Michael Sheen has revealed why he has left Hollywood behind to live in his hometown in Wales.

The actor, 55, is well known for his Welsh roots and was brought up in the town of Port Talbot, where his parents still live.

He previously lived in Los Angeles, where the acting industry is biggest, but a few years ago he decided to return to his home country,

Michael lives with his girlfriend Anna Lundberg, 30, and their two daughters, Lyra, four, and 21-month-old Mabli, just outside Port Talbot.

In a new interview, the Good Omens star opened up on his reasons for the move and admitted that ‘it’d take a lot’ for him to return to the US.

Michael Sheen has revealed why he has left Hollywood behind to live in his hometown in Wales (pictured in Port Talbot in 2022)

The actor, 55, is well known for his Welsh roots and was brought up in the town of Port Talbot, where his parents still live (pictured in 2020)

The actor, 55, is well known for his Welsh roots and was brought up in the town of Port Talbot, where his parents still live (pictured in 2020)

He previously lived in Los Angeles, but moved back to Wales with his girlfriend Anna Lundberg, 30, and their two daughters, Lyra, four, and 21-month-old Mabli (pictured with Anna in October)

He previously lived in Los Angeles, but moved back to Wales with his girlfriend Anna Lundberg, 30, and their two daughters, Lyra, four, and 21-month-old Mabli (pictured with Anna in October)

Speaking to The Sunday Times on why he abandoned his Hollywood lifestyle, he said: ‘It’s home. I feel a deep connection to it.’

Michael explained that while working on a play in Port Talbot in 2011, he saw local people in his hometown struggling to cope with the cost of living crisis and job cuts.

His time there made him aware of initiatives and charities that were in need of high-profile help and support, and he realised the impact he could have.

He said: ‘Once you become aware of difficulties in the area you come from you don’t have to do anything. You can live somewhere else, visit family at Christmas and turn a blind eye to injustice. 

‘It doesn’t make you a bad person, but I’d seen something I couldn’t unsee. I had to apply myself, and I might not have the impact I’d like, but the one thing that I can say is that I’m doing stuff. I know I am — I’m paying for it!’

He added: ‘It’d take a lot for me to work in America again — my life is elsewhere.’

In 2021, Michael revealed he had become a ‘not-for-profit’ actor, using his future earnings to fund charities and social projects.

After funding for the £2m Homeless World Cup in 2019 in Cardiff fell through, he stepped in to bankroll the project and sold his two mansions.

Michael explained that while working on a play in Port Talbot in 2011, he saw local people in his hometown struggling to cope with the cost of living crisis and job cuts (pictured in Port Talbot in 2022)

Michael explained that while working on a play in Port Talbot in 2011, he saw local people in his hometown struggling to cope with the cost of living crisis and job cuts (pictured in Port Talbot in 2022)

His time there made him aware of initiatives and charities that were in need of high-profile help and support, and he realised the impact he could have (pictured last week)

His time there made him aware of initiatives and charities that were in need of high-profile help and support, and he realised the impact he could have (pictured last week)

Speaking to The Big Issue for their Letter To My Younger Self in 2021, Michael admitted that the decision was ‘scary and incredibly stressful’ and he would be ‘paying for it for a long time’.

But he added: ‘But 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.’

This inspired him to continue using his wealth and profile to help with similar ventures to ‘make a difference in someone’s life’ and chose to move to Wales to focus on campaigns helping Welsh people.

Michael said he puts ‘large amounts of money into this or that’ because he feels he will be able to earn it back again. 

The star has already pledged £50,000 over five years to fund a bursary to help Welsh students go to Oxford University. 

Speaking about the decision to move to Wales, he explained: ‘I got to know people and organisations within my home town that I didn’t know existed – little groups who were trying to help young carers, who had just enough funding to make a tiny difference to a kid’s life by putting on one night a week where they could get out and go bowling or watch a film and just be a kid.

‘I would come back to visit three or four months later, and find out that funding had gone and that organisation didn’t exist anymore.’ 

After getting to know people and organisations, Michael realised the difference funding could make and said he didn’t want to just be a ‘patron’ or a ‘supportive voice’ because he wanted to do more to help the community.

In 2021, Michael revealed he had become a 'not-for-profit' actor, using his future earnings to fund charities and social projects (pictured in 2019)

In 2021, Michael revealed he had become a ‘not-for-profit’ actor, using his future earnings to fund charities and social projects (pictured in 2019) 

Michael is renowned for his convincing portrayals of real people – having previously played former Prime Minister Tony Blair, broadcaster David Frost, football manager Brian Clough and presenter Chris Tarrant.

He will next be taking on the controversial role of Prince Andrew in A Very Royal Scandal, revolving around the Prince’s infamous Newsnight Interview with Emily Maitlis in November 2019.

Speaking about the upcoming three-part series, Michael told The Daily Mail: ‘The story talks a lot about the Falklands War and Andrew’s involvement in it,’ Sheen explains. 

‘It’s about a man who had a high point in his life — he was the dream prince when he returned from the Falklands — but who feels like he’s been falling away ever since.’

Sheen adds: ‘It also deals with America and Epstein — how they offered Andrew the chance to feel pretty good about himself again, and how he kind of got drawn into that world.’

Michael is renowned for his convincing portrayals of real people - having previously played former Prime Minister Tony Blair (pictured), broadcaster David Frost, football manager Brian Clough and presenter Chris Tarrant

Michael is renowned for his convincing portrayals of real people – having previously played former Prime Minister Tony Blair (pictured), broadcaster David Frost, football manager Brian Clough and presenter Chris Tarrant

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