Michael Sheen has broken his silence about his split with Sarah Silverman. The reason for the breakup? Politics, and distance.
The 47-year-old comedienne had announced her and the Master of Sex alum’s split in February, after almost four years of dating, saying, “We just live in different countries & it got hard.” She later told ex-boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel on Jimmy Kimmel Live! that she and Sheen “broke up over Christmas,” adding, “He moved back to the U.K. and his life is really there and my life is really not there, but I love him to pieces.”
In his first comments about the breakup, Sheen, 49, told the U.K. newspaper The Telegraph that after Britain’s 2016 Brexit referendum, during which 52 percent of voters voted to have the country leave the European Union, and after President Donald Trump won the 2016 U.S. election, he and Silverman “felt in different ways we wanted to get more involved.” Both stars hold left-leaning views.
“That led to her doing her show I Love You, America, and it led to me wanting to address the issues that I thought led some people to vote the way they did about Brexit, in the area I come from and others like it,” the Welsh actor said.
“We both had very similar drives, and yet to act on those drives pulled us in different directions—because she is American and I’m Welsh,” he continued. “I felt a responsibility to do something, but it did mean coming back here—which was difficult for us, because we were very important to each other. But we both acknowledge that each of us had to do what we needed to do.”
In December 2016, a month after the U.S. election and several months after the Brexit vote, the U.K. newspaper The Times reported that Sheen wanted to commit himself to political activism and to opposing demagogues and fascists, and planned to move back to his native Wales to begin grassroots organizing.
“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 told The Times.
The actor later clarified on Tumblr that he was not quitting his acting career.
Sheen told The Telegraph. “I felt a responsibility to do something, but it did mean coming back here, which was difficult for us because we were very important to each other. But we both acknowledge that each of us had to do what we needed to do.”