Los Angeles has long been known for pumping out liberal blood. Hollywood in particular is a bastion of liberal belief. That’s not to say that conservative actors don’t exist — but they exist only in a quiet minority. Actors are proof that a person can be rich and want what’s best for the betterment of society. Imagine that! Famous actor James Cromwell is now 80 years old, but he still makes plenty of time for the causes in which he believes.
Writer Steven MacKenzie decided to ask Cromwell what the two activities could possibly have in common.
Cromwell said, “Well, you know Shakespeare? The purpose of playing, wasn’t it ‘to hold, as ‘twere, the mirror up to nature, to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure’?”
Cromwell believes that acting and activism are the very epitome of effectuating change that people can believe in. He said, “As an actor, all I can do is hold the mirror. If people will look, they will see the image of who they are. Is that the image that they want — anger, fear, grief, distrust, animus? No, I don’t think so. If in any work, we can show anything that we can call and agree on as truth, that will make a difference in the world.”
Cromwell’s dad was one of the men blacklisted during the witch hunt catalyzed by former Senator Joseph McCarthy, so he knows something about being the subject of undue persecution by the mob mentality so often found in politics today.
Cromwell is also routinely arrested for his activism. He was arrested about a year ago when he disturbed the peace at A&M University — trying to save dogs. A couple years before that, he was arrested when he failed to pay a fine imposed after protesting the construction of a gas plant. He believes that these ideals should be society’s focus. Instead, we spend all our time worrying about all the things that don’t make any difference.