Kurt Russell Offers Take on Celebrity Political Views: ‘We are Court Jesters’

by Josh Lanier

Kurt Russell believes actors should keep their opinions on politics to themselves. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter to discuss his new Netflix movie “Christmas Chronicles 2,” he said celebrities shouldn’t advocate for a particular position.

“I’ve always been someone who felt we are court jesters,” he said. “That’s what we do. As far as I’m concerned, you should step away from saying anything so that you can still be seen by the audience in any character.”

Actors should stay informed, he said, but stay silent.

“There’s no reason entertainers can’t learn just as much as anybody else about a subject, whatever it is,” he said. “But I think that what’s sad about it is that they lose their status as a court jester. And I’m a court jester. That’s what I was born to do.” 

He continued, “A court jester is the only one who can walk into the castle and put the king down as long as he doesn’t hit too close to home. I think that’s been a big, important part of all cultures throughout history, and I’d like to see it stay in ours.” 

Kurt Russell Has Discussed His Political Beliefs Before

Russell hasn’t always held that opinion, however. In 2015, he called himself a “hardcore libertarian” in an interview with the Daily Beast.

He said he came to that opinion after studying the Founding Fathers.

“… When I was a young guy, I was finding myself not quite being able to see the things that were going on and buy into a political culture,” he said. “I didn’t know what to do, so I finally said, “’Why don’t I go back and see what the Founding Fathers were all about, and see how that stacked up.’ Well, I found them and I found libertarianism. They were pretty radical guys, and damn smart, and I just believe in that old-time stuff and think they had great ideas.”

Though he said he didn’t feel comfortable discussing his political beliefs in public.

“Here’s the thing: I’m just selling a movie,” he said about a contentious interview he had with a reporter. “I never go out there to do publicity about anything other than the movie. I have my political point of view, of course; I’m an American and I’m entitled to it. But I don’t like espousing it publicly. I’m very vocal with my friends, and they’ll tell you that.”