Michael Sheen has denied reports that he is giving up his acting career to focus on politics after becoming concerned about the rise of far-right populism.

It comes after The Times published an interview with the actor where he was quoted as saying: “In the same way as the Nazis had to be stopped in Germany in the Thirties, this thing that is on the rise has to be stopped.”

However according to Sheen, his remarks were taken out of context.

Michael SheenMichael Sheen is not quitting Hollywood

In a Twitter post Sheen wrote: “Before this gets ridiculous I said I'm thinking I might start acting less and maybe even stop for a while at some point but don't know yet."

A second tweet read: “Brexit will of majority&totally understandable. Not about that. Talked about general world rise of anti-democratic forces. Must be stopped.”

The actor then linked to a longer Tumblr post, where he explained that his comments to The Times had been taken out of context.

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“I did one interview with The Times of London a few weeks ago, parts of which (including a headline that is not a quote) have been picked up by a lot of other outlets,” he wrote.

“I DID NOT declare that I’m ‘quitting acting and leaving Hollywood’ to go into politics. “In the actual original interview I said I have become more involved with community issues back at home over the last few years and because of the political situation it’s something I would like to focus on more.

“The interviewer asked me what that meant for my career and I said it might mean I work less as an actor and maybe even stop for a while AT SOME POINT. But I don’t really know yet.”

Sheen then stated that he did not compare the people who voted for Brexit or Trump with a ‘fascistic 'hard right’ that must be stopped’.

“The majority of people in the U.K., including my hometown of Port Talbot, voted for Brexit. That is the will of the people and is to be respected. That is democracy,” he continued.

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“Given the concerns around the economy in the area I come from and its industrial history I totally empathise with the dissatisfaction with the status quo that the vote was partially an expression of.

“What I think must be resisted is the re-emerging spectre of fascism in the West. Our democracy must be defended and each of us needs to decide how we can contribute to that effort.”

Sheen will next be seen playing AI Arthur in sci-fi drama Passengers alongside Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, which opens in US theatres on December 21.