The kindness of Michael Sheen

KoFKoF Shipmate
edited April 11 in Heaven
There was a recent British tv show called The Assembly. I read it was based on a French concept where famous people meet neurodiverse people and get bombarded with questions, and the episode featured the actor Michael Sheen.

It had quite a profound effect on me. I’m not a particular fan of Sheen, he’s always seemed a bit too smily and shiny and slick but I thought in this programme he was really good. Genuinely open and warm and interested in the group.

The newspapers are praising one particular moment, but for me there were different things that really touched a nerve. I laughed until I nearly cried right at the end, when Sheen was shaking people’s hands and talking quietly. He has that magic ability (which I don’t) to remember names so he was greeting people by name and thanking them. Which was truly beautiful.

And then this man came up and just blurted out “what’s your name then?”

Pause

“Michael”

But there were other moments I really liked. The best, I thought, we from people who didn’t really know who he was and weren’t being anything other than themselves. People who were interested in random things like trains and Dr Who and Scooby Doo and were hoping that this kind, smiling man might be interested too.

And it made me feel better about myself too. Made me feel like I too wanted to be the kind of person random people tell random things to.

I want to be the kind of person they can do that and then if they remember nothing else about that moment than that someone listened with a genuine smile, then that’s ok.

Comments

  • Merry VoleMerry Vole Shipmate
    I am that kind of person at work. But it can be utterly exhausting!
  • I adore Michael Sheen. I know what you mean, but I think that is often the characters he plays. When he is being himself, he seems like an incredibly warm, witty, intelligent person.

    And I think, while I am sure it is hard work to an extent, this side of him is genuine. I wouldn't like to cross him, to have to argue with him, as I think he is passionate and intense on things he believes in. And I would lose. Because he is incredibly intense.

    I watched a video of him doing Dylan Thomas' "Do not go gentle" and it was incredible. The power and passion he put into it.
  • EigonEigon Shipmate
    Michael Sheen does quite a few things 'behind the scenes' as it were, especially in Wales. Locally a group got together to save a local hospital and transform it into a "Wellness Centre" with low cost housing for vulnerable people and gardens for veterans with PTSD and specialist clinics, and he made a video in support of them.
  • Thanks for the recommendation. I’m watching it now.
  • Eigon wrote: »
    Michael Sheen does quite a few things 'behind the scenes' as it were, especially in Wales. Locally a group got together to save a local hospital and transform it into a "Wellness Centre" with low cost housing for vulnerable people and gardens for veterans with PTSD and specialist clinics, and he made a video in support of them.

    Yes, living here in Wales one does sometimes hear about his "good works", especially in and around Port Talbot. Looking forward to seeing him in "Nye" next month.
  • The5thMaryThe5thMary Shipmate
    I couldn't stand him in the "Twilight" movies. And yes, I am embarrassed to admit that I read the crappy books AND saw all the mostly crappy movies.

    Anyway, his character was so ridiculously over-the-top that I assumed he wasn't a very good actor. Happily, I rediscovered him in "Good Omens" and loved him.
  • North East QuineNorth East Quine Purgatory Host
    KoF wrote: »
    Made me feel like I too wanted to be the kind of person random people tell random things to.

    I want to be the kind of person they can do that and then if they remember nothing else about that moment than that someone listened with a genuine smile, then that’s ok.

    I am a magnet for random people on trains. I think it's because I'm a plain, middle aged, average height, overweight woman who looks totally unthreatening and anonymous.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    I'm forever starting chats with people in queues, at bus stops etc. though I am probably shading from unthreatening middle-aged to mad old bat.
  • I'm always pleased to hear about celebrities doing stuff in their community and it not getting huge publicity. For me that's exactly how it should happen.

    Having spent time with son in childhood cancer centre, over time I became wary of those coming with cameras in tow to either get publicity for their interactions, or from the media side looking for a sob story. We were interviewed for a newspaper one Christmas but our story wasn't used and in hindsight I'm very glad of that. They chose another family who were happy to use themselves as misery porn. When you've seen the inside of the system, it gives a whole different perspective.

    I'm not suggesting this was the motivation of the story in the original post, just indicating that the motives of others may not be so pure and I've seen that in operation on a number of occasions and it's not really interrogated, just seen as playing the game. YMMV
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