Gary Sinise has shared his political views in a new interview.
During a performance on Who is talking to Chris Wallace? airs on HBO Max and CNN this weekend, the first CSI: NY star explained what it’s like to have more conservative views in the entertainment industry.
Wallace noted that Sinise, who rose to fame in movies like Forest Gump and Apollo 13is “one of the relatively few conservatives in Hollywood,” adding that he helped found a group of people in Hollywood with similar political beliefs called Friends of Abe, a reference to President Abraham Lincoln.
“Do conservatives in the entertainment industry need a support group?” Wallace asked Sinise, noting that the actor has contributed to politicians like John McCain and Mitt Romney over the years.
Sinise laughed in response, noting that the organization’s founding came about during the early days of the Iraq War.
“I think so much was motivated by what happened to our Vietnam veterans and the lack of support they received and the way they were treated, and then we regretted it later,” Sinise said. “I didn’t want our veterans from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan to fall prey to that sort of thing. I just wanted to get in there and support them. So I started looking for people who were just in the same camp as I was on that topic. And I found other people in the film and television world who enjoyed getting together.”
During the conversation, Sinise also expressed support for the right to bear arms. Wallace asked the actor if, as “a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms under the Constitution,” he had any feelings about whether there should be more gun control restrictions on semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. capacity. .
“Yeah, I’m not the guy who knows exactly what to do about all that. All I do know is that you can’t get rid of guns,” replied Sinise, one of the founders of the Steppenwolf Theater Company, which began in Highland Park, Illinois, the same city where a mass shooting occurred on July 4 during an Independence Day parade. Sinise shared that as a kid, he lived just three blocks from where the shooting took place, and was a part of the parade in the early days of Steppenwolf. But he insisted that the issue of gun violence is “a complicated situation” that he says cannot be easily resolved.
“You know, I said this to Larry King,” the Forest Gump star added. “One time he asked me about it. And I said, ‘Well… what are we going to propose? Because guns are here to stay. They’ve always been part of the American story.’ So what do we do now that we seem to have such easy access to guns when we shouldn’t? Or people getting guns they shouldn’t have?”
Sinise went on to say that “we need multiple solutions. Clearly there isn’t one solution to this horrible problem we have.”
Wallace further asked Sinise if he thought he could have had a “bigger career in the conventional Hollywood sense” had he chosen to focus solely on acting, rather than all the time he spends supporting veterans.
Sinise noted that he has had “amazing opportunities” in Hollywood, saying that he “can’t complain about my acting career.” In addition, the recognition he received through his decades-long career is a “key element” in providing the international platform to do his service work, which includes performing more than 500 shows for military members as part of the Lieutenant Dan Band – a nod to his Oscar-nominated role – as well as building smart homes for seriously injured military officers and their families as part of the Gary Sinise Foundation.