Michael Sheen: I am a not-for-profit actor

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  • Michael Sheen
    Michael Sheen
    Welsh actor
Michael Sheen during the filming for the Graham Norton Show at BBC Studioworks 6 Television Centre, Wood Lane, London, to be aired on BBC One on Friday evening.
Michael Sheen thinks of himself as a non-profit actor. (PA)

Michael Sheen has declared himself a "not-for-profit actor” after selling two of his own houses to fund a charity.

The Good Omens star helped organise 2019 Homeless World Cup in Cardiff and when funding for the £2m project fell through the 52-year-old actor sold his own houses to raise the money needed.

Sheen told The Big Issue: “I had a house in America and a house here and I put those up and just did whatever it took. It was scary and incredibly stressful. I’ll be paying for it for a long time."

Read more: Michael Sheen reveals he handed back his OBE to avoid being 'hypocrite'

But the Welsh actor revealed that if he could continue to work - he could afford to keep donating the money he earned to charity.

He said: "When I came out the other side I realised I could do this kind of thing and, if I can keep earning money it’s not going to ruin me. There was something quite liberating about going, alright, I’ll put large amounts of money into this or that, because I’ll be able to earn it back again.

Michael Sheen delivers an address at the opening of the 2019 Homeless World Cup in Cardiff, Wales.
Michael Sheen helped fund the Homeless World Cup in Cardiff in 2019. (Getty Images)

"I’ve essentially turned myself into a social enterprise, a not-for-profit actor."

Sheen has a two-year-old daughter, Lyra, with his current girlfriend, Swedish actress Anna Lundberg, and a 22-year-old daughter, Lily, with Underworld star Kate Beckinsale.

He recently starred as serial killer Martin in a second series of Sky drama Prodigal Son and appeared as himself in BBC lockdown comedy Staged.

He and his Staged co-star David Tennant also star together in Amazon Prime's fantasy drama Good Omens, based on the novel by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

Pictured: Michael Sheen and Anna Lundberg.
Michael Sheen and Anna Lundberg at home on Celebrity Gogglebox. (Channel 4)

Last year the activist revealed he had given back his OBE [Order of the British Empire] three years ago after learning more about the history of Wales and its relationship with Britain.

But he insisted he meant "absolutely no disrespect" in returning the OBE and that he had felt "incredibly honoured" to be receive the award from The Queen in the 2009 New Year’s Honours for services to drama.

Sheen revealed he struggled with nasty symptoms after catching COVID-19 in February this year.

He said: “I had it back in February. Yeah, it was rough.

David Tennant and Michael Sheen star in BBC lockdown comedy 'Staged'. (BBC/GCB Films/Infinity Hill)
David Tennant and Michael Sheen filmed BBC lockdown comedy 'Staged' from their own homes. (BBC)

“I remember thinking 'Oh, I'm going to have a couple of weeks in bed reading and watching TV”, and that was not what it was like.”

Read more: Michael Sheen says baby 'freaked out' on walk after months of lockdown

“It was very rough, and I was in America at the time as well so I suddenly felt the vulnerability of not having our national health service to rely on and kind of look after me,” he continued.

“That was quite scary. I had a renewed sense of love and respect for what we have in this country, but I'm fine now.”

Watch: Michael Sheen read the poetry of Dylan Thomas

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