Michael Sheen reveals why he returned to live in Wales and that he is a 'not-for-profit' actor

Credit: PA

Michael Sheen has turned himself into a "not-for-profit actor", and said he will fund charitable causes he is passionate about by making and starring in films.

The Welsh activist says he has decided to move back to Wales to "make a difference in someone's life" and focus on campaigns helping Welsh people.

Mr Sheen sold two houses in order to continue financially supporting and organising the 2019 Homeless World Cup in Cardiff.

The 52-year-old actor told The Big Issue: "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.

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

Actor Michael Sheen delivers the opening address at the 2019 Homeless World Cup in Cardiff, Wales Credit: PA

Sheen said he stepped up to foot the bill while organising the 2019 Homeless World Cup in Cardiff.

He said: "I had committed to helping to organise that and then suddenly, with not long to go, there was no money."I had to make a decision - I could walk away from it, and it wouldn't happen. I thought, I'm not going to let that happen. So, I put all my money into keeping it going.

"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."

But Mr Sheen said: "I came out the other side and realised I could do these kinds of things and, if I 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.

The actor, from Port Talbot, has already started his own creative arts scheme to help people from working class and under-represented communities in the UK to break into the industry.

  • Mr Sheen says he wants to create a more supportive community for young people getting into the arts.

Originally from a working-class background, Mr Sheen says the opportunities that he had "have kind of disappeared over time" and as he's got older "various things get cut and the money's not there, schools are not doing this or that."

The star of Good Omens revealed the first "turning point" in his life was after a 72-hour production through the streets of Port Talbot in 2011, which also let him to move back to Wales.

"I got to know people and organisations within my home town that I didn't know existed - little groups who were trying to help young carers, who had just enough funding to make a tiny difference to a kid's life by putting on one night a week where they could get out andgo bowling or watch a film and just be a kid.

"I would come back to visit three or four months later, and find out that funding had gone and that organisation didn't exist anymore."

He added: "I realised the difference between that child's life being a little bit better or not was ultimately a small amount of funding.

"And I wanted to help those people. I didn't just want to be a patron or a supportive voice, I wanted to actually do more than that."That's when I thought, I need to go back and live in Wales again."