Q: Are you anti-Bush, as the pundits say?
Mortensen: No, I’m not anti-Bush; I’m anti-Bush behavior. In other words, I’m against cheating, greed, cruelty, racism, imperialism, religious fundamentalism, treason, and the seemingly limitless capacity for hypocrisy shown by Bush and his Administration.
Q: What’s wrong with pinning it all on Bush?
Mortensen: It’s too easy, and it lets a lot of people off the hook. I think impeachment proceedings need to be started immediately but not just against him. God forbid we should have Dick Cheney as President. No. Those two need to go, and many of the others in the inner circle need to go.
Q: Do you think actors are particularly stymied when they try to speak out?
Mortensen: It’s almost a standard tactic, really, to try to minimize any effort that people in the entertainment business or in any public occupation make to express themselves. Look, there are people that grandstand and seem to be publicly politically engaged because they like the attention, more than because they’re genuinely concerned about the world. But I don’t think that’s the majority. The majority of those who take the risk—and it is a risk because it’s much safer to keep your mouth shut and keep making a living—have something to say. They speak up, or go on a march, or get involved in the political process because they do care and they are concerned. I consider myself very fortunate to have a platform. I don’t take it lightly, and I don’t abuse it. I don’t speak up about something unless I feel strongly about it and until I’ve researched a subject extensively and have an informed decision about it. But I think if you don’t say something it’s lying by omission. I personally think it’s immoral. Yeah, it might cost you a few fans, but you have to say something.