Politics is a potentially dicey topic at the best of times, but it takes on an entirely new dimension for celebrities. By virtue of their public persona, an actor has a platform that would allow them to speak, and be heard, on topics that are important to them. Many choose to use that platform to do exactly that. However, Eddie Redmayne, who appears in the very politically charged Trial of the Chicago 7 admits that he generally avoids political topics because he's not sure that his celebrity platform isn't actually harmful to those causes.
Speaking with THR, Eddie Redmayne says that he finds it "challenging" to speak publicly on political topics because, while he has a more public platform than most, that same platform puts him in a position where he's not sure he's the best possible spokesman. And so, instead, he chooses to remain mostly quiet and advocate for the causes he cares about only to people he already knows. According to Redmayne...
I find it endlessly challenging. There’s the elitist thing. It’s speaking up on climate change but being conscious that you’re traveling a lot. One has to be aware of one’s own hypocrisies, because they can be detrimental to something you believe in. So sometimes I find that I have to live my life and speak to my advocacy in a way in that it’s around friends, family and people I know rather than making something public.
It's a perspective that probably exists not only among some celebrities but also among a lot of people who aren't celebrities. We're all probably a little guilty of doing things that maybe aren't in perfect alignment with the causes we hold dear, and when you stop to think about it, that can really make you question yourself. How do you ask that other people reduce their carbon footprint if you know your own isn't that great? Eddie Redmayne himself doesn't necessarily have an answer to that, and so he has decided to remain silent even though, one can assume from his example, that climate change is a topic that he does find important.
Eddie Redmayne's next film certainly will be making a political statement. The Trial of the Chicago 7 tells the story of seven people who were charged with crimes following protests surrounding the 1968 Democratic National Convention. While the parallel between the film and the recent Black Lives Matter protests is impossible to miss, it was completely unintentional, as the film had been in development for years. Some of Eddie Redmayne's co-stars in the movie, Jeremy Strong and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, marched in those protests.