Gary Sinise has opened up about his political views in a new interview.
During an appearance on Who is talking to Chris Wallace? airing on HBO Max and CNN this weekend, the former CSI: NY star opened up about what it’s like to have more conservative views in the entertainment industry.
Wallace noted that Sinise, who rose to fame in films like Forrest 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 entertainment industry conservatives 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 creation of the organization took place at the start of the war in Iraq.
“I think it was all driven 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 explained. “I didn’t want our Iraq and Afghanistan war vets to fall prey to that kind of stuff. I just wanted to get in there and support them. So I started looking for people who were just on the same side than me on this subject. And I found other people in the world of cinema and television who liked to find each other.
During the conversation, Sinise also expressed his support for the right to bear arms. Wallace asked the actor if, as a “big supporter of the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms under the Constitution,” he had any feelings about whether there should be more restrictions on gun control on semi-automatic weapons and large capacity magazines. .
“Yeah, I’m not the guy who knows exactly what to do about all this. The only thing I know is you can’t get rid of guns,” Sinise replied, the a founder of the Steppenwolf Theater Company, which began in Highland Park, Illinois, the same town where a July 4 mass shooting took place during an Independence Day parade. Sinise shared that as a child he lived just three blocks from where the shooting happened and used to take part in the parade at the start of Steppenwolf. But he maintained that the issue of gun violence is “a complicated situation” which he said cannot be easily resolved.
“You know, I said that to Larry King”, the Forrest Gump star added. “Once he asked me about it. And I said, ‘Well… what are we going to come up with? Because guns are here to stay. They have always been part of American history. So what do we do now that we seem to have this easy access to guns when we shouldn’t? Or people getting guns when they shouldn’t be?”
Sinise went on to say that “we need multiple solutions. Obviously, there is no single solution to this terrible problem we have.”
Wallace then asked Sinise if he thought he could have had a “bigger career in the conventional Hollywood sense” if he had chosen to focus solely on acting, compared to all the time that he goes on to work to support veterans.
Noting that he had “a great opportunity” in Hollywood, Sinise said he “can’t complain about my acting career.” Additionally, the recognition he has gained over his decades-long career is a “key component” in providing the international platform to do his service work, which includes performing more than 500 shows for the military. 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.