Hollywood’s most outspoken conservative keeps pretty busy these days.
That doesn’t mean Nick Searcy thinks it’s easy for right-leaning actors in Tinsel Town. In fact, the rise of Donald Trump has had a brutal impact on his conservative peers.
“It’s probably harder today than it’s ever been with Trump in office,” Searcy says.
Not for the “Justified” alum, though.
Searcy is slated to appear in several films this year alone, including Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming fantasy “The Shape of Water” co-starring Sally Hawkins and Michael Shannon.
Blasting liberals on Twitter may not win him any favors on the Hollywood cocktail circuit. It isn’t keeping him on the unemployment line.
Other, less proven stars, face a different show business reality.
“I know plenty of actors who come to me and say, ‘boy, I feel the same way you do, but I’m not gonna open my mouth. I know what’ll happen to me,’” Searcy says. “Who am I to say they’re wrong?”
He also can’t be sure if he loses some roles for being an outspoken conservative. Liberals reading his Twitter feed may scamper for a safe space after a few missives. Getting dubbed a member of the “Human Democratic Centipede” must hurt.
“There’s a lot of [roles] that I don’t do, and I feel like sometimes, ‘why am I not doing that?’ I have no firsthand knowledge that I’ve ever been rejected for something because of my ideology or because I’m not a Democrat … I don’t know how much work I would be getting if I was a Democrat,” he says, laughing.
“I’ve reached a point that I don’t really care. I work plenty. I do enough. If I’m gonna be denied a role by somebody because they don’t like the fact that I won’t vote for Hillary I probably won’t enjoy working with that person anyway.”
Of course, movie sets aren’t meant to be political conventions, even if stars like T.J. Miller taunt their colleagues for not being woke enough.
“I don’t talk politics at work,” Searcy says, adding he just had a blast with co-stars Sam Rockwell and Taraji P. Henson on the set of "The Best of Enemies." “I rarely have a bad experience on a set … no one’s ever accosted me about any stance I’ve taken publicly.”
He doesn’t mind tinkering with a line or two mid-production, assuming it makes the story sharper. He recalls the collaborative spirit behind FX’s “Justified,” the brilliant take on crime in the 21st century south. He played Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Art Mullen, the only soul strong enough to keep Timothy Olyphant’s Raylan Givens in check. Mostly.
“We wanted to make a show about the South where everyone isn’t a stereotype. It’s not just a bunch of dumb rednecks,” he says. “They were open to us playing with the dialogue, improving here and there. Olyphant is big on that. I’m big on that.”
In fact, Searcy would occasionally weave anecdotes and phrases from his own father into the productions.
“It shaped the show quite a bit and gave it some authenticity and reality,” he says before praising the show’s writers for creating scripts that packed a wallop before any tinkering.
Searcy took a rare turn in the director’s chair for the film version of Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s horrifying abortion record. “Gosnell,” set for an early 2018 release, recalls the nightmarish methods the Philadelphia doctor used during his abortions.
The story devastated the pro-life community, but Searcy says his film isn’t aimed at one particular demographic.
“The thing I’m proudest of is that it can be watched by either side. It doesn’t tell you what to think. It just lays out the facts. You’re allowed to make your own value judgments,” he says.
You can listen to the entire Searcy interview at the Hollywood in Toto Podcast.
Christian Toto is an award-winning journalist, movie critic and editor of HollywoodInToto.com. He previously served as associate editor with Breitbart News' Big Hollywood. Follow him at @HollywoodInToto.