Gary Sinise, a Hollywood star, understands that being a conservative in Hollywood is difficult, but he acknowledges that despite being outspoken about his political beliefs, he has had a successful career.
The host of CNN’s “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?” on Friday asked the 67-year-old actor about his decision to start the conservative group Friends of Abe for right-leaning Hollywood figures in 2004 rather than just sticking to acting.
Sinise, best known for his role as Lt. Dan, the wounded veteran in the hit film “Forrest Gump,” said the group began “during the early days of the Iraq War” because he and his friends wanted to ensure soldiers did not suffer for their service in the same way Vietnam veterans did.
“I think so much was motivated by … what happened to our Vietnam veterans and the lack of support that they got and the way they were treated, and then we regretted it later on,” Sinise said.
“I didn’t want our Iraq War and Afghanistan veterans to fall prey to any of that kind of stuff,” he added. “I just wanted to get in there and support them. So, I started looking for people that were just in the same camp as me on that subject. And I found other folks in the movie and television business who enjoyed getting together.”
When asked if his Hollywood career could have been more successful if he had just focused on acting, Sinise said he’s had a “blessed career” and “can’t complain,” according to the New York Post.
Actor Gary Sinise opens up about how the role of Lt. Dan in “Forrest Gump” had an impact on his career. pic.twitter.com/V7E6mMe6pF
— CNN (@CNN) January 30, 2023
“I’ve had a blessed career in the movie and television and theater business,” Sinise shared. “I’ve done amazing things, I’ve worked with amazing people, and it really played a major role, if not the key element, in what I’m doing today on the service side.”
The actor said he reached a point in his career where he could “pick and choose” roles based on issues that are important to him, such as “giving back and trying to serve our veteran community and our first responder community.”
In 2011, the “CSI: NY” star went beyond his role as Lt. Dan by establishing the Gary Sinise Foundation, which provides a variety of programs and services to wounded veterans from all military branches.
This is a true American and I wish more Hollywood types would pay attention to it.