Recently, Matt Damon told The Guardian, “You’re a better actor the less people know about you.” He believes actors are more effective in their work if their personal life is mysterious. On the other hand, many celebrity actors find their celebrity status to be an excellent platform to share their personal and political views; they tweet and openly discuss their opinions with the media hoping to influence others and make the world a better place. This is especially true during presidential races–like now. Several celebrity actors have come forward to publicly support the candidate of their choice. It’s fair to say these actors probably don’t agree with Damon’s opinion about the importance of keeping things mysterious for the sake of their acting.

Here’s a list of some of the actors who have stepped forward to endorse candidates for the upcoming Democratic and Republican presidential primaries.

Ben Carson: Carson supporters include Mickey Rourke, and Kid Rock who said, “The guy makes a whole lot of sense to me.” Strongly opposing Carson is Seth Rogen who called him “despicable” and said, “…he seemed like someone that I just detested.”

Hillary Clinton: Hillary’s fans include Girls actress Lena Dunham, Orange is the New Black‘s Uzo Aduba, Robert De Niro, Kat Dennings, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, America Ferrera, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Lopez, Josh Peck, Amy Poehler, RuPaul, Kerry Washington, Olivia Wilde, Jeffrey Wright, Broadway actor Andrew Rannells, and Diane Kruger who plead, “Please America, make her President!

Ted Cruz: Cruz is supported by R. Lee Ermey, and Adam Carolla who insisted, “I love me some Ted Cruz.”

Carly Fiorina: Fiorina is championed by James Woods, and Donnie Wahlberg who tweeted, “She is a strong human being and a strong candidate for President in 2016.” 

Mike Huckabee: Huckabee has been backed for years by martial artist and actor Chuck Norris who stated he believes he is “the most qualified.”

John Kasich: Tim Allen says Kasich is “a Republican that a Democrat could vote for.”

Martin O’Malley: Timothy Simons from Veep said, “I’m for Martin O’Malley.”

Rand Paul: Vince Vaughn likes Rand’s consistency with issues about liberty.

Marco Rubio: The star of Pawn Stars, Rick Harrison hosted a fundraiser for Rubio, saying, “Rubio cares about people.”

Bernie Sanders: Mark Ruffalo tweeted support for Bernie “and the political revolution!” Other Sanders advocates include Will Ferrell, Sarah Silverman, Danny DeVito, and Jeremy Piven.

Donald Trump: Trump supporters include Bruce Willis, Gary Busey, Lou Ferrigno, Tom Brady, and Hulk Hogan. “He’s a great guy. He’s sharp. He’s fast. He can change the country after the last eight years,” Busey said.

Scott Walker: While he’s no longer in the race, Walker was championed by the Happy Days actor, Scott Baio who tweeted, “Gov. Walker sounds a lot like President Reagan.”

So, do all these celebrity advocates actually influence voters? It’s not always clear, but American researchers have confirmed the potentially far-reaching impact that celebrity endorsements can have on the voting populace. For instance, University of Maryland researchers concluded that Oprah Winfrey‘s 2008 endorsement of Barack Obama, before the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary, likely resulted in over one million additional votes for the candidate. But experts point out that celebrities who carry more credibility in the public’s eyes have an increased impact on voters–such as Angelina Jolie and George Clooney who have experience with political activism. In contrast, celebrities who don’t have proven expertise in the subject matter are generally not perceived as qualified, and thus their endorsements have the potential to actually hurt the candidate they’re trying to promote. But celebrities can certainly help increase fundraising and media exposure for their candidates. For example, people who listed TV/Movies/Music as their profession on Federal Election Commission records as of April 2012 were some of Obama’s top donors raising just under seven million dollars.

But let’s get back to the Damon’s point about the benefit of keeping things mysterious. Do these endorsements have an impact on the actors’ careers? After looking at the list of actors who support the various candidates, has your opinion about any of these actors changed? Do you find yourself gravitating more to some and feeling somewhat repulsed by others? The next time you see a film or TV show starring them, will you be distracted from their performances, and find yourself remembering your feelings about their political opinions–or not? How open or private do you think you’ll be once you become famous?

 

 

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