Maria Conchita Alonso, who starred in movies such as "The Running Man" and "Moscow on the Hudson," said Sunday that she had resigned from a play because of threats of boycotts and protests over her support for Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a Republican gubernatorial candidate and a founder of a Minuteman border-patrol chapter.
"I said, 'Well, you know the ... production doesn't need to be hurt by me," she said in an interview. "I told them, 'Listen, it's the best for everybody.' "
Alonso had been set to appear in a Spanish-language production of the Vagina Monologues in San Francisco in February. Last week, she appeared in an online campaign video for Donnelly, a tea party favorite, saying she supported his calls to return film production to Hollywood, increase domestic energy production and reduce government interference in citizens' lives.
Alonso, 56, was born in Cuba and raised in Venezuela and has a history of political activism, notably opposition to the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez. In 2011, she got into a heated exchange with Sean Penn at the baggage claim at Los Angeles International Airport over his support of the Socialist leader. Penn called her a pig; she called him a communist.
"I don't want the government to be involved in my life, I don't want government to control my life," she said. "… I've known what communism is and when the people depend on government, that's wrong; then the government has control over you."
Last week, Alonso appeared in a bilingual online campaign video for Donnelly. In the video, she held her Chihuahua, Tequila, as she translated some of Donnelly's remarks into Spanish, and paraphrased others for laughs.
"Politicians and big government are killing our prosperity," Donnelly says in the video. "They're driving business out of our state, pushing welfare costs through the roof and driving our schools into the ground."
Alonso, looking alarmed, translates these remarks as: "We're screwed."
Alonso has been criticized over the video from not only the left, but also on the right. She said that while she doesn't agree with all of Donnelly's positions, such as his views on hunting, she believes he is a good man with an open mind.
"I do think he's an honest man," she said. "We don't agree on everything, like I don't agree on everything with my boyfriend."
Alonso said she was surprised by the vitriol over her appearance in the Donnelly video. Critics said she was stereotyping Latinos by holding a Chihuahua whose name is Tequila.
"I'm like, 'Oh my God!" she said. "I rescued her from a shelter three years ago. I named her Tequila because we went to the shelter and I was kind of drunk. I was tequila-ed out. That's the true story."