Kurt Russell has advice for ‘court jester’ celebrities: Steer clear of politics

Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell in "The Christmas Chronicles: Part 2."
Goldie Hawn is Mrs. Claus and Kurt Russell is Santa Claus in Netflix’s new “The Christmas Chronicles: Part 2.”
(Joseph Lederer / Netflix)

Kurt Russell wishes his fellow Hollywood players would keep their traps shut when it comes to politics, so they can remain the “court jesters” he believes they all are.

“As far as I’m concerned, you should step away from saying anything so that you can still be seen by the audience in any character,” the 69-year-old told the New York Times this week. “There’s no reason entertainers can’t learn just as much as anybody else about a subject, whatever it is. But I think that what’s sad about it is that they lose their status as a court jester.

“And I’m a court jester. That’s what I was born to do.”

Russell is about to appear in Netflix’s “The Christmas Chronicles: Part 2,” which stars him and longtime partner Goldie Hawn reprising their 2018 “Christmas Chronicles” roles as Santa and Mrs. Claus. This time around, Hawn’s Mrs. Claus will have more than a cameo, which was all she did in the first flick. The new movie premieres Wednesday.


For Russell, believing that actors shouldn’t get overtly political doesn’t mean they can’t occasionally speak truth to power.

“A court jester isn’t always funny,” he said. “A court jester is the only one who can walk into the castle and put the king down as long as he doesn’t hit too close to home. I think that’s been a big, important part of all cultures throughout history.”

Then — at least by influencer standards — he got radical.

“The one thing I don’t agree with is that just because we have a platform we always have to use it,” Russell said. “That is our choice.”

He added that while he will dance with Hawn occasionally for her Instagram posts, “I can’t tell you how little I care about social media.”

Indeed, the “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” actor has no Twitter account, no ‘Gram of his own. No TikTok, no likes, no retweets. And still, he survives.

All that said, Russell has previously (somewhat reluctantly) discussed his personal politics with the Daily Beast — and those politics are not Democratic. Or Republican.

“The ... thing I’ve found is that a lot of liberals in Hollywood are faux-liberals, and a lot of Republicans in Hollywood are faux-conservatives,” he told the news outlet in 2015.

“When I was a young guy, I was finding myself not quite being able to see the things that were going on and buy into a political culture. I didn’t know what to do, so I finally said, ‘Why don’t I go back and see what the Founding Fathers were all about, and see how that stacked up,’” Russell added.

“Well, I found them and I found libertarianism. They were pretty radical guys, and damn smart, and I just believe in that old-time stuff and think they had great ideas.”

In a year when many holiday traditions will be upended, films such as “Happiest Season,” “The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two” and “Godmothered” look to keep the spirit of holiday movies alive.

Alas, thinking that way, in the industry Russell works in, hasn’t always been pleasant.

“I’ve heard some pretty rough things through the years that were really undeserved, but the number one thing was my case was worse, because I couldn’t say, ‘I’m a Republican, sorry,’” he told the Daily Beast.

“I wasn’t a Republican, I was worse: I was a hardcore libertarian.”