Longtime actor and action-movie star Kurt Russell has been running the talk-show circuit promoting the new Quentin Tarantino western he appears in, “The Hateful Eight,” and getting roped into public conversations about gun control.
On December 10, media outlets began running some of Russell’s answers to a reporter asking him if gun control laws would deter terrorism soon after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino.
At the time, he said, “If you think gun control is going to change the terrorists’ point of view, I think you’re, like, out of your mind. I think it’s absolutely insane.”
The comments appeared largely out of context on all kinds of websites, prompting the hosts of ABC’s morning talk-show The View, to ask Russell about his comments (you can see that segment above). Russell said he was ambushed by a reporter, Jeffrey Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere, during the “dog and pony show” that is The Hateful Eight press tour. You can read a transcription of the whole interview here.
During the interview, Wells posits a connection between what he calls Quentin Tarantino’s 23-year-old cult of violence and mass shootings and terrorism.
Despite Russell’s attempts to steer the interview back to the topic of the movie he was being interviewed about, Wells charged ahead with questions about gun control and no-fly lists until Russell finally replied:
“You and I just disagree. I understand that you think you can control the behavior of people that are dead set on taking your way of life away from you. You think you can control that? And there’s only one thing you can do with that. And that’s (to say), ‘No, dude, that’s not gonna happen. That’s just not going to happen.'”
On “The View,” he said he never intended to get political in the interview.
“The last thing I like to watch is entertainers or actors get political. It’s just something I can’t stand watching. So having said that, I was kind of asked to put it in context somehow with this movie,” Russell said. “My personal feeling is that there’s a big difference between fantasy-land and reality. Fantasy-land is what we do.
“In reality, when we’re dealing with things like terrorism, we’re all going to have different opinions on how to do it, how to deal with it,” he said. “Mine happens to be, that I think there’s a very strong reason the founding fathers had for the Second Amendment and that is that no government ever hasn’t had to fight its own people. I think that’s an important part of our existence.”
Co-host Joy Behar offered: “I think that people object more to the excesses of the Second Amendment, not the—it’s the, you know, ba-, ba-, ba-boom guns.”
“That’s where the debate comes in. I think it’s too bad the debate can’t remain kind of civil too,” Russell said.