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James Cromwell on protesting: I get bolder as I age

Larry King NowApr 24 '17

James Cromwell discusses his storied history with protesting – and being arrested for it – and shares an experience in which he went up again Steven Spielberg’s plans for a studio on the Ballona Wetlands.

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Larry King: You’ve been arrested a few times?

James Cromwell: Yeah, quite a few.

Larry King: Do you get bolder as you age?

James Cromwell: Yeah.

Larry King: Why?

James Cromwell: I once was asked to sort of take part in a protest to protect an area in Los Angeles called the Ballona Wetlands. Which is the last wetlands in Southern California. And Spielberg wanted to build a studio on there because it was a shorter helicopter flight from there to LAX than where his studio was at Universal. And I went down to see the wetlands, which was magnificent, and I said, “Yeah, I’ll support you.” And my wife then, then-wife, was very, very upset, and got a friend of ours, Richard Dreyfus, who called me and said, “Look Jamie, there’s no such thing as a blacklist, but do you think when your name comes up in a meeting at Spielberg, somebody’s not going to say, ‘Is that the schmuck who’s fighting us?’” And so I backed away. And the next day, who do I see, leading the march, but Martin Sheen? And I thought, “If Martin can do that, I can do that.” So since then, I haven’t backed away from it, I sort of attract it. And I live in a little small community, and we have a power plant, and its fracked gas, and I’m trying to stop it, and of course I get arrested there too.

Larry King: You stand up for what you believe in.

James Cromwell: You have to.

Larry King: Has Spielberg ever contacted you?

James Cromwell: Oh we’ve seen each other. [Laughs] I don’t know whether he knows I’m that guy.

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