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Hunter Biden Story ‘Made for Cinema’—Star Laurence Fox Talks ‘My Son Hunter’

“If it’s the last job I ever do—which at the moment, it looks like it is—I’m proud of it,” says British actor Laurence Fox.

He is the star of the new film “My Son Hunter” and leader of the UK’s Reclaim Party.

“It’s almost as if the Hunter Biden story was made for cinema,” Fox says.

We discuss the making of the film, the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and the growing assault on free speech and objective truth. Fox faced the brunt of cancel culture after pushing back on claims that the UK is a systemically racist country or that Meghan Markle was “torn to pieces” because she’s black.

“I think to apologize to people that have malevolent intent towards you is essentially to beg while being dragged to the scaffold … If you’re going to be hung and digitally removed and executed, then you might as well do it with your head held high.”

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Jan Jekielek:

Laurence Fox, such a pleasure to have you back on American Thought Leaders.

Laurence Fox:

Thank you so much for having me, Jan. Nice to see you.

Mr. Jekielek:

Laurence, I’ve been watching My Son Hunter. Actually, I watched it a couple of times, because I would call it a dense film. There’s a lot of information and it flows beautifully. Congratulations on this achievement. What surprised me is that you spend a considerable amount of time in this film exposing the realities of human rights abuses and corruption in China.

Mr. Fox:

Yes. And that surprised me as well, to the point of my jaw hitting the floor in a lot of ways. And also, the fact that this was done on official presidential business, if you will. Hunter was flying over to China with his father to conduct some of these deals. Taking off my acting hat for a minute, and putting on the lover of democracy hat, some of the backhanders, things that he received and some of the people he worked for and what’s subsequently happened to them makes one feel very, very worried that the son of the vice president of the United States was working with some extremely dodgy people in China. Looking at how the world has developed and looking at some of the things that Biden himself has said about China, I found a lot of that very, very disturbing.

Mr. Jekielek:

Let’s start at the beginning. The film is centered around Hunter Biden’s laptop. There’s a lot of drama around that throughout the film. Now, here’s the question. When you were invited to do this film, did you understand what was on the laptop? Did you understand that it was real? To what stage was the story developed at that time?

Mr. Fox:

Yes. Obviously, I had been aware of the laptop, and I gather there is more than one laptop. And I had been following it with curiosity, because I thought this would seem to be a story of political relevance, as well as being an interesting piece of drama. So, when the script arrived on my desk, the only script that’s arrived on my desk since my cancellation over two years ago, I was quite curious to play such a weirdly voyeuristic and troubled and strange individual like Hunter Biden.

Mr. Jekielek:

When you play Hunter Biden, despite some of the very difficult realities and his being an addict, you actually portray him as a somewhat sympathetic character.

Mr. Fox:

It’s really important for an actor to take a dispassionate view of their character, and not judge their character at all. Being one of the many small cogs in a creative wheel, an actor’s job is really to provide humanity to the characters. It would be a much more boring piece of work if one was judging this human being, rather than just trying to find his humanity. Robert Davi, the director, was very keen to make sure it wasn’t political posturing or the Right-wing equivalent of wokery, which means vilification and hatred of this person. As the creative team, we both thought that it was really important to make this a human story, even though once you consider it more broadly, it has global consequences.

Mr. Jekielek:

You saw this script and you were eager to wade in. Did you understood the implications of starring in a film with such a politically charged topic?

Mr. Fox:

Way back in 2020, I had already experienced the ramifications of having a view about anything nowadays, when I said that the UK wasn’t a racist country. I’m not sure what else could be thrown at me. I just leapt at the chance to do what I had been trained to do at a great drama school in the UK. I had spent 22 years as an actor relatively incident-free, and I was keen to put on my acting shoes again. So, I wasn’t too concerned about getting caught up in the politics of it, because my politics are massively misrepresented. And as I said before, I just approach it as a creative task, and something to get your creative teeth into, because politics doesn’t feel very creative to me.

Mr. Jekielek:

Let’s go back a little bit. Please tell me more about your background and what you’ve done, because our viewers in the U.S. might not be as familiar with you as many people in the UK already are.

Mr. Fox:

I went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, which is a wonderful drama school in England. Sadly, now they are sending out emails apologizing for their own systemic racism. I worked on a television show called Inspector Lewis, which is also on PBS. I did that for 10 seasons, and it became quite popular in the UK. Then, I finished that show because it had run its course. I realized I had been doing it for more than a quarter of my life and I wanted to try something new.

And I was also doing music at the same time. I had written a song about how upside down the world was. In the process of promoting this song, I was invited onto a political panel show in the UK called Question Time in. The topic of Meghan Markle, our favorite member of the royal family, or ex-member of the Royal family, as we seem to say now, came up.  A woman in the audience said that Meghan Markle had been hounded out of the United Kingdom, because of the fact that we were a very racist country.

I begged to differ with her and I said, “No, she’s been hounded out of the United Kingdom because the people of the United Kingdom don’t like her narcissistic opportunism.” I was then told that I wasn’t allowed to have that view, because I was a white, privileged male. Then, I replied, “It’s a racist comment to use immutability to deny someone their right to an opinion.” And after that happened, my phone exploded and along with it, my acting career. I was immediately denounced by the British actors union, Equity, so aptly called equity. They called for me to be denounced, like in the Salem Witch trials.

Within 24 hours, my acting career as I’d known it was over. My agent hung on for another six months, but then with repeated internet pile-ons, she gave up the ghost as well. I ended up in a position where I didn’t have a job and was unable to support my family. But I was still very awake to the idea that free speech was being so deeply suppressed, certainly in the UK, which is probably one of the most tolerant and welcoming countries on earth, just behind Canada and New Zealand.

So, I started a political party, which is now more of a political movement, because political parties are pointless in the British first past the post system. And yes, I find myself trying to tell everyone that without free speech, we don’t have a democracy.

Mr. Jekielek:

That’s quite the career trajectory. Let me ask you this. Many people, upon being denounced in the way that you were by the association that’s supposed to protect you, will turn around and apologize in a very specific way. Did you ever contemplate doing that, because it could prevent this cancellation, or at least that’s what people believe?

Mr. Fox:

The short answer is, no, I didn’t. I didn’t contemplate it for two reasons. The first being the fact that I have principles and I really truly am a patriotic person. I love this country and I love what’s great about it. So, I’m not going to make up a fake apology or a mea culpa. Secondly, to apologize to people that have malevolent intent towards you is essentially to beg while being dragged to the scaffold. If you’re going to be hung and digitally removed and executed, then you might as well do it with your head held high. So, no, apology wasn’t at top of my list. Also, I hadn’t said anything that was remotely controversial, so I didn’t see why I should apologize for it.

Mr. Jekielek:

I’m going to go to something that Gina Carano, the Secret Service agent in the film, says at the beginning. She says, “None of this is true, except for all the facts.” And this idea comes through the entire film. Aside from the stylistic details, there is a lot of information that is true. This makes it a very unusual film.

Mr. Fox:

Yes. My mind always went back to films like “JFK,” or “W,” those Oliver Stone films, which really tried to investigate political inconsistencies and things that needed to be examined and explored, and that would make for good dramatic content. I was surprised that Hollywood wasn’t interested in looking at this. Actually, I wasn’t really hugely surprised. We all know why Hollywood doesn’t want to look at this. But I thought, there’s real dramatic spectrum here. It’s almost as if the Hunter Biden story was made for cinema. For two journalists and filmmakers to come along and crowdfund the budget for this film, put it together on such a shoestring, and get it out before mainstream culture had even accepted the veracity of this laptop was an incredibly brave and interesting thing to do. And I think it’s great. If it’s the last job I ever do, which at the moment it looks like it is, I am proud of it.

Mr. Jekielek:

As it would happen, at the time of the film’s release, everyone that was denying the laptop or saying it had all the hallmarks of Russian disinformation, is now agreeing that the laptop is real. What a lot of people don’t know, and what hasn’t been covered in the legacy media is the content of the laptop, which of course is revealed in various ways in the film itself. How do you think that will impact the reception of the film.

Mr. Fox:

Again, Robert Davi did not want to make partisan, troll film, even though it does have elements of that. There certainly was conservative frustration at the fact that this story hadn’t been told properly. Robert Davi wanted to make a film which would appeal to what I would call a sane Democrat, a Reagan Republican, that sort of thing, rather than a squad Democrat. It would be great for a standard Democrat-voting American to watch it and be able to digest the information and take it for what it is. I’d describe it as a gangster comedy in a way, but it also looks at one end of the spectrum.

This film is giving one hard end of the spectrum, to understand that there is a story within this laptop about the son of the current sitting President of the United States doing deals with China and Ukraine, essentially not the allies of the United States, and what the repercussions of that may be for America more broadly.

Mr. Jekielek:

Let’s talk about how it was to work with Robert Davi.

Mr. Fox:

Robert Davi is absolutely stark raving mad, which is brilliant, and which is what you want in a director. He’s a big New Yorker, and very, very passionate, and very, very keen on authenticity. He’s quite scary. I love him. The thing about making a film is the longer you do it, the more you realize how irrelevant you are in the other aspects of the creative process. The actor’s job is, as my great mentor once said to me when I was struggling with a piece of acting, “Say your lines and F-off. That’s your job as an actor.”  Davi’s job was to take two-and-a-half million dollars and make it look like 10 million, which he has done beautifully.

It was very difficult to make. There are some exposition aspects to the film, the revealing of these stories, that can be quite tricky and difficult to dramatize. Davi is wonderfully talented and passionate and a man of great integrity. I feel absolutely blessed to have worked with him. Interestingly, for a set full of people that were canceled, I have never worked in such a nice atmosphere.

Mr. Jekielek:

As I was watching the film, I saw filmmaker Phelim McAleer’s fingerprints all over it. I have seen his strong, page text drama, which was just purely made of the words in those texts. It was quite an unbelievable thing to watch. So, these facts are integrated in curious and unusual ways into the film.

Mr. Fox:

Yes, there’s a name for it. I was reading a review somewhere and there was a name for what happens when you turn a whole sequence of facts and events and exposition into a short film. But yes, he’s fantastic. Phelim and Ann McElhinney, who worked from a reported story and who produced the film, are very strident in their pursuit of the truth. They’re probably a bit more partisan in their approach, which is fine, because producers have to have a reason to make a film. Then, there’s a delineation and a distance between the producers and the writers and the actor and the director. The ultimate goal is to bring to life a set of very, very uncomfortable facts.

Mr. Jekielek:

When you were preparing for this role of Hunter Biden, what did you do?

Mr. Fox:

I listened to his book, Beautiful Things. The worst thing is, once you do a film and you finish it, you just wipe your memory of all of it. But anyway, I listened to him because I wanted to hear what he thinks. I get a very strong sense from him that he feels he is authentic. Whenever I have watched him, he genuinely seems to believe himself, which is probably a very strong trait of an addict anyway. But in order to prepare, I adopted the David Mamet approach. He is another man whose career is hanging by a thread for having some common sensical views. He said that the character is on the page and in the script. All you have to do is just say your lines and believe them and you become that character.

I listened to him and actually became strangely bewitched by him and how compelling he is in some of his narrative and his truth, if you will. I looked into the laptop from hell and listened online about it, because that’s the only place you can find stuff about the laptop. I just wanted to get a picture of who this guy was.

I focused it mainly around the fact that whatever he is, and has or has not done, there seemed to be somewhere inside of him, this very complex relationship with his dad, or the Big Guy. That fascinated me, because we all have that highly complex relationship with our father.

Mr. Jekielek:

A lot of folks here in the U.S. and Canada are very interested in Gina Carano, another actress who has been canceled from her extremely high profile gig on The Mandalorian. What was it like working with her?

Mr. Fox:

Working with Gina was just an absolute pleasure. She got off a plane after having just finished shooting a Daily Wire movie, “Tara on the Prairie,” and she literally climbed on a plane, got off the plane, came in and just basically gave the whole set an enormous hug. She’s one of the warmest, most authentic, gentle, kind people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. It was really hard for her, because as I said, the way the script is written is quite expositional in lots of ways. She did struggle a bit with having to deliver all that info, but she’s brilliant. She has a wicked charm to her, but a kinder person you will never meet. She’s highly talented, a highly compassionate, lovely person, and very lucky. And now she’s a friend, which is a great bonus.

Mr. Jekielek:

I believe that this film will become a valuable entry into the popular culture. Actually, as I watched it, I was thinking that it has a lot of hallmarks of a cult film. These are films that weren’t necessarily expected to succeed, but they did, because of their quirkiness, and because of their very unusual nature. I’ve never seen a film structured quite this way with the juxtaposition of script, character development, exposition and then these moments where there’s a fact check all of a sudden, asking “Is this true or false?” I think it has some promise.

Mr. Fox:

I think so too. Robert Davi is a very bold director. He pays a lot of homage to the great directors from the nineties and further back. He’s looking back to the age of cult cinema, where cinema was much more daring. Therefore, it’s not going to be one of those films that you can look at and say, “Oh, it belongs in this time, or it was made then.” It has a strange and light loveliness to it. It’s difficult to describe, but it’s certainly not what I was expecting when I signed on the dotted line. I was expecting something much more serious, much more brutal, much more partisan, and much more of an attack dog film. But actually, it’s not. It’s a gentle wandering through one man’s suffering and another man’s profit.

Mr. Jekielek:

In the final sequence of the film, one of the lines from Grace really tore at my heart. She says, “The truth itself has become the fairytale.”

Mr. Fox:

That’s where we’re at now, aren’t we? With almost everything, we are struggling to define even the simplest of terms. I used to think that we had a freedom of speech problem, but now I think we have a meaning-of-words problem. Words have been misappropriated, gathered up and then put back together to mean something totally different. And if one doesn’t have a basic concept of truth, it’s very destabilizing for people. The loss of truth is something that should concern us all. Without empiricism and truth, the world is in chaos. So, with this film, I think that art is reflecting life.

Mr. Jekielek:

I was speaking about this with numerous people recently, including the folks over at Triggernometry from the UK. We talked about truth seeking. Who has the monopoly on the truth, and who can say they have the whole truth? Well, nobody of course. But the question is whether it’s genuine truth, or whether what people say is the truth is just an arbitrary exercise of power. Whoever has the power defines truth, and that becomes the truth. These are fundamentally different ways of looking at the world, and you absolutely touch on that in this film.

Mr. Fox:

Yes. In order for the truth to be true, and for us to be able to pursue it, it has to be equal and belong to everybody. So, as you say, the minute someone in a position of power decides what the truth is, the truth stops becoming the truth, and it just becomes a narrative or a weapon with which to silence and destroy others, and therefore also destroy the knowledge that truth exists, and the seeking of truth that can only lead to noble ventures.

Mr. Jekielek:

Let’s talk about the passing of the Queen of England. For us Americans, there isn’t an understanding of how important the Queen was to the people of the UK. There were these massive lineups of 400,000 people at the Queen’s funeral. To many of us, it’s an antiquated institution, not really that important, and purely symbolic. But watching this incredible outpouring of love and affection and respect, there’s something deeper going on.

Mr. Fox:

Yes, you’re absolutely right. The Queen was a physical human manifestation of British tradition and culture and heritage. We Brits are very much rooted in our history. We’re not a particularly revolutionary society like France, where when something goes wrong, they just rip it apart and chop off everybody’s head and start over again. England likes to carry on, and likes to learn and grow with its traditions and with its heritage. So, Her Majesty was the physical manifestation on earth of our history.

And you are right, you could see the crowds. The queue went back five miles. People were queuing for over 15 hours just to walk past her coffin; people of all different colors, and creeds, and religions, and sexual orientations. She was a huge uniter, and the British will continue to hold her in very high regard for her selfless service to the people of this country and her nonpolitical service. All she did from the minute she ascended the crown was to represent Britain and our values overseas and at home for 70 years.

Mr. Jekielek:

Of course, Prince Charles has now become King Charles. He has held various strong political views in the past. How do you expect this to play out in the future monarchy with King Charles?

Mr. Fox:

It’s interesting. There are two hereditary peerages in the UK, which means Lords and Earls. One of them is the Earl of Norfolk. I can’t remember what the other one is. But these are 16, 17 generations of people who have  essentially been in charge of how the King operates, how accessions take place, how the monarchy is run, how funerals are planned, and everything like that. They are really close advisors.

I sense from King Charles that he knows what his job is now. His job is also to put aside some of the things, both good and bad, that he’s campaigned for politically and to take the role of the non-political monarch. It will be very, very interesting. He said in his speech that he was going to leave his causes in more capable hands. If he started to act upon those causes while being the monarch, public opinion would very, very quickly fall away from him. Perhaps what we might find is that the Prince of Wales becomes more of a political activist position, whilst the monarch remains silent on matters political. That would be for the best in our country.

Mr. Jekielek:

I look forward to seeing how this all turns out. What do you make of these calls of people wanting to abolish the monarchy? How big of a movement is that?

Mr. Fox:

There’s always people that want to abolish the monarchy. Sometimes, I want to abolish the monarchy. I get frustrated with it. But the popularity of the monarchy in the UK is running at about 80 per cent. As you say, there was a five mile long queue. The mainstream media would love to report that the monarchy is unpopular. But time and time again, the monarchy has proven to be hugely popular to the people. But the people are not represented in the media. The media represents its own smaller and more progressive echo chamber. The monarchy represents something which really isn’t progressive. It’s like a rock on which the nation stands. Good luck if you try and knock that one over, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Mr. Jekielek:

You said that your Reclaim party has moved from being a small upstart political party into a movement. What did you mean by that?

Mr. Fox:

In the UK we have the first past the post voting system. I suppose first past the post is meant to give one party more power, but it’s not friendly to small political parties. Without proportional representation like you have in parts of Europe, it’s very difficult for small parties to do well. So, we will stand candidates in the election, but we can’t really stand them expecting to win. We can only stand them expecting to affect the result for a particular seat. There’s only been one party that’s actually managed to get—other than the three dominant parties, Conservative, Labor, and the Lib Dems—managed to get anyone elected. And that’s a woman called Caroline Lucas for the Green Party in Brighton. But Brighton is not what one would describe as a typically British city. It’s very, very progressive. It’s the Portland, Oregon of the UK, if you will.

Mr. Jekielek:

What about the Reclaim movement? How has this become a movement?

Mr. Fox:

We’ve started up another organization that runs alongside the Reclaim party called The Bad Law Project, which seeks to find out where the law is being used inappropriately in England. What we’re seeking to do with that is to remove politics from all of our foundational institutions via the legal route. That is more of a movement thing to do, than a political thing to do. So, you have things called non-crime hate incidents in the UK. I won’t go into them, but you can imagine what they are, a non-crime crime. Then, the political solution would be to get rid of those.

We have a specific school education class in the UK called PSHE; Personal, Social, Health, Economic. In it, they teach children all sorts of madness, including gender ideology, white privilege, diversity, equity and inclusion and this sort of stuff. We would campaign to have a standardized curriculum for PSHE. We don’t have a standardized curriculum for PSHE in the United Kingdom right now. So, rather than saying, “This is our manifesto, we will stand on it,” we will campaign the Education Secretary to have a standardized curriculum.  Because we’ve got to be really, really careful with what our kids are being taught in the UK and in America at the moment, as you can see all the time.

Mr. Jekielek:

What is a non-crime crime? Give me one example that you guys have tackled.

Mr. Fox:

For example, I posted something during the most holy month of Pride, which we’re on to three months of the year now, where one has to worship at the flag that cannot be criticized. Whereas, the Queen only got 10 days after 70 years service for us to pay attention to her. I shared a meme of four pride flags put together, which resembled a swastika. The point being, this is a flag that you cannot criticize in any way. And sure enough, it was banned. Then another man posted this same meme and just said, What do we think of this? He was visited by the police and told he had committed a crime, and they arranged an interview with him. I made sure that we were there when the police came back, and we told them what the actual law was.

Non-crime hate incidents were invented for a noble reason, after the murder of Stephen Lawrence. It almost means pre-crime, trying to stop something before it becomes a crime. But now they’re being used by the police to suppress free speech. And people should be having a debate about this flag. If you walk down Regent Street, the main shopping street in London during Pride month, it literally looks like some sort of rally. I’m very nervous and critical of this Pride movement, because it seems to be using minority groups to push a political agenda of diversity, equity and inclusion, privilege, and gender ideology that not a lot of people believe in or want to follow. So yes, we went after the police on that one, and told them that this man hadn’t broken the law. Subsequently, the Chief Constable of the force that intimidated and harassed this man and his family was removed from her post.

So, we do all right. All you have to do is push back a bit. At the moment, the higher echelons of the police in England are very ideologically driven, and have made the police into a very political police force. If you say the wrong thing and someone is offended, they can report you to the police, and you can expect a visit from the police. That to me is very, very dangerous, and reminiscent of other parts of history that haven’t turned out well.

We really push back very, very hard on any suppression of free speech. The other day, a very famous footballer in England said, “I’m not going to mourn the Queen. What did she ever do for brown and black people?” This was literally minutes after she died and the Right tried to cancel this guy. I came to his defense and said, “No, he has the right to say it. Whether you like it or not, he has the right to say it.” The problem with free speech is that it includes the offensive, and the police in England are trying to make that not the case. The police in England are trying to say, “If you’re offended, it’s a crime.” It’s not, and they need to be reminded of that.

Mr. Jekielek:

Laurence, thanks for coming on the show again. Any final thoughts as we finish up?

Mr. Fox:

The eyes of the world have been on Britain in the last few days and just over a week now. They can see that what the monarchy has done. Ancient traditions and institutions bring people together and they provide a stability from which we can move forward. The world as we live in it now is in a period of near revolution. When we look back to the past and learn from it, and we move forward from that steady rock, we can truly have hope for the future. But if we have to tear everything down to get there, then that’s not be the best way forward.

Mr. Jekielek:

Laurence Fox, it’s such a pleasure to have you on again.

Mr. Fox:

Thank you. Lovely to see you again.

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