Steven Seagal, star of iconic action films such as Under Siege and Above the Law, has reportedly made a controversial career move. According to Mediaite, Seagal — who is a Russian citizen and friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin — has joined a pro-Kremlin political party called A Just Russia – Patriots – For Truth. The group, which is a pro-Putin organization, released a video over the weekend showing Seagal being issued a party membership card.
The Guardian published portions of a welcome speech that Seagal gave, wherein at one point he implied that businesses that cause environmental damage should incur severe ramifications. "Without being able to arrest people, when we just fine them, they are probably making more money off the production of the things that are defiling the environment," Segal reportedly said. The actor is also said to have posed for photos with Russian writer Zakhar Prilepin, a Just Russia party leader.
Seagal's political news comes after Netflix recently added Under Siege, widely considered to be the actor's best film, to its streaming service. In Under Siege, Seagal plays Chief Petty Officer Casey Ryback, an ex-navy SEAL who now works on the USS Missouri as the captain's personal cook. When ex-CIA operative William Strannix Tommy Lee Jones and his team begin their siege, it's up to Ryback to stop them and regain control of the ship.
Stranix's crew of insurgents includes Gary Busey as Commander Peter Krill, a corrupt executive officer on the battleship who in Strannix's inside man. Ultimately, the task of facing off against the mutinous gang proves extra challenging, as Ryback's only assistance comes from Playboy Playmate Jordan Tate, who had boarded the ship to entertain the sailors. Notably, Tate is played by former real-life Playboy model Erika Eleniak, who went on to star in several other high-profile '90s films.
Under Siege was an incredible success, earning critical acclaim and bringing in more than $150 million on a budget of $35 million. It spawned a sequel, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, released in 1995. That film was not as well-received as its predecessor but still earned over $100 million at the box office against a budget of $60 million. Years later, Seagal announced that there was a script for Under Siege 3, though it has yet to manifest into a fully realized film.