Vince Vaughn is shaking off criticism he received earlier this year when a video showing him shaking hands and chatting with President Donald Trump at a college football game in New Orleans went viral. The self-avowed libertarian has never shied away from making political statements but insists the meeting was overblown in a new profile by the Los Angeles Times.
"In my career I’ve met a lot of politicians who I’ve always been cordial to; I’ve met Nancy Pelosi and was cordial to her as well," the actor told the paper, noting that at the same football game, he greeted Democratic strategist James Carville, who made a brief appearance in Old School. "It was the only time I’ve ever met him. We said hello. He was very personable. I didn’t get into policies."
When it comes to the reaction to the video, Vaughn speculated that people are "more charged than ever" about political topics. "But I don’t think most people take that stuff as seriously as the small percentage that’s making noise about it," he added. "I was raised with the idea that you could have different likes and beliefs and you should respect and defend that in other people, not shout it down. The people you disagree with the most, you should stand up for their right to do that."
Vaughn denied backing Trump's presidential campaign, saying the only candidate he has ever supported is former Libertarian presidential nominee Ron Paul. "I don’t have a party that I support and endorse. In fact, for me sometimes it’s difficult to find a candidate that you feel is philosophically consistent and not just going along with whoever is funding their particular party," he continued. "That’s as much as I’ll get into it at this point."
The Freaky star reflected on his long career in Hollywood as he explained why people's opinions about him don't particularly matter to him, remembering the days before Old School when his agents were concerned that interest in casting him had weaned. "I think everyone goes through those stages and we all evolve and change. Any time you go into a different area, people are reluctant because it’s not what they’re used to selling," he said. "But when you play it safe or try to strategize based on what you think audiences want to see, I think things actually go worse."
“For me personally, I really don’t care to a large degree about people’s opinions," he added. "How I feel about my choices and what I’m doing, whether that’s in your work or in your own life — that is more of a focal point to me than ‘Is it coming off well?’"