Former action star Steven Seagal has come out of retirement to take on a very ambitious role, but you won't be seeing him up on the silver screen.
The Russian Foreign Ministry appointed Seagal to be a special representative for Russian and U.S. humanitarian ties on Saturday. His newly appointed position is meant to bridge the cultural divide between the two countries through the youth and the arts.
Steven Seagal @sseagalofficial, who is a Russian citizen, has been appointed as a special representative of the Rus… https://t.co/xZ8oeoQd8N— Russia in USA 🇷🇺 (@Russia in USA 🇷🇺)1533415633.0
The announcement comes as no surprise, as the American-born actor has a solid relationship with the Kremlin.
In 2016, President Vladimir Putin presented Seagal with a Russian passport to symbolize improved relations between the U.S. and Russia at the time.
Is Seagal a Russian citizen now? This will be “interesting “: Russia has appointed Steven Seagal as a special repre… https://t.co/cZauXgEIrI— Michael McFaul (@Michael McFaul)1533424326.0
Seagal has acted as an unofficial celebrity spokesperson for Putin, defending the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea an… https://t.co/lJfvWnQjiO— Karim Zidan (@Karim Zidan)1533411239.0
Reuters said that the actor occasionally makes appearances on Russian television to share his views on career and politics.
@RalstonReports Just when you thought things could not possibly become more insane with trump & Russia...— Tanzia Mill (@Tanzia Mill)1533433576.0
The Kremlin-backed TV station RT cited the martial artist's passion for bringing the countries closer together in a speech he gave in a previous appearance.
I've always had a very strong desire to do all I can to help improve Russian-American relations. I have worked tirelessly in this direction for many years unofficially and I am now very grateful for the opportunity to do the same thing officially.
This Executive Decision is putting us into Dark Territory. https://t.co/TJrtfioQQn— Alan Zilberman (@Alan Zilberman)1533407911.0
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry's Facebook page, Seagal's new unpaid position is "socio-political" in nature that is comparable to that of a U.N. goodwill ambassador.
Seagal is a regular visitor to Russia, where his action films like Under Siege and Sniper: Special Ops are very popular with the local audiences.
@ZidanSports This world just keeps getting more and more strange.— Victor Overall (@Victor Overall)1533433492.0
People commented on the interesting announcement that seems stranger than fiction.
@AlexisLu You know if he was diplomatic immunity he will be... above the law https://t.co/0vOaKUUups— Kory K (@Kory K)1533434339.0
Several years ago, Putin proposed to Obama that Russia would position Seagal as a official envoy to mediate relatio… https://t.co/aeFLiHa9Ky— Karim Zidan (@Karim Zidan)1533411147.0
@AlexisLu This must mean we are all Marked For Death https://t.co/RHBP1qajFd— steve rucker (@steve rucker)1533444554.0
@AlexisLu I would think that the jokes would be about “humanitarian ties.” Seriously: Putin & Trump - what do eithe… https://t.co/ggJWcLKARA— Heidi (@Heidi)1533441232.0
@alanzilberman In Russia, he is Above The Law— Tal M. Klein (@Tal M. Klein)1533436239.0
Under Siege 3: No Collusion https://t.co/uccmo8Wihf— Jon Ralston (@Jon Ralston)1533423160.0
Someone better clear this with Secretary of State Dennis Rodman. https://t.co/PbvfK7QM0M— Jeff Ross (@Jeff Ross)1533412882.0
@realjeffreyross We see your Steven Seagal Russia and we raise you our Dog the Bounty Hunter!!! 🎲— Music🤘🏼 (@Music🤘🏼)1533434021.0
Dennis Rodman and Steven Seagal in a buddy comedy that is actually a reality show about preventing total nuclear an… https://t.co/AZxtUV46hr— Matt’s Idea Shop (@Matt’s Idea Shop)1533424156.0
Russia has named Steven Seagal an official liaison for ties between Moscow and the US. This move will be Hard to Ki… https://t.co/uaeiCJp3db— max seddon (@max seddon)1533407486.0
When asked about his opinion on the ongoing Russian probe, Seagal, who is known to be good friends with Putin and referred to him as "one of the great living world leaders," told Piers Morgan in a 2017 interview:
For anyone to think Vladimir Putin had anything to do with fixing the elections, or even that the Russians have that kind of technology, is stupid.
Seagal’s journey from high-grossing actor to Putin’s pet is a strange and complex one that emphasizes the influence… https://t.co/XAfnul9PYm— Karim Zidan (@Karim Zidan)1533411412.0
As much he is celebrated for his contribution to cinema, Seagal is also notorious for multiple incidences of sexual misconduct.
According to Newsweek, Inside Edition correspondent Lisa Guerrero talked about being an actress early in her career. Guerrero's manager at the time, Lorraine Berglund, called her about the prospect of starring opposite of Seagal as the romantic lead in an upcoming film.
Berglund told her:
They want you to read for the female lead in a Steven Seagal film, but the audition is going to be held at his house in Beverly Hills.
But because his reputation already preceded him, Geurrero asked for a casting agent associate to accompany her in her audition at the actor's home.
This was potentially a huge break for me, but there was no way I was going there by myself.