'X-Men's' Kelsey Grammer on Acting and Politics

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," June 1, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.


KELSEY GRAMMER, ACTOR: Is it cowardice to save oneself from persecution? Not all of us can fit in so easily. You don't shed on the furniture.

HUGH JACKMAN, ACTOR: For all we know the government helped cook this up.

GRAMMER: I assure you the government had nothing to do with this.

JACKMAN: I've heard that before.

GRAMMER: My boy, I have been fighting for mutant rights since before you had claws.


ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: And that was Kelsey Grammer fighting for mutant rights. He played the role of Dr. Frasier Crane for 20 years, but now he stepped into a very different character, secretary of mutant affairs in the No. 1 movie in the country, "X-Men: The Last Stand". Kelsey Grammer joins us.

GRAMMER: Hi, Alan.

COLMES: Thank you very much for being here. As the secretary of mutant affairs, which actual Bush administration official do you most resemble?

GRAMMER: Well, it would probably be Mr. Powell, actually.

COLMES: Really?

GRAMMER: Secretary Powell. I mean, he's no longer in the administration, of course.

COLMES: Why do you say that?

GRAMMER: Well, he's a man who comes from an experience of maybe being thought of as outside the mainstream.


GRAMMER: And certainly, Beast is arguably from outside the mainstream. But he's trying to mainstream his lifestyle. He's tried to come together as an equal, like Martin Luther King said. The content of his character is what defines him.

COLMES: Yes. This is a very interesting role for you. Did you have any second thoughts about taking it?

GRAMMER: None whatsoever.

COLMES: Why is that?

GRAMMER: The only thing is on the 15th day when you're on your way to get makeup put on again, you're starting to get depressed about it.

COLMES: Three hours, right? Three hours of makeup?

GRAMMER: Three hours to get into it but then you spend the whole day in it. But then getting out of it, of course, later, is really frustrating. You get a little depressed.

COLMES: Yes. And you got the blue stuff all over your face.

GRAMMER: Blue stuff all over your face. We don't want to complain. I mean, I have a wonderful life. But you do get a little claustrophobic. And it's so limiting for awhile you start to think you might lose your mind.

COLMES: Really?


COLMES: In terms of approaching this character, you said something very interesting. This is a character that has some consciousness of the past. So it's not a mutant that has no consciousness of what it once was, and that adds a whole new dimension to this kind of character.

GRAMMER: Yes, clearly. What's interesting about him, as well, he's a mutant who had had agility and strength. But by virtue of his education and his own experimentation, he accelerated his mutant gene to a point where he became blue and got furry.

COLMES: I see.

GRAMMER: So he's like a blind man who wasn't born blind. So he's actually really had to take on a persona that reflects having been an outsider and then to become a mainstream guy.

COLMES: And physically this is a very different role.

GRAMMER: Yes, certainly. Although, you know, I am a specimen.

COLMES: That is true. But I guess you welcome the opportunity — people who have known you for so long as Frasier Crane, to have them see you do something so different.

GRAMMER: Certainly. Actors, we all — it's all just about playing dress up. And we hope to create characters that are memorable in our lifetime. I've certainly created one.

COLMES: Right.

GRAMMER: But here's another one, and I want to do some more stage work and stuff like that. But my criteria for selecting a role now is the fact that it might be different than what I've done before.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: It came within $12 million of being the biggest opening weekend of all time. I mean, this thing is huge.

GRAMMER: It's good.

HANNITY: Congratulations.

GRAMMER: Thank you.

HANNITY: I haven't seen the movie yet. But I am looking forward to seeing it.

GRAMMER: Well, if you can sneak off and see it without the kids, you're...

HANNITY: See, my son, every time, like, I'm watching movies on TV, he wants to watch "Star Wars" and "The Lord of the Rings"...

GRAMMER: My daughter has seen "Star Wars", at least the first one.

HANNITY: How old is your daughter?

GRAMMER: She's 4.

HANNITY: See, my son has seen parts of it. But when it gets to the part...

GRAMMER: She loves Luke Skywalker. She loves when he stands out there and it's got that double sunset, my daughter is in love with that guy. So she's already tuned into that. And she understands the good guys and the bad guys. She gets all that.

But this one is pretty violent. And so I would say girls, I'd say wait a little longer. And boys, 9 or 10.

HANNITY: What I do is I sit there and I let them watch parts, and when it gets to the bad part, I flip it. "Dad" and I get yelled at, so — which is understandable.


HANNITY: Let me talk to you about some other things.


HANNITY: I could care less...

GRAMMER: What have you got? What have you got?

HANNITY: I want to talk about the political realm. You have thought about running for political office.

GRAMMER: Yes, and I even declared that on this show at one point.

HANNITY: Yes, you did.

GRAMMER: And it's still something I'm toying with. It's just a matter of — it's a timing issue. I mean, I do have this obligation to my family. And I think politics is a pretty tough game, and I think it hurts your kids. And I think it can really take a toll.

HANNITY: It can hurt your kids. But you know what? I look at the president's kid...

GRAMMER: I also think it might be worth the sacrifice. It just depends.

HANNITY: You do?

GRAMMER: I mean, I think my kids are a little too young to get involved in this right now. And of course, my wife is not particularly thrilled about the idea.

But I've always fancied it as being something that would be post actor. Post career. It would be like a second career. So, you know, it's another decade out, probably.

HANNITY: You really think of this, though. But what is inspiring you to even think about it? Because it is such a hard...

GRAMMER: Just a sense of service, an obligation to serve, I think. I grew up in the Vietnam generation and I wasn't, of course, a supporter of that war, but I was from a military family. I was raised by a military man. And when I went and got my draft card, I thought if, "I get called up, I'll go. I'll serve." Fortunately I didn't have to make that decision.

But there's a part of me that always thinks a man or a young person of conscience should actually serve their country in some way.

HANNITY: How closely do you follow politics today? And you know, it's pretty divided. Look at me and Alan.

GRAMMER: You guys make a living being divided. You have to be. That's part of your shtick. But I think there's more that unites us than divides us. Now I think it's a terrible mistake for members of the Democratic Party, not all of them certainly, to make a major plank of their platform to be just hating the Republicans.

COLMES: I didn't know that was a plank.

GRAMMER: Well, it seems to be, at least.


HANNITY: That's all they're running on. Listen to him.

GRAMMER: There's a lot of people that it just seems to be luxuriating in a message of hatred.

COLMES: We'll debate that in a moment.

GRAMMER: And those words, though, I mean, are offensive. And of course, I don't — I can't — can't accept that. But I do think there are some really good dialogue going on. And some really good ideas. And I think there's a lot of things that unite all of us. And we all want to be good Americans and have the best solution for America all the time.

HANNITY: How do you assess President Bush? We see his poll numbers. We've been in a war mode now and a war footing for 4 1/2 years.


HANNITY: I think he's had very difficult decisions to make. I admire a lot of what he's done. I disagree with a few things like immigration, but I admire him greatly. What are your thoughts on him?

GRAMMER: Well, it's interesting. The immigration thing, George Bush was out in front of that six years ago. I mean, when he was first running for office he pretty much came up with what they've just recently passed through the Senate.

HANNITY: It's a little amnesty heavy for me.

GRAMMER: I mean, isn't that pretty much what he was promoting, right? So I know they were calling him a Nazi the other day somewhere in Los Angeles, which is where I hail from, of course. But I think if you get your facts straight, he's actually kind of been promoting this idea for quite some time.

COLMES: We've got to take a quick break. Hold it right there. In just a moment, we'll ask you your presidential picks for '08 when we come back in a moment.



HANNITY: As we continue now with actor Kelsey Grammer, I have three questions, but I don't even have time to ask them. Real bullet.


HANNITY: All right. You'd run as a Republican?


HANNITY: OK. Second, you give the president high marks.

GRAMMER: I still give the president high marks for his resolve and for his stick-to-it-tiveness. I mean, it's not a sexy message any more, but it's a necessary message.

HANNITY: All right. Last question. Your public life has been out there. And you struggled at different points in your life. You're very happy. Your family has come together. Everything is going well for you. Are you worried about having to dredge all of that up in a political environment?

GRAMMER: Well, you know, I think it would be bad form. I mean, it's been dredged up. But I'm certainly willing to answer any salvo in that direction. I mean, I can stand...

HANNITY: To hear what he would say about me.

COLMES: My book comes out later on.

Who do you support in 2008? Who do you like?

GRAMMER: Gosh, I don't know. I'm having diner with Rudy Giuliani next — this week.

COLMES: Is he one of your favorites?

GRAMMER: I certainly admire the guy. They call him America's mayor. And he's a big tent kind of guy. He embraces the idea that we can all fit a lot of different ideas.

COLMES: Why are you a Republican?

HANNITY: Because they're smarter.


COLMES: I think you threw your voice into Hannity's body.

GRAMMER: I am a Republican because I believe that the — individualism is the most sacred thing, the most sacred treasure...

HANNITY: Got to run.

GRAMMER: ... in America, and I think Republicans value that more.

HANNITY: Governor? Governor, senator, Congress or president? Governor, senator, Congress or president? Quick.

GRAMMER: It would probably be Congress.

HANNITY: All right.

GRAMMER: Right now.

HANNITY: Right now.

All right. Thanks, Kelsey. Good to see you.

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