Hollywood Actors Embrace Ayn Rand’s Right-Wing Ideology

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For anyone unfamiliar, Ayn Rand is the late author of “Atlas Shrugged,” a book centered on the greatest “producers” taking a strike and “stopping the motor of the world.” The right-wing, controversial novel garners a lot of bad press, but these Hollywood icons were part of the Atlas Shrugged trilogy.

Netflix's popular Orange is the New Black
Credit: Netflix

Hollywood Actors Supporting Ayn Rand, Objectivism, and Atlas Shrugged

The many Hollywood actors who lent support to the Ayn Rand dynasty were more than just talent; many actually helped fund the films. In the spirit of John Galt (its iconic character), fair trade was on the table. The Hollywood Reporter indicated its Kickstarter; and, ultimately, Microsoft ended up footing the lion’s share of the bill.

Based in New York City, Hollywood writers put together a piece based on a novel from 1957. Atlas Shrugged was far from a success, but it looks like it predicted some history. This comes as the WGA West released a report calling for “anti-competitive practices.” The request for government subsidy is almost straight out of the novel.

Patrick Fabian right and Edi Gathegi
Credit: Wikimedia / IMDB

Among the many are:

  • Paul Johansson: One Tree hill and Detective Knight Redemption are easy picks, but Johansson has an impressive acting CV.
  • Taylor Schilling: Best-known for her role as Piper in Orange is the New Black, this Hollywood actor starred in the first Atlas Shrugged installment.
  • Jason Beghe: A famous face from Chicago P.D.Chicago Justice,  this is an easy-to-recognize actor that was pivotal to the strike-themed film.
  • Samantha Mathis: Whether from Super Mario Bros. (1993), Little Women,  or American Psycho, this is an easy-to-spot icon.
  • Grant Bowler: A famous actor for his role in Defiance and True Blood, he played Hank Rearden in the movie.
  • Kristoffer Polaha: Probably most recognizable from Mystery 101, this actor played John Galt in the final instalment of the trilogy. The list keeps getting better.
Edi Gathegi as Darwin in X-Men
Credit: 20th Century Fox
  • Kim Rhodes: From Supernatural, the 15-season TV show to The Suite Life on Deck this Hollywood actor is everywhere, Atlas Shrugged included.
  • Eric Allan Kramer: Best-known for Robin Hood: Men in Tights and The Incredible Hulk Returns (1988)
  • Bug Hall: Known worldwide for his role on The Little Rascals (1994).
  • Edi Gathegi: Seen from Heroes as a villain, on Queen of the South, and on The Blacklist.
  • Esai Morales: Everywhere from Titans to Ozark to From Dusk Till Dawn, this iconic Hollywood actor is even in Dora the Explorer.
  • Rebecca Wisocky: Widely known for her work in Ghosts and The Mentalist, noteworthy for also featuring Pedro Pascal.
  • Greg Germann: Famous for his work in Grey’s Anatomy and Firefly Lane.
  • Robert Picardo: Iconic for his Star Trek roles, along with other cinema like The Outer Limits.
  • Navid Negahban: Known for the Disney Marvel Extended Cinematic Universe role in Legion. 
Navid Negahban from scene in 'Legion'
Credit: Marvel

Who is John Galt? From AI Tools to Disney CEO Bob Iger

The apparent lack of success of Atlas Shrugged shows the passion behind the project. That was the spark of John Galt, supposedly the Atlas that shrugged the globe from his shoulders, refusing to carry the burdens of others as his own.

It wasn’t a Hollywood Studios masterpiece, but it predicted the latest news in the WGA strike far ahead of time. Plus, it beat AI tools out by over 65 years. There was no Academy Award for the movie. It went unnoticed in Los Angeles and at the box office.

So why was Atlas Shrugged produced? It was a labor of love, crowd-funding, and passion. But despite that lack of best actor or United States accolade, all three films (representing the sections of the book) were published.

It shows that the Screen Actors Guild and Writers Guild strikes were a long time in the making. Yet the current “anti-competition” requests fly in the face of the politics supported by Atlas Shrugged contributors.

Defining Ayn Rand’s Ideology

The issue is that Ayn Rand, and works like The Fountainhead and the Atlas Shrugged trilogy, are generally seen as right-wing, in the way that Ronald Reagan was a fan. While CEO Bob Iger is espousing a liberal focus, a transition to artificial intelligence and the strikes go on, John Galt has yet to be revealed.

disneyland rogers the musical
Credit: Disney

Interesting Political Positions Revealed

What is clear is that many a writer involved in the latest news, and the American actors on the list, supported the film when it came out. Whether those views change or remain is likely different for every international or American actor involved.

The Hollywood Strike has had a substantial impact on writers, and those on the periphery of the action. Many of the Atlas Shrugged actors have worked with studios in Los Angeles, and alongside big names. Their work on the Atlas Shrugged films shows how salient the piece is, especially with the latest news with the WGA.

What do you think about the ongoing struggles of radio artists, streaming networks, and the “woke” movement? Share your take in the comments below!

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