While I never had a conversation with Leo about the blacklist, I can only imagine how it hurt and how it would have influenced his son’s political beliefs. I know the fear and concern my young ones have for me because my beliefs are not in step with the status quo.
Also, I have something else to tell you as an actor. When you deeply embrace a character, it becomes a part of you. Now, I am not saying that if you are doing a huge “tent pole” action film, it is appropriate to opine. I really do not want to hear James Bond talk politics. But Sean Penn won his Best Actor award for portraying murdered San Francisco County Supervisor and gay-rights-hero Harvey Milk. That is an entirely different thing. Some of Milk’s crusading ideals are a part of Mr. Penn now just as his father’s experiences are. There is a thing some actors call a “blood memory” that connects and educates our emotional imagination.