Stars who hate talking politics

As the old saying goes, you should never discuss politics or religion at parties if you want to keep things calm and ensure that feelings don't get hurt. Political views are a matter that many people prefer to keep private or confined to their closest friends and family. However, with the country as galvanized as it is today, it appears that the majority of Hollywood celebrities are willing to speak out about their political views. From Amy Schumer to Cher to George Clooney, numerous celebrities are making their positions known through tweets, donations, speeches, and more.

And yet, there are a select number of famous holdouts who have expressed little desire to talk politics in public — some for years. The following celebrities prefer to stay mum when it comes time to let it rip in interviews about the state of the nation and their preferences at the polls. 

Billy Joel avoids the 'soapbox'

In June 2017, musician Billy Joel (aka "The Piano Man") gave a candid interview to Rolling Stone discussing his touring experiences, his personal life, and his relationship with some of his best known songs. When asked about Donald Trump's presidency, however, he simply said, "Look, man, Trump is president, so all kinds of weird s**t can happen … I try to stay out of politics."

Joel added, "I am a private citizen and I have a right to believe in my own political point of view, but I try not to get up on a soapbox and tell people how to think." He explained that in his mind, performers are more like "court jesters than court philosophers."

Despite Joel's aforementioned reluctance to discuss politics, a 2016 interview with Boston Public Radio gave fans a glimpse of his leanings. When asked if he'd play at Trump's inauguration, the musician answered, "No. I won't be anywhere near the place." 

Taylor Swift feels unqualified

During the 2012 presidential election, musician Taylor Swift stayed notably quiet about her political leanings, telling Time magazine, "I follow it, and I try to keep myself as educated and informed as possible. But I don't talk about politics because it might influence other people. And I don't think that I know enough yet in life to be telling people who to vote for."

However, in 2018, Swift was moved to make a rare political statement following the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Fla. Via an Instagram post, she revealed that she'd donated to the March for Our Lives campaign (a movement in support of gun control spearheaded by survivors of the school shooting.) "No one should have to go to school in fear of gun violence," she said. "…I'm so moved by the Parkland High School students, faculty, by all families and friends of victims who have spoken out, trying to prevent this from happening again." 

As Vox noted, Swift's social media message was a notable departure for Swift, who has "studiously avoided weighing in on anything remotely political." 

Kevin Hart wants to be a 'bright spot'

Comedian and actor Kevin Hart is well-known for being outspoken about many topics in his stand-up act, but politics isn't one of them. In May 2017, he told Variety, "When you jump into that political realm you're alienating some of your audience … The world today, it's really not a laughing matter. It's serious. I don't want to draw attention to things I don't have nice things to say about."

Hart gave the Daily Beast some additional insight into his point of view, explaining that he sees the political sphere as a divisive element and feels that his job is to "be a bright spot … Everybody's not going to see things the way I want to see them. And they shouldn't … That's what makes us individuals. In that particular realm, I keep my opinions to myself."

All that said, Hart did appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in Dec. 2017 and endorsed his Jumanji co-star Dwayne Johnson's rumored plan to run for president in 2010, saying, "I really know him, and I know if he puts himself in that position for the better of the people, I can only applaud him and support him for doing that."

Mark Wahlberg thinks 'Hollywood is living in a bubble'

Actor Mark Wahlberg got a lot of attention in November 2016 when he told Task & Purpose magazine that he felt strongly that celebrities should not express their political opinions. He told the mag, "A lot of celebrities did, do, and shouldn't [publicly endorse candidates] … a lot of Hollywood is living in a bubble. They're pretty out of touch with the common person, the everyday guy out there providing for their family. Me, I'm very aware of the real world. I come from the real world and I exist in the real world." Good to know.   

Wahlberg did share with the press in September 2016 that he'd once played golf with Donald Trump at a celebrity golf event, telling The Guardian that, "He's an OK golfer … He was very Donald Trump-like, talking about the things that he does, things that he has, business interests, properties, stuff like that." Wahlberg briefly added, "Yeah, it's a little crazy where we are now." 

Since then, however, he has stayed silent on Trump and politics in general. 

Josh Duhamel says 'nobody cares'

Actor (and ex-husband of pop star Fergie) Josh Duhamel gave an interview to Fox News in 2017 explaining that he'd made a purposeful choice not to weigh in on politics during interviews. The reason? "I don't necessary think it's important to tell people how to vote … I don't like to get involved politically at all. Nobody cares what I think politically. Anybody in entertainment who thinks people care what they think politically are really misinformed…"

However, Duhamel took to Twitter all the way back in 2012 for an extremely rare statement in support of the Congressional Reform Act of 2012, and in April 2016, he posted a photo on Facebook showing him wearing a T-shirt in support of Republican Governor Doug Burgum. He also urged fans to vote via Instagram in November 2016. Sure, these might not be direct political endorsements, but it is politics nonetheless. 

Gillian Anderson won't tell you who she votes for, unless it's Oprah

Gillian Anderson is best known for her role as Special Agent Dana Scully on The X-Files, and she's also been involved in a number of not-for-profit initiatives worldwide. Despite her activism, however, Anderson told The Guardian in March 2017 that she prefers to avoid discussing politics in interviews. "I generally have a tendency to steer away from outright political discussion in interviews, because I am an actor, and there's so much that I don't understand, and I don't for a second feel like I have a right to that platform," she said. "I don't want to get into a discussion about Trump or about Brexit or any of that … I don't really know what it is that I'm talking about." 

She did note to the Evening Standard, however, that she thinks The X-Files is a political show. She also broke her own interview code for a moment when she told the Associated Press at the unveiling of her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in January 2018 that Oprah Winfrey would have "200 of [her] votes" if she ran for president. 

Blake Shelton won't throw his cowboy hat in that ring

Blake Shelton was once named "Sexiest Man Alive" by People, and we'd also give him the title of "The Most Secretive About Who He Voted For Man Alive." 

In a 2016 interview with Billboard, it seemed to some like Shelton was endorsing Donald Trump when he said, "Whether you love him or hate him, [Trump] says what he thinks, and he has proven that you don't always have to be so afraid. A lot of people are pulling for him, no matter how much Hollywood fights it." Perhaps anticipating backlash, Shelton then promptly tweeted, "I haven't enforced [sic] ANYBODY for president. And I not going to. I don't do that s**t."

As the New York Post reported, actress Debra Messing threw her hat in the ring to comment on Shelton's political position, tweeting at Shelton's girlfriend Gwen Stefani, "Omg. How? @gwenstefani please talk to your man to not vote for the person who will STRIP you of your rights." Messing later deleted that tweet and wrote, "Ok- I regret commenting. My passions got the better of me. Sorry. @gwenstefani @blakeshelton." 

Shelton then replied, "Thank you sis.. I don't endorse anybody. For this very reason!!"

Carrie Underwood

Country music star Carrie Underwood hosted the 2016 Country Music Awards with musician Brad Paisley, and prior to the show, she the duo would be staying well away from political content. "I prefer to stay away from politics," she said (via The Boot). "I feel like we'll have lots to talk about, but I think it will be more geared to just us and what we do." 

She also told Rolling Stone in 2016 that she had no desire to sway music fans in the direction of a certain political candidate. "I don't want people to vote for somebody because I told them to. I want them to find out about things that they are passionate about and what's important to them and look at different candidates and policies. And try to make their own decisions on that."

Cut to the 2017 CMAs, and things were looking a little different. As Vanity Fair reported, Underwood and Paisley did indeed get political as co-hosts of the event, performing numerous parody songs obviously directed at Donald Trump and his administration (and prompting a spirited response on Twitter.)  

Bruno Mars

Grammy Award-winning musician Bruno Mars may have a bombastic on-stage presence, but his political views definitely don't take the spotlight. He's notably reluctant to discuss his political beliefs and to date, has not done so on the record. The Cut noted in 2016 that "Mr. Mars has never once implied any political allegiance."

Esquire listed Mars as having an "unknown" political affiliation in 2016, noting his sizable social media following and lack of allegiance to a presidential candidate. The Atlantic also speculated that Mars' 2018 Grammy Wins for song of the year, record of the year, and album of the year was partially motivated by his music's seeming apoliticism, claiming his shout-out to industry execs during an award acceptance speech "reinforced the suspicion that he was mainly being rewarded for paying industry insiders' rents through a steady stream of content viable at Super Bowls and Supercuts."

Mars did, however, share a CNN Politics video of former First Lady Michelle Obama dancing on his Facebook page, so that's something.