Inside Steven Seagal’s bizarre trip, karate movies to the Kremlin
“Without being able to stop people, when we fined them they probably make more money from producing things that pollute the environment,” he said.
Seagal’s credentials as an environmentalist are far more important than those of the average Hollywood lawyer. He campaigned widely against the fur trade and received the PETA Humanitarian Award in 1999 for preventing the export of baby elephants from South Africa to Japan.
Restorative justice for baby elephants is just one of the strengths of Seagal’s resume. The actor, 69, hasn’t had a major theatrical presence for over 20 years. However, his post-blockbuster career turned out to be considerably stranger than anything Hollywood could imagine. He’s been a reality TV star, a practicing police officer, a martial arts guru, a mentor to several mixed martial arts stars – and, as pointed out, a friend of Putin.
More than a buddy, in fact. Seagal first met Putin in 2011 following a presentation by businessman Bob Von Ronkel, who specializes in organizing American celebrations to attend events in Russia. Both men are the same age and both enjoy martial arts; they immediately got along. “It’s a very normal friendship,” a Putin spokesperson told BuzzFeed. “I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s a huge fan, but he’s definitely seen some of his movies.”
Seagal is a staunch supporter of the regime and has gone on television to deny Russia’s falsification in the 2016 US presidential election. that the Russians have this kind of technology, is stupid, ”he said. He had previously defended Moscow’s annexation of Crimea as “very reasonable”.