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29 janvier 2006

Michael Douglas says celebrity can help spread new ideas

Actor Michael Douglas. (AP '05/David J. Phillip)

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) - Michael Douglas knows that those who attend the World Economic Forum can move mountains and make mounds of money. But a little star power - be it Bono, Angelina Jolie or Peter Gabriel - never hurts.

"It's an impressive group, to say the least, that covers a broad spectrum," said the 61-year-old actor-producer, adding that the free-flow nature of the event promotes dialogue in a friendly environment. The annual meeting ends Sunday.

"People seem to let their hair down a little bit and loosen their ties. And there is a lot of give and share that's going on both in front on the panels and behind," Douglas said. "So it's a learning experience for me and, I guess my from end, I hope they will recognize as they have from Bono's efforts and others, that many of us on the entertainment side can talk about the issues," he said.

Douglas won a best-actor Oscar for his role in 1987's Wall Street. He also has starred in Fatal Attraction, Traffic and Wonder Boys, among other films. As for using celebrity to advance causes, Douglas said that can be a double-edged sword.

"We obviously help fundraising a whole lot, and as spokespersons you bring the issue on the table as a message of peace from the United Nations talking about disarmament, in particular areas (like) weapons of mass destruction, nuclear disarmament," he said. "People tend to get an audience from television when celebrities are involved. That helps. The danger is when you get in over your head and then you lose your credibility."

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