Exclusive: How Robert Davi Celebrated Trump’s First Year in Office
LifeZette talks to the conservative actor about his recent visit to Mar-a-Lago — and why he's so open about his politics
When an anniversary event called the Red, White and Blue Celebration for We the People was being put together to honor the president’s first year in office, there was an obvious name to help in the festivities: Robert Davi.
The “Die Hard” and “Goonies” star is one of the most outspoken conservatives in Hollywood — and he was one of the first public figures to endorse Donald Trump after the former real estate mogul announced his presidential candidacy in 2015.
“It was a terrific event,” Davi told LifeZette in an exclusive interview by telephone about the celebration, which took place last week at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. Though the president was unable to attend, many of his most ardent supporters were there, such as Fox News host and former Judge Jeanine Pirro; the president’s son, Eric Trump, and his wife, Lara, were also there.
The event was also open to the public and people flew in from around the country to celebrate Trump’s first year in office with like-minded individuals.
After Pirro and others gave speeches to the crowd, Davi took the stage to perform such classics as “New York, New York” (Davi, like the president, was born in New York).
The praised filmmaker has become increasingly known to the public in recent years for his longtime love of music and his impressive skills behind a microphone. He is currently working on a new album.
[lz_third_party align=center width=630 includes=https://youtu.be/FOPt9lDTz50]
Asked whether he is ever fearful his support of the president and participation in conservative events will lead to blowback in his artistic career, Davi waves such concerns away.
“I am too committed to trying to unify our nation and trying to educate a populace that’s been indoctrinated, brainwashed and lobotomized,” he said bluntly.
He added that it’s “already too late” to stop any bias there may be against his conservative values inside of Hollywood.
“I’ve had people say to me, ‘Hey, Davi, this is a good time to switch [political] parties’ and, you know, they promise me s*** in Hollywood. No joke,” the actor revealed. Not that the star’s career needs much help. Sure, he faces the same uphill battles every conservative artist faces nowadays — but his resume includes everything from 1989’s “License to Kill” to 2014’s “The Expendables 3.” Against the odds, he’s found success as an openly conservative actor.
The cultural and political division that’s clear in Hollywood today is ironic to Davi: “I know the same people in Hollywood who [are against] Trump who loved him before he ran for office,” he said.
The current cultural division between the Left and the Right, Davi said, is something that has been around far longer than the Trump presidency. Davi first began seeing the beginnings of sharp division in the country as disrespect for authority and police officers and volatile racism increased under Obama’s watch.
Under Trump, Davi explained, “It’s come to a head.”
Though we may be in a difficult place culturally as a country right now, Davi said he sees hope for the future and for President Trump.
The country will become more unified “if his leadership continues on an upward spiral in terms of what’s good for the country and what’s good for the people.”
One issue the actor sees as vital to solve is immigration. “We keep kicking the can down the road,” he said, pointing out that the pass-the-buck attitude will likely change under Trump. Evidence of this would be the president’s recent Jerusalem decision. Plenty of presidents had promised to move the embassy; Trump was first person to actually do it.
Davi would like to see the same attitude brought to immigration, as he feels there’s not enough discussion between the two political sides.
“We have to change politics,” he said, stressing the importance of common-sense solutions and avoiding special interest groups taking control of legislation, something that’s been happening for decades now.
Davi’s solution for the immigration problem? Devise a formula for some noncriminal illegal immigrants to be granted citizenship — but only after they pay their proper dues.
“For every year they have been here illegally, they give community service for four hours a week at a hospital, at a retirement community,” he suggested, explaining such manpower can be used on roads or in inner cities. “Why aren’t we talking about this? Why aren’t we asking, ‘What would make us all happy and better us as a society and still, at the same time, give accountability to those people that come here illegally? [We wouldn’t] make them citizens yet, but [we’d put them] on the path to citizenship once they’ve fulfilled their obligation of community service.”
He added, “Think of that manpower in the community.”
Though he doesn’t see the solution as the be-all-end-all formula, he sees such thinking as a place from which to start.
“If you put too many fish in a fish tank, the whole fish tank dies,” he said, adding that having an open door immigration policy with no requirements forces a country to lose its cultural identity, a goal he sees as a running theme on the Left today.
“They’re using these little things to separate us under the guise of uniting us,” Davi said. Immigration is something the actor knows a thing or two about — and has respect for, as his grandparents immigrated from another country.
“My grandparents were Italian. They came here legally through Ellis Island,” he said. His family’s background is partly what makes him see so clearly that “our immigration system is broken.”
Immigration isn’t the only issue that won Davi over to Trump’s side, though. He saw a correlation between the current president and one who deeply inspired Davi years ago — Ronald Reagan. The actor said part of his commitment to being outspoken about his beliefs despite opposition is Reagan’s presidential farewell speech, which Davi called a “dire warning” for America.
In the speech, Reagan spoke of Americans supporting each other and openly discussing ideas, as well as being vigilant about the country not losing its cultural identity.
[lz_third_party align=center width=630 includes=https://youtu.be/Kjg5hXjMnDE]
“Reagan was giving us a huge warning,” the actor said. “The infiltration of American values has been going on for decades.”
Davi has since done his best to live up to the “informed patriotism” Reagan so passionately spoke about all those years ago.
Davi’s advice for other “informed patriots” of today? “Keep the faith. Be vigilant. Talk around the dinner table.”
It’s up to conservatives, Davi added, to fight against the misconceptions pushed by the media and bought into by those unwilling to dig past biased and lazy reporting. “The media continues to cloud issues,” he said.
It’s another area, however, where Davi sees hope in the president, a man often criticized for taking to Twitter to discuss issues and hit back against his critics in the media. Davi sees the president’s attitude as exactly what is needed right now. “They [the media] hate that they have someone who can equalize something,” he said.
Be sure to check out: Part two of LifeZette’s exclusive interview with Robert Davi; he discusses the new film “In Search of Liberty,” along with his roles in classic classic movies such as “Die Hard” and “The Goonies.”
PopZette editor Zachary Leeman can be reached at [email protected].