Daniel Mays says he told Laurence Fox to ‘stop tweeting’ about his political views

Daniel Mays has revealed that he rang his former co-star Laurence Fox to tell him to “stop tweeting” about his political views.

The actor starred alongside Fox in the 2020 Netflix series White Lines, but said he does not “recognise” him any more.

Mays, 44, also reflected on how he thinks cancel culture is “quite frightening” in a new interview, after Fox claimed he was dropped by his agent over the phone.

Fox has been repeatedly involved in controversies over his political stance. In September 2019, he launched his Reclaim political party to fight so-called “culture wars” and lead people who are “tired of being told that we represent the very thing we have, in history, stood together against”.

In a new interview published in The Telegraph on Saturday (25 February), Mays said: “It’s a very strange scenario, the whole Laurence thing, because I got on like an absolute house on fire with him.

“We had many, many evenings on the top of that hotel in Madrid and Mallorca, where we talked till the cows came home. It’s strange, because the Laurence I experienced whilst making White Lines isn’t the guy I recognise now. And it is an absolute conundrum to me.”

Mays said he phoned Fox to tell him to “stop tweeting” and asked was he “not worried about his career”, to which Fox apparently replied: “I can’t let them win.”

“He was fighting something that I didn’t quite understand,” the Line of Duty star continued. “I think he’s a really good actor; he was great in White Lines.

“The whole cancellation thing, it’s quite frightening… You work with these people, and then all of a sudden, they’re gone. Laurence has kids. There’s part of you that’s like, how are they gonna look after their families?”

Mays added that he thought “the cancellation thing is wrong” and the idea of cancel culture “makes me very, very, very nervous”.

Daniel Mays attends the Royal Film Performance and UK Premiere of
Daniel Mays attends the Royal Film Performance and UK Premiere of

Fox is currently embroiled in a High Court libel case with three people he referred to as “paedophiles” on Twitter. In November 2022, he lost the latest round of the case.

The 44-year-old actor was sued by former Stonewall trustee Simon Blake, ex-Coronation Street actor Nicola Thorp and drag artist Crystal over the argument on Twitter in October 2020. Fox counter-sued all three people for accusing him of being a “racist”.

A number of actors have recently spoken out against cancel culture, including Cate Blanchett, who recently defended films and TV shows that are about controversial figures.

The Australian actor recently starred in Tár as a fictional conductor who is accused of preying on young musicians. She has been nominated for the Oscar for Best Actress for the role, but the film has been criticised for her character’s behaviour.

Speaking to the Radio Times, she said: “If you don’t read older books that are slightly offensive because of what they say in a historical context, then you will never grapple with the minds of the time [and] we are destined to repeat that stuff.

“Look at Picasso. You can only imagine what went on in, outside and around his studio. But do you look at Guernica and say that is one of the greatest works of art ever? Yes, it’s a fact. It’s important to have a healthy critique.”