If cash wasn’t a challenge, where would you live? Many ask themselves that. A fortunate few get to do it.
Steven Seagal is one. With ample cash, Seagal could live pretty much anywhere. The Hollywood star selected Serbia.
A decree was signed and issued on January 8, 2016, which awarded Seagal Serbian citizenship.
The actor and producer met on several occasions with Serbia’s Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vucic and the nation’s president, Tomislav Nikolic.
In December 2015, Seagal was given a job instructing special police forces and then climbed the stage for an open-air gig in Belgrade on New Year’s Eve.
Seagal has become a Serbian citizen following two visits to the Balkan nation. Seagal has praised Serbian leadership and told The Daily Mail he “feels like a Serb.”
On one visit, Seagal was given the opportunity to train Serbian special forces in Aikido; a Japanese martial art discipline practice by Seagal since his teenage years.
Sponsored by a pro-Russian Serbian group, Seagal, 63, first debuted in the 1988 movie “Above the Law.” Seagal had a string of box-office hits in the 1990s before taking a short hiatus.
Between 2001 and 2010, Seagal’s nice was direct-to-video movies. In 2010 he returned to the silver screen in Machete, a film by Robert Rodriguez.
Putin’s Personal Action Figure?
Seagal’s fans have seen him with Vladimir Putin on numerous occasions. Beyond a shared fondness for martial arts, the duo agrees on policy.
Speaking with the Russian state-run newspaper Rossiskaya Gazeta in 2014, Seagal said he believes Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine was “reasonable.”
Seagal went on to state he thought of Putin as his “brother”, and he considered seeking Russian citizenship according to the Moscow Times.
Putin’s bromance with Seagal underscores a belief that political power is start power and the president is the biggest star of all.
Under Putin, politics has morphed into a stage-managed show where spectacle replaces substance.
Putin surprised American President Obama when he suggested Seagal as an intermediary between Washington and Moscow in 2013.
The Russian leader realized his relationship with his American counterpart was strained; they had never gotten along.
Putin spent the first meeting relaxing on the porch of his summer residence in Novo-Ogarevo in 2009 as he berated Obama for twenty-years of Washington’s slights against Russia. Obama hardly got a word in for over two-hours and the pair didn’t meet again for years.
When Obama attempted to make Putin forget his support for Syria’s Assad, Putin declared he would continue to provide arms and munitions. Then Putin suggested his new idea: make Seagal an honorary consul of Russian and a potential intermediary between the Kremlin and White House.
Seagal checks all the right boxes for Putin. Both were born in 1952 and are black belts in Japanese martial arts. They openly express admiration and respect for each other often.
“I think I know him (Putin) well, but suffice it to say I know him enough to say he is one of the great world leaders,” said Segal in a 2013 interview.
As far as Serbia, Seagal is admires the nation. The actor commended Serbia’s government and has vowed to do everything “possible to promote Serbia” globally.
In an conversation with AFP, Seagal emphasized the inequities suffered by Serbia and added that Americans carry prejudices against Serbs.
In his last theatrical release, Half Past Dead, Seagal said:
“I’m second in command, and queen bitch of the universe. Where’s my helicopter.”
Maybe Steven can relax some in his new Serbian home.