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Being part of an Oscar-winning Hollywood blockbuster franchise apparently doesn’t secure you the right to vote.
Many U.K. film industry figures have come out in favor of Britain remaining in the EU and will turn out for Thursday’s Brexit referendum. But the man who played dwarf warrior Gimli in The Lord of the Rings films will not get a chance to join the fellowship of voters.
John Rhys-Davies, who also appeared in two Indiana Jones movies, has made headlines related to the vote in a different way — his unsuccessful fight to get the right to participate in the referendum.
Brits who have lived abroad for more than 15 years, along with EU citizens living in the U.K., are excluded from the EU referendum.
Born in England into a Welsh family, the 72-year-old actor has been living on the Isle of Man, in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland, for nearly 30 years. With its status as a self-governing British Crown dependence, Britain is responsible for its foreign affairs, but the island is technically not part of the U.K., making Rhys-Davies an expatriate.
Rhys-Davies tried his luck with a petition to the U.K. parliament earlier this year, with supporters even writing to Queen Elizabeth II, the The Wall Street Journal reported, without detailing how the actor would vote.
The petition only got 2,021 signatures, well short of the 100,000 required. And observers highlighted that rules determining who was eligible to participate in the referendum had already been ratified.
“It’s simply not fair, and I don’t like unfairness,” the Journal quoted Rhys-Davies as saying. “It’s an insult to the people.”
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