The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Former Superman and 'FBI Lovebirds’ star Dean Cain explains where he falls politically

Dean Cain and Kristy Swanson in "FBI Lovebirds: Undercovers" in Washington, D.C. on June 13, 2019. (Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer)

Dean Cain is one of the rare Hollywood stars who doesn’t fall into the category of liberal. But don’t call him a conservative either. Yes, he likes and voted for President Trump, and vows to vote for him again, but he says that doesn’t make him “an alt-right crazy” (which he claims he’s been called, in addition to a slew of other names). Which is why he didn’t shy away from participating in the right-leaning play, “FBI Lovebirds: UnderCovers” even after someone threatened violence against the cast via Twitter two weeks ago, causing the production to change venues.

“It was a tweet,” play director Phelim McAleer said of the threat. “We get more than that every day.”

Despite those who may not welcome his political views, Cain has a lot of fans. He is Superman, after all. Though his “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” days are long behind him, Cain still holds the character near and dear. He incorporated his superhero persona twice into Thursday night’s performance at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, after which his MAGA hat-wearing audience gave him a standing ovation. We caught up with Cain at the post-show reception to chat about his first stage performance, and to pick his brain about a potential run for political office (not now, but maybe in the future, he told us).

What made you want to do this play, “FBI Lovebirds: UnderCovers," a verbatim reading of texts between former FBI lawyer Lisa Page and former FBI agent Peter Strzok?

I thought it was interesting. I’ve never done a stage play before. I know it has, obviously, some political overtones, but that’s what these guys [Page and Strzok] did. Listen, I follow the news, I know what’s going on, but I had no idea the depth of the things they were saying to each other and how involved they were in the investigations [about Russia et al.]. Their animus was tremendous.

How long did you have to prepare for tonight’s performance?

I flew back from Spain on Sunday, so I had Monday and Tuesday. The first time I sat down with [the script] was Monday. I thought the most interesting thing, having done this for a few days, was hearing the things the Washington, D.C., audience laughed at. [Lines such as “Hillary should win 100 million to 0” and “Just went to a southern Virginia Walmart — I could smell the Trump support” got big laughs and applause.]

Did you do any research on the case before coming into this?

I watched an awful lot of Peter Strzok. I do news shows all time so I’m generally familiar with it, but I watched a lot of his testimony [to Congress] and watched a lot of people analyze it too.

Were you expecting this play to gain such traction with the right?

I assumed it probably would be a conservative audience. But I wanted to invite folks on both sides of the aisle because there were things that I think would appeal to both.

You identify as an independent.

Yes, but everybody thinks I’m a Republican. I don’t ever vote party lines. I voted for Bill Clinton twice. I voted for Al Gore — you know, I would definitely take that vote back. But I vote candidates and I vote issues. I think there are really loud voices on the far left 10 percent and far right 10 percent and the 80 percent of us in the middle get drowned out. I would legalize marijuana in a heartbeat. So on social issues I come down kind of very leftist, but people won’t listen to that. So it’s interesting to hear all the names you get called because I say I like Trump’s policies.

Have you picked a 2020 candidate yet? Trump?

Oh, I’m backing the president for sure. I don’t like a single Democratic candidate. I mean Pete Buttigieg is an interesting guy and he’s smart and he’s eloquent, but when you start getting into his economic philosophies and that whole Marxist push — no, I’m not cool with that.

Have your political leanings ever affected your Hollywood career, for better or worse?

Oh, I’m sure it’s negatively impacted it. Look, I mean, when I listen to Robert De Niro step on the stage at the Tonys and say, “f--- Trump” and then get a standing ovation, that’s disgusting to me. I think he’s a great actor, but I think that’s just ridiculous. And Alec Baldwin — I’ve always liked Alec. We don’t agree on almost anything, but I actually like the guy. I’ll watch him in anything, even his Trump thing, even though it’s a little bit over the top. And you know, by the way, this tonight was sort of a “Saturday Night Live” thing. Why aren’t they [SNL] making fun of Strzok and Page?

Tell me about the Superman ring you’re wearing as your prop wedding ring.

I have it in my bag just in case for when I do a movie and I’m supposed to be married. I have big hands, and we were trying on rings and there was nothing, and I was like, I’m not going to go buy a wedding ring. Everybody assumes I’m married because I have a 19-year-old son.

Do you try to separate yourself from the Superman persona or play it up?

Oh come on, you saw me up there [referring to a scene where he pretended to pull back his shirt Superman-style]. I don’t try to run away from that. I think it’s funny and I love the fact that I get to play the role.

Would you consider participating in a “Lois & Clark” revival series if it was pitched to you?

I want to see [a] “Lois and Clark” [revival] because we had a no ending to our show. I’d love to be in it.