Michael Sheen says Wendi Deng wanted him to dress up as Tony Blair and surprise former PM at Hollywood party

Welsh actor, who has played former PM three times, said Deng, former wife of Rupert Murdoch, was ‘very excited’ to meet him

Adam White
Monday 06 April 2020 17:48
Michael Sheen flood fundraiser

Michael Sheen has said that Wendi Deng, the former wife of Rupert Murdoch, once asked him to dress up like Tony Blair and surprise the real former PM at a Hollywood party.

The Welsh actor portrayed Blair in three different films, The Deal, The Queen and The Special Relationship, and recalled Deng being “very excited” after she met him in New York in 2010.

Speaking to The Guardian, Sheen remembered: “[Deng] said: ‘Oh, I’m having a dinner for Tony soon, you must come’ … It took a little while for it to dawn on me: oh, but it’s going to be at Rupert Murdoch’s house.”

Deng reportedly sent Sheen an email shortly after their meeting, in which she proposed that he dress up as Blair for the party.

“She would get in touch with me and say, maybe you could make your hair look like him? Maybe you could dress like him, and we could hide you, and bring you out, and surprise him?”

Sheen continued: “I remember writing back to her in an email and going: ‘I don’t want to put anyone in an uncomfortable position, so I think we should just leave it.’ I thought, she’s going to have me jumping out of a cake or something.”

Deng still insisted that Sheen attend the party, and it was there that he met Blair for the first time. As they met, however, Sheen remembered Deng interrupting to shout, “Tony? It’s you!”

Blair and Deng are long-time friends, with Blair godfather to one of her daughters with Murdoch.

In 2014, Blair was reported to have reacted angrily when asked by The Economist about the nature of his relationship with Deng. He said that it was “not something I will ever talk about. I haven’t and I won’t”.

Murdoch filed for divorce from Deng in 2013. He would go on to marry the model Jerry Hall in 2016.

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