Actor Martin Sheen, whose screen credits include "The Missiles of October," "The Execution of Private Slovik" and "Apocalypse Now," will soon be seen in a television movie in which he portrays Mitch Snyder, a man who has devoted his life to the homeless. Snyder, leader of the Community for Creative Non-Violence, ended a 32-day hunger strike on behalf of those without shelter March 16 and spent the first week of April in Santa Barbara, which , he charges , is "the worst (city) in the country" in terms of helping the homeless. Recently, CBS news correspondent Charlie Rose interviewed Sheen on location for a special edition of "Nightwatch."
Charlie Rose: Of all the things you could do, why this? Martin Sheen: Well, I'll tell you, of all the people in my whole life that I have really envied--and there are just a handful of them--Mitch Snyder is one. And the reason is because he is in full possession of his soul, which is what I would like to be in possession of. I'm sure all of us would. Q: What does it mean to be in full possession of your soul? A: Basically, that he has transcended the image of what it means to be a person to really be a person. One of the first things he asked me when we got together just a few days ago, the first time I met him . . . he asked me to go out andsit on the grate that he had spent four months on and just chat. . . . Well, one of the first things he asked me was: "Martin, how many pairs of shoes do you own?" And I quickly thought, and I said, "I guess about four or five." He said: "You're only entitled to one, because there are a lot of people running around out there barefoot." That's where he began; I can at best be only a shadow of this man.