Hollywood movie star Sylvester Stallone has turned down President-elect Donald Trump's job offer of running the federal government's arts programme.
The National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) is responsible for giving out arts grants and has a $150m per year budget. Instead, Stallone, who is known for his role as Rambo, a traumatised Vietnam vet, is hoping to devote his time to military veterans.
"I am incredibly flattered to have been suggested to be involved with the National Endowment of the Arts," Stallone said through his publicist on Sunday (18 December).
"However, I believe I could be more effective by bringing national attention to returning military personnel in an effort to find gainful employment, suitable housing and financial assistance these heroes respectfully deserve," the actor added.
No formal job offer was made to the 70-year-old actor, although The New York Times has reported that Republicans in the Trump camp approached Stallone last week about an arts-related job.
Stallone has made no secret of his admiration of the next president of the United States. "I love Donald Trump," he told Variety. "He's a great Dickensian character. You know what I mean? There are certain people like Arnold [Schwarzenegger], Babe Ruth, that are bigger than life. But I don't know how that translates to running the world."
The actor, who has a net worth of around $400m (£320m), has previously supported Republican John McCain's 2008 presidential run and even revealed that he once briefly considered going into politics.
"And five minutes later, I came to my senses," he said. "I said to my wife, 'What do you think?' She said, 'Are you crazy? You're not going to be elected. You don't have that insatiable need to be embraced by people.'"
Unlike Stallone's bloodthirsty persona as Rambo, the actor supports gun control legislation. He approved of the Brady Law that imposed a five-day waiting period on gun-buyers until the bill dissolved in 1998.
After the Sandy Hook massacre, Stallone was in favour of assault-weapon bans and increased support for mental health treatment to prevent mass shootings.
"I know people get upset and go, 'They're going to take away the assault weapon,'" said the Bullet to the Head actor. "Who ... needs an assault weapon? Like really, unless you're carrying out an assault. You can't hunt with it. Who's going to attack your house, a f***ing army?"